News

University soon to announce food service provider

The Threefold interviewed Darrin Coon and Kim Hadley about the University’s progress on the food service for the upcoming school year. Here is what we found out.

Q
What is your official title and what has been your role in this process?

A
Darrin Coon, chief human resources officer, provided the overall coordination of the detailed stages of the request for proposal process. Kim Hadley, vice president for finance and administration, is responsible for high-level oversight of the process and contract negotiation.

Q
When can students expect to hear about the decisions and changes being made?

A
The University recognizes that the food service vendor serves a diverse population (students, faculty and staff, visitors, alumni, community groups), and is working diligently to consider the perspectives of the stakeholders. While timing is always a factor, the emphasis is upon reaching a good decision. Students can expect to hear about a final decision once the review process reaches completion. Our hope is that the selection of the food service vendor will be made by the end of January.

Q
What has the process been like? Where are you now in that process?

A
The word that comes to mind is “learning.” At this point, we have received proposals from eight vendors, visited numerous other schools, held on-sight presentations, and spent hours discussing the proposals within the Food Service Task Force. The net result of all of this intentional effort is to become much better acquainted with best practices for college and university food service. It’s been a very good investment of time to educate ourselves about how to best serve JBU.

Q
What changes can the campus expect?

A
All of the prospective vendors have proposed at least some modification of food stations to improve the overall quality of the dining experience. Concurrent with the selection of a food service vendor will be the opening of the Great Hall expansion to relieve overcrowding. Each vendor brings their own style and philosophy of service, or “branding.” However, we have also emphasized the need to support JBU’s mission, vision and values.

Q
What is the timeline for the implementation of these changes?

A
A lot depends upon who wins the contract and the plans they propose. Within reason, any needed remodeling can likely be accommodated this coming summer. However, any work will need to be coordinated with summer camps, ERP and the start of the fall semester.