Dennis Reynolds is a scholar, seasoned hospitality executive, prolific researcher and author, gifted teacher and, now, the next dean of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He is expected to begin July 1.

Bringing a blend of real-world experience and academic acumen, Reynolds is currently wrapping up his final semester at the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management, where he serves as the Ivar Haglund Endowed Professor of Hospitality Management and director of the Wine Business Management Program. He specializes in global service-management issues and has lectured on this subject around the world.

Reynolds, a former J. Thomas Clark Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, is also a two-time graduate, earning his doctorate and master’s degree there. He received a B.S. in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Golden Gate University.

Along with his considerable experience in higher education, Reynolds has the industry background needed as the dean of one of the top hospitality programs in the world. He’s served as an operations analyst for Food & Beverage Investigations, a regional operations manager at SODEXO USA and vice president and general manager of North American Operations for Nutrition Management Services.

He took a few moments to discuss his plans:

Q. What attracted you to Hilton College and the University of Houston?

First and foremost, the faculty was a major draw. They have a collective reputation for excellent research, as well as great prowess in the classroom. Adding to that, the reputation of the quality of graduates throughout the industry certainly influenced me. Finally, the collegiality and the overarching culture within the college and the University provided a wonderful opportunity and strongly attracted me.

Q. What do you hope to accomplish as dean?

My primary goal is to extend the global reach and reputation of Hilton College. Added to this, I hope to see us enhance our graduate education programs while maximizing the undergraduate experience, including innovative educational platforms that will help prepare our graduates to be successful leaders in the global hospitality industry. I also want to expand our industry relationships in Texas, the United States and the world. Of course, that mission includes ensuring the college’s financial future.