Michael D. Olsen, professor of hospitality and tourism management in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, was conferred the title of "professor emeritus" by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board’s quarterly meeting March 31.

The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by the president of Virginia Tech. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.

Olsen was the founding head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, serving in that capacity from 1987 to 1992. He helped guide the department to its current status as one of the premier programs in the nation. A dedicated teacher, he introduced thousands of Virginia Tech students to the principles of strategic management and finance in the hospitality industry through the “Hospitality Management Strategy” and Financial Management of Hospitality Organizations” courses.

As founding president of the International Academy of Hospitality Research, Olsen fostered the worldwide development of research and graduate education in strategic management of hospitality organizations. He has contributed significantly to the knowledge of hospitality management strategy though a lifetime of scholarly research that led to the publication of numerous research papers, reviews, and book chapters.

He has been an active member in several professional organizations, including the International Council for Hospitality, Restaurant, and Institutional Education; the American Hotel and Lodging Association; and the International Academy of Hospitably Research.

Olsen received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech’s nationally ranked Pamplin College of Business offers undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting and information systems, business information technology, economics, finance, hospitality and tourism management, management, and marketing. The college emphasizes the development of ethical values and leadership, technology, and international business skills. A member of its marketing faculty directs the interdisciplinary Sloan Foundation Forest Industries Center at Virginia Tech. The college’s other centers focus on business leadership, business diversity, electronic commerce, organizational performance, and services innovation. The college, committed to serving business and society through the expertise of its faculty, alumni, and students, is named in honor of Robert B. Pamplin (Class of 1933), the former CEO of Georgia-Pacific, and his son, businessman and philanthropist Robert B. Pamplin Jr. (Class of 1964). Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.