John T. Self, Ph. D

John T. Self

Professor Emeritus

Leadership:   While at Cal Poly,  Dr. Self has served as Associate Dean of the Collins College of Hospitality Management, Chair of the Academic Senate and Treasurer of ICHRIE, the leading international association for higher education hospitality educators in the world.   

Service:   Professor Self has extensive service on the university and college levels.  He has served as the Collins College academic senator for 8 years.  As a senator, he was on the executive steering committee and served as vice-chair and chair.  He has also served as the co-chair for the university WASC accreditation committee, member of the I&IT governance executive committee, tri chair of the executive committee of the University Enrollment Management Council (EMAC), and as a board member of the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation.  Currently, he is on the Advising Task Force and the Academic Affairs Planning Evaluation Committee.  On the college level, he is a member of the curriculum committee and the RTP committee. 

Industry experience:  Prior to entering academia, Dr. Self spent fifteen years in restaurant management for several chains including Chili's and Steak and Ale, and as vice president of operations for a regional restaurant chain. He has also owned three independent restaurants, including a comedy club.

Teaching:  Dr. Self has been a professor at The Collins College of Hospitality Management since 2002.  He has taught both undergraduate courses primarily in restaurant management and hospitality accounting and graduate courses in advanced food service management and hospitality law.  Undergraduate student evaluations average 1.4 out of 5 (1.0 being best) and graduate evaluations 4.6 out of 5 (5.0 being best).  In 2007, he was recognized as Outstanding Advisor of the year. 

Research: Turnover of employees and management and restaurant failure and restaurant success.  Professor Self has been published in Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education,   International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, Journal of Services Research, Journal of Foodservice Business Research

Consulting:  Professor Self consults on restaurant start-ups, giving objective feedback on business plans. 

Media: NPR (National Public Radio) and Los Angeles Times:

  • Los Angeles Times 2011 Featured consultant March 28, 2011, in the Business section “Business Makeover”



  • Ph.D., University of Alabama
  • MEd, University of North Texas
  • BS, Auburn University

Invited international keynote presentations:

  • "Why restaurants fail," at GastroPRO, The Future of Hospitality, in March 2015 in Helsinki, Finland. GastroPRO is the educational arm of Gastro Helsinki, the foodservice conference for Nordic and Scandinavian countries.
  • "Becoming a better restaurant manager," and workshop in Tallinn, Estonia for restaurant managers in December 2014. 

Professional Associations & Certifications:

  • Certified Food and Beverage Executive (CFBE), American Hotel and Lodging Association
  • Certification in Scenario Planning, Global Business Network
  • International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE)

Awards and Honors:

  • Fulbright Scholar, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland (August – December 2014)