Randy J. Virden is Professor and Chair of the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Management at San Jose State University, where he joined the faculty in 2008. Prior to that he served as a faculty member at Arizona State University for 28 years. Randy was the founding Director of the School of Community Resources & Development at Arizona State University which oversaw academic degree programs in parks and recreation management, tourism management and nonprofit management. Prior to that he was the Chair of the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management at the ASU - Tempe campus.
He received his Ph.D. in Recreation Resource Management from the College of Natural Resources (Forest Resources) at Utah State University. Randy’s research interests and expertise include the application of social science knowledge to parks and protected area management, leisure and tourism behavior, visitor management, community-based planning and nature-based tourism.
His research projects include working with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, USDI Bureau of Reclamation, Arizona Office of Tourism, Arizona State Parks, Arizona Game and Fish Department and many local and county parks and recreation agencies in Arizona and California. His professional field experience includes a four-year stint as a park ranger after he earned his bachelor degree. Randy has served as a parks commissioner for Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department and a longtime board member with the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management (now the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University). He recently completed an assignment as the co-guest editor (with Dr. Megha Budruk) of the special issue of JPRA on “Sustainability in Parks, Recreation and Tourism” (fall 2011). [current as of 10/11]