UNLV President Carol C. Harter has appointed David J. Christianson, dean of UNLV's William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration since 1989, to the college's Harrah Distinguished Chair, she announced today (Wednesday, April 23).
Christianson will succeed Jerry Vallen, who was the first occupant of the Harrah chair following his many years of service as the first dean of the college. The three-year appointment will begin July 1, 1998. Christianson will continue to serve as dean until that date. In the meantime, a national search will be conducted for a new dean for the college, Harter said.
"Dave Christianson has continued the tradition of strong leadership that built UNLV's College of Hotel Administration from its early days in the mid-1960s to its position today as one of the finest - and best-known - programs of its kind in the world," Harter said. "It is most fitting that his long service and continued value to the college be recognized through his appointment to the prestigious Harrah chair."
"Next year will mark 15 years in administration for me, and I'm very much looking forward returning to the faculty," Christianson said. "It has been a great honor to serve as dean, and I'm honored to have been appointed to the Harrah chair. It is the best job in hospitality education."
The Harrah chair was created in 1989 as part of a $5 million gift to the College of Hotel Administration from Verna Harrah, widow of the late William F. Harrah, and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.
"David's long experience as an educator in the field of hotel administration, coupled with his extensive travel and knowledge of the international hospitality industry, make him uniquely qualified to occupy the Harrah chair," Provost Douglas Ferraro commented.
Prior to his appointment as dean in 1989, Christianson had served as associate dean since 1986. He joined the college's faculty in 1977. He received the Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and his master's and bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University.