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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee will announce a new service-management degree program Friday for people seeking professional careers managing retail, restaurant and lodging businesses.

Herman Cain, chairman of Godfather’s Pizza Inc. and a motivational author, will present a public lecture at 4:30 p.m., Sept. 8., in UT Conference Center. He also will address a dinner meeting to discuss the new program which began at UT this fall.

“We’re delighted to have Herman Cain help us inaugurate this program,” said Dr. Nancy Fair, head of the consumer and industry services management department in the UT College of Human Ecology. “His experiences can serve as a signpost for students who want to pursue professional careers in the service industries.”

Cain is CEO of T.H.E. Inc., a leadership consulting company, and vice-chairman of Retail DNA, a software technology company. He is a 1996 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award and has twice been named one of Ebony magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans.

The new degree program will prepare students for a career managing service operations like restaurants, hotels and motels, and retail stores, Fair said. In addition to a broad general university education, the program includes a business minor; a management core focused on leadership development, team-building and customer satisfaction; and directed internships.

“Students with degrees in service management will have sufficient specialization and professional experience to be immediately productive in entry-level management positions,” Fair said.

UT initiated the degree program because employment in executive positions in the hospitality industry is expected to grow almost twice as fast as employment in the overall economy, she said.

Since 1992, travel and tourism have been recognized as the largest civilian industry in the world, Fair said.