Nicholls Names New Dean for Culinary Institute

Subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, Nicholls State University will name New Orleans native Dr. Alton F. Doody dean of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute.


In making the appointment, university President Stephen Hulbert, said “Doody has both the professional qualifications and the industry experience to lead our culinary institute during this important phase of its growth and development. He is a credentialed scholar, an experienced and successful businessman, a community leader and someone who knows the culinary world first hand. We are so fortunate that Alton Doody is joining us as we seek to expand our culinary program and build a new culinary education building.”

Chef John Folse, for whom the culinary institute is named and who serves as a faculty member of the institute, expressed his delight in the appointment. Folse said, “I know Alton Doody, and I know that he is the right person to lead the Chef John Folse Institute at this point in its history. He brings the knowledge and experience necessary to move the program along a path to even greater national and international recognition. Our institute is graduating outstanding young culinarians who are in demand, and under Alton’s leadership, our program will continue to expand. Our backgrounds in both the restaurant world and in entrepreneurship are similar, and I am confident that we will work together with the faculty and administration to achieve those goals that are important to this program.”

Doody was awarded a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University before going on to receive his Master of Business Administration and his doctorate from Ohio State University. After a tour of duty as an Air Force lieutenant, Doody joined the faculty of Ohio State University, where he directed the Master of Business Administration program. He also authored numerous articles and books, and served as a consultant in the wholesale and retail trade industry.

Doody developed an early interest in the restaurant business and has been an innovator and national leader in the hospitality industry. He is co-founder of Lindey’s, the Hyde Park Grill Steak Houses, Bravo Italian Kitchens, Brio Tuscan Grills, Le Bon Vie and the VooDoo BBQ chain.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute was founded in 1994 when it received approval from the Louisiana Board of Regents to initiate a two-year associate of science degree. It began to offer courses for college credit in 1995 and was approved to offer the bachelor’s degree in 1997, making it the first four-year culinary program at a public university in the United States. Since the institute’s inception, culinary arts has been one of the fastest growing degree programs at Nicholls.

In addition to serving as dean of the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, Doody will also serve as visiting professor of innovation and entrepreneurship within the Department of Management and Marketing of the College of Business Administration.

Doody and his wife, Sally, reside in New Orleans. He has two sons and two daughters, and Sally has two sons and two daughters also.

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