COLUMBIA, SC – June 8, 2009 – Brian J. Mihalik, associate dean and professor at the Graduate School for Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, has been named dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.
Mihalik was selected after a national search from among four finalists who visited the campus this spring and met with faculty, staff and students. He will begin August 15.
University President Harris Pastides said Mihalik’s extensive experience in teaching, research and higher-education administration will make him a valuable member of his administrative team and a vibrant leader for the college, which has an enrollment of 1,800 students and 36 faculty members.
“His academic background in government, public relations and business, combined with his administrative and teaching experience, will bring a valuable perspective to the college and to my administration,” Pastides said. “His strong leadership qualities and his experience in public higher education made him a very strong candidate who captured the confidence of faculty, staff and students when he visited the university.”
Mihalik said he was looking forward to leading a college that boasts diverse programs and alumni who have risen to top positions in their respective fields.
“We in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management are critical partners in moving South Carolina to the next level in the global economy,” Mihalik said. “Our college impacts the largest sectors that drive the economy in South Carolina. Hospitality, tourism, retail, sport and entertainment, and technology support and training make up a large portion of the state’s economy. Working with the faculty, administration, students, staff, alumni, industry partners and friends of the university, we will carve a path to excellence through our joint efforts.”
Mihalik earned his bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on transportation from Syracuse University, where he also earned a pair of master’s degrees, one in instructional communication, media production and administration, and one in local government administration and management. He earned his doctoral degree in corporate public relations from Temple University.
After holding tenured faculty and administrative posts at Clemson, Oklahoma State and SUNY Brockport universities, he joined Virginia Tech in 1999 as department head and professor in the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Since 2006, he has served as associate dean of the graduate school, overseeing education and the development of new graduate programs and working closely with eight college deans.
Mihalik will succeed Dr. Sheryl Kline, who has been interim dean since August 2007.