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by Michael J. Shapiro | May 01, 2011

The dean of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, faced with state-mandated budget cuts, has eliminated the Meetings & Events Management major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While core classes still will be offered, the subject will become a formal concentration under the Hospitality Management major -- along with other former majors in Food & Beverage, Gaming Management and Professional Golf Management.

"This will continue to encourage students with an interest in these specialized areas to concentrate their electives around a field of study," dean Donald D. Snyder wrote in a letter to constituents. About 300 students currently are majoring in meetings management, and 60 to 90 of them will comprise the final graduating class in June 2012.

When the budget recommendations were first introduced in late March, there was no mention of granting concentration status. That changed, said professor Patti Shock, because both she and the industry fought back.

"We're in the number-one convention destination in the U.S., so it didn't make sense to drop a major that supports such an important industry in the state," said Shock, who began developing the UNLV meetings program 23 years ago. "I think the compromise is good," she added. "At least it's not going away entirely."