Delays in food vendor selection allow student input

Nancy Ngo

The Vice Presidents Executive Council has postponed today’s scheduled discussion about the potential for a private food partnership. Members of the council continue to wait for more information about potential outside vendors for University food service needs.
The postponement is the latest delay in the process to select a private food vendor. The University Food Services evaluation team, which will meet again on April 17, has narrowed its choices down to two companies — ARAMARK and Compass:PFM — but the team still wants more information to make its decision.
The executive council will take up the issue later this month. The University is pursuing the outside partnership to curb losses that Food Services has experienced in recent years. This year’s loss is projected to be $1.1 million.
University Food Services has shown financial losses during the last five years because of increased market competition and a decline in customers. As a result, hours at various food service locations have been reduced, including those in Coffman Memorial Union, the Humphrey Food Service, and Moos Tower.
Several employees, students and businesses have been added to the advisory committees, however, suggesting that more voices will be heard during the process.
“There will be a chance for more student input than just myself,” said Runninghorse Livingston, currently the only student on the advisory council.
Ron Campbell, associate vice president of housing and food services, and McKinley Boston, vice president for Student Development and Athletics, will give a presentation to the Vice Presidents Executive Council on why a partnership might benefit the University.
A communications packet from Campbell’s office emphasizes that a food service partnership might assist the University in its strategic mission of cost and quality control. According to the packet, the objectives of increased customer satisfaction, market share and financial stability could counteract food service decline.
The Board of Regents was originally scheduled to approve the food vendor partnership at its meetings scheduled for this week. Though tentatively scheduled for the May meetings, the board might have to delay approval of an agreement again.