Texas Tech University

Passion for Higher Education: Hospitality and Retail Management Alumnus Helps Students Succeed at Texas Tech

Matilda Beckanovic

September 26, 2022

Dr. Harper

Jeffrey Harper guides students to achieve their educational and personal goals as an assistant professor of practice with his Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration

Jeffrey Harper, Ph.D, earned his Bachelor of Business Administration, Management as well as his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Texas Tech Rawls College of Business. He earned his Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration, now referred to as Hospitality, Tourism, and Retail Management, from the Hospitality and Retail Management (HRM) department. He now works as an assistant professor of practice in Marketing and Supply Chain Management. 

“I am tasked with teaching most times all sections of introduction to marketing (MKT 3350) which is a required course for all business majors,” Harper said. “I have the privilege of teaching almost every business major in the Rawls College of Business. As it is a required course, that means 80% of students do not want to be in the class, so I take it as a personal challenge to teach in a way that students understand the importance and relevance of the discipline regardless of their major.” 

Harper's time abroad has brought a unique light to how he teaches his courses as well as how he helps his students achieve their personal goals. 

“I incorporate how a foreign study experience is a fantastic way to gain insight into our interconnected world,” Harper said. “I know firsthand from past participants' feedback that the study abroad programs are oftentimes the highlight of participating students' academic careers.” 

When deciding on a doctoral program, Harper knew that he wanted to find a degree that was both interesting and beneficial to his career. He then decided upon the Ph.D. program in Hospitality, Tourism, and Retail Management. Harper was able to form connections with faculty and staff that helped him succeed in his academic journey. 

“It was through these relationships most notably with at that time Associate Dean Tim Dodd, Senior Associate Dean Lynn Huffman, professors Charlie Adams, and Natalia Velikova, that they suggested a Ph.D. in Hospitality, Tourism, and Retail Management would be a great fit with my background,” Harper said. 

The research foundation of the doctoral hospitality program at Texas Tech allows students to specialize their coursework so that it is relevant to the student's future career. Harper said he was impressed with the emphasis on applying theory to real issues that organizations face.

“I feel the strong research focus, outstanding teaching pedagogy, and timeless commitment to my success that all faculty members of the Hospitality, and Retail Management provided to me not only prepared me for my current role but gave me the foundation to succeed in my current role as well as future roles,” Harper said.