Collins College Leadership Transition


Dr. Ed Merritt

May 21, 2013 - After nearly six years at the helm of The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Dean Andy Feinstein has accepted the position of deputy provost at San Jose State University. Feinstein is the most senior dean at Cal Poly Pomona and has guided The Collins College through significant changes.

Dr. Ed Merritt, the James A. Collins Distinguished Professor of Management and accomplished industry executive, will serve as interim dean of The Collins College while the university conducts an international search for the dean position.

“Cal Poly Pomona will benefit from Andy’s hard work for generations to come,” said University President Michael Ortiz. “We will greatly miss his leadership, his vision and his friendship.”

Notably, Feinstein has spearheaded fundraising more than $14.5 million and the development of a 15,000-square-foot building expansion. Under his leadership, the college launched a Master of Science in Hospitality Management program in the fall of 2010. He also served as the first CSU Director of Hospitality Management Education and established the Hospitality Management Education Initiative, a partnership of 14 CSU campuses and a board of top industry leaders.

“Andy has been a great force for positive change in The Collins College,” said Provost Marten denBoer. “I want to thank him for his leadership. He has expanded the educational opportunities for students, both undergraduate and graduate, enriched the curriculum, expanded the research profile and made possible a new facility.”

During his time at Cal Poly Pomona, Feinstein has been committed to creating more professional development opportunities for students. Examples include the Mentor Program, a comprehensive career services program, and alumni outreach to support students long after they graduate. He has fostered a more diverse student population by encouraging outreach to underserved communities and has worked with industry partners to create more scholarships for students.

Feinstein created an environment supporting teacher-scholars by awarding summer research stipends to faculty and remained actively published himself during his time as dean. In recent years, he copublished more than 10 scholarly articles and a new edition of his widely used textbook “Purchasing: Selections and Procurement for the Hospitality Industry.”

He guided the college’s Board of Advisors, which represents some of the most accomplished hospitality industry leaders. Most recently,
the board and college hosted Hospitality Uncorked, which raised more than $550,000.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve as dean of The Collins College,” Feinstein said. “It took much soul searching to leave a place I have grown so fond of, but this new position presents an opportunity for me to expand my interest in supporting a broader university constituency, and it is one I must take. I am confident that Ed Merritt will keep the college on track and will provide excellent leadership.”

Merritt joined The Collins College faculty in 2000. He is highly regarded by students and his peers, who have selected him as Professor of the Year five times, and he was last year’s Outstanding Advisor of the Year. His academic and industry expertise is in leadership and strategic management. Before entering the world of academia, Merritt spent 25 years in the hospitality industry, where his primary focus was resort club development and management. Notably, as chief operating officer and general manager of Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club, he oversaw the planning, development and management of the club. As COO and general manager of Sawgrass, he managed an equity conversion and transition of the resort from developer-owned to member-owned.

“I am honored to serve The Collins College during this time of change,” Merritt said. “I am passionate about being in the classroom, but I’m grateful to be selected to lead the college and will work to assure we maintain our high standards of education and service to students.”

Merritt earned a Ph.D. in hotel administration and organizational behavior at Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration at Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in administrative science at the University of Alabama.

He is the author of seven books on business management, several book chapters and more than 200 academic and industry publications and presentations. His career has touched on all major areas of the hospitality industry.

He is thought to be the first person to obtain industry executive certification in all four areas of hospitality management: Certified Club Manager; Certified Hotel Administrator; Foodservice Management Professional, and Certified Hospitality Educator. Merritt will become interim dean effective July 15, 2013.


Lisa McPheron
Director of Communications and External Relations
The Collins College of Hospitality Management 
(909) 869-3151