About SHRM & the Project

For more than 100 years, Northern Arizona University has served as the state's premier residential university. NAU faculty, students and alumni have been an integral part of Arizona’s economic and intellectual vitality. SHRM is recognized internationally as a leading provider of student-focused hospitality education.

We have accomplished this by creating an environment that prepares students to make immediate and ongoing contributions in the hospitality industry. We maintain an innovative curriculum responsive to changes in the industry, along with strong ties to our industry partners through which students gain access to internships and other experiential learning opportunities, faculty remain actively engaged in the hospitality industry, and employers recruit our graduates. The high level of faculty-student interaction and team based classroom experiences result in well trained hospitality professionals, with classroom learning augmented by a strong internship program and the requirement that students complete 1,200 hours of professional training in a hospitality business prior to graduation.

SHRM  continues to face competitive challenges to its role as a hospitality education leader. Today, the most significant challenge to our ability to maintain and enhance our tradition of excellence is the need to provide a facility that will meet the current and foreseeable needs of our faculty and students in the 21st century. Our commitment to the future requires that we act now to provide a flexible and effective learning and teaching environment, with facilities that meet the unique demands of a leading hospitality program.

In 2010, SHRM embarked on an unprecedented partnership among all of the School’s stakeholders to create such a facility. Plans became reality in April 2011: a modern building with innovative features that will allow us to improve the quality of education we offer.

Letter from Marc Chopin, former dean, 2011

When I think about the ongoing opportunity we have to build a legacy of excellence for SHRM, I am excited about the future.

I am also gratified by the confidence and support we have received from the state legislature and NAU administration, and their willingness to share our vision to ensure that the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management continues in its leadership position in hospitality education well into the 21st Century. By generously funding renovation of our building, NAU has made it clear that HRM is an essential part of its long term strategy of commitment to a sustained quality learning environment for students.

To supplement the $6 million construction commitment from NAU, we have been given the opportunity to conduct a campaign to raise funds to outfit the renovated building with state-of-the art technology, equipment and furniture that will nurture the learning environment for which we are so well known. We are counting on the SHRM community to support this campaign that will allow us to maintain and enhance the tradition of educational excellence that our students, alumni and faculty deserve and for which we have been recognized.

The newly renovated SHRM building will be an adaptable, long-term platform from which we can continue to inspire student achievement, stimulate faculty development and encourage mutually beneficial partnerships with the hospitality industry. A platform from which we can raise the bar of educational excellence for SHRM. The hard work and generous support of our students, alumni, faculty and friends in the past has enabled us to achieve the success and quality reputation that we currently enjoy. We know that we can count on you to continue to support our efforts to build on this tradition of excellence and thank you in advance for your participation.

Marc Chopin
Former Dean, 2011*

* Craig Van Slyke, PhD is the current dean of the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, joining NAU-FCB in summer 2012.

Goals & Vision

The renovated SHRM facility serves to support the school’s goals and vision as follows:


To provide outstanding and accessible learning experiences that prepares our diverse student body for successful hospitality service management careers.


  • We will be recognized as a premier hospitality services management school by our stakeholders.
  • We will prepare students for leadership responsibilities in the hospitality services industry by providing meaningful academic programs and practical industry experiences.

The renovated building will feature multiple hands-on learning spaces including:

In the renovated facility, we effectively integrate advanced hospitality technologies in our labs and classrooms into the curriculum, preparing our students for the types of technologies they will face in the workforce. Classroom and seminar spaces will allow the incorporation of multiple delivery methods such as integrated, team taught curriculum, small group and teamwork, and lecture format. A diversity of advanced technologies will be integrated into the curriculum, providing a rigorous academic experience and access to the tools and techniques necessary to thrive in today's hospitality world.

The renovated building will also enhance the sense of community for which SHRM and NAU are well known. Features that will assist with this include:

In keeping with NAU's focus on the undergraduate, residential experience, the renovated building will encourage students to actively engage in the School while not attending classes. The facility will provide flexible space for students to study, work with colleagues on team projects, and even share conversation over a cup of coffee. Features such as an advising center, multi-purpose/fireside chat area, breakout spaces, and coffee bar kiosk, provide for increased communication and interaction among students and faculty outside of the classroom. This interaction is integral to SHRM students’ learning experience.

SHRM Highlights

  • Top 5 in enrollment for hospitality schools nationwide
  • 1,200 professional training hours required before graduation emphasizes the practical skills and operational focus of the program
  • Robust internship program; more than 55% of 2011 graduating seniors completed an internship for academic credit
  • Ranked highly among the top 100 hospitality and tourism programs in the world for research in the industry by Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research
  • Awarded a seven-year renewed accreditation in spring 2010 by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA).  This significant achievement was the result of a 12-month self-study process and a three-day intensive site visit by a team of commissioners. SHRM originally achieved accreditation in 1995 and will be up for renewal in 2016.
  • 10% international students, leading the University in international student enrollment
  • Active participation in student groups
  • Strong relationship with industry partners that result in guest lectures, internships and employment opportunities.

The Hows & Whys

How the renovation of SHRM-East came about:

The Stimulus Plan for Economic and Educational Development (SPEED) is intended to jumpstart Arizona's sagging economy by stimulating activity in the construction industry with much-needed building projects at the state's three public universities.

The SPEED legislation authorizes $800 million in financing authority for capital projects at the universities. The projects address critical renovation and building renewal needs. The initiative grants Northern Arizona University funding authority for $136 million of construction, including renovation of SHRM-East. Arizona Lottery revenues will fund 80 percent of the SPEED debt service, with the universities responsible for the remaining 20 percent. Payments for the projects will be “interest only” for the first five years.

Why a renovation?

Our main challenge is to prepare graduates for the hospitality industry.

Significant changes in teaching methods and the use of technology both inside and outside the classroom demand a modern training facility. If SHRM is to meet the needs of the twenty-first century hospitality student, it must incorporate rapidly changing technology and other modern elements of the hospitality industry. This renovated building will provide a progressive training facility that aligns with what students will encounter in the hospitality workforce.