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Brian Barker appointed endowed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professor at Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Brian Barker appointed endowed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professor at Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

July 15, 2021 at 1:00pm

dei-brianbarker-headshot.jpgBrian Barker has been appointed the first endowed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion professor of FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. The new position is part of the school's ongoing commitment to DEI within its curriculum and addressing inequities in the hospitality industry.
In his new role, Barker will be focused on development of DEI curriculum and content, expansion of the mentoring program, establishing Chaplin School as a resource for DEI and change in the hospitality industry, and building and leading a multi-institutional alliance. The alliance is a bold, new initiative among higher learning institutions, industry associations and top hospitality brands to address gaps and create pathways for Black, Hispanic, Women and underrepresented talent in hospitality management.
Barker brings his hospitality education and hotel experience background into his new role at the second-largest hospitality school in the country. FIU Chaplin School, a top 10 U.S. public hospitality school, is also a leader in diversity with over 70% women and 74 countries represented. FIU Hospitality graduates more undergraduate Black and Hispanic students than any other school.   
"It is an absolute honor to be joining this great institution," said Barker. "I am looking forward to working with my fellow faculty members and our industry partners and leaders to open the door and create opportunities in leadership for everyone, especially those in underrepresented communities," he added.
According to a May 2021 study by The Castell Project, just 1.6 percent of hospitality executives from director through CEO level are black. In fact, the study shows that number fell from 2019 to 2020. In addition, another Castell Project study from April 2021 of women in hospitality leadership shows that just one woman to 5.7 men reached C-suite level status in 2020.
"Our industry has gone through overwhelming changes over the past year," said Michael Cheng, dean of the Chaplin School. "We need to move the needle forward when it comes to representation in the hospitality industry, and the addition of Brian Barker to our school is a commitment to action we're taking to lead the way," he ended.
Barker's endowed faculty chair for DEI was established through generous seed funding from Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits.
Barker has over 13 years of industry experience. He started his career at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (FSHR) as an operational manager at FSHR Philadelphia, followed by FSHR Miami, where he successfully led the Miami property to their first attainment of the coveted AAA-Five Diamond Award status as front office manager.
Most recently, Barker was at DePaul University's School of Hospitality Leadership. Professor Barker attained his Master of Arts in Communications from DePaul University in Multi-cultural and Organizational Communication (2011), a dual degree program. He also attained his Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) certification from American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (2013). He is currently a full-time Ph.D. Candidate at Iowa State University.