This page has been developed in response to UK Administration’s recent decision to potentially outsource dining services. We will endeavor to maintain an updated chronology of the RFP process and provide a location for open dialogue between UK Administration, the campus community it serves, and the surrounding community. Link to a WHITE PAPER summarizing community concerns is provided below.
Dining Revitalization Overview:
The history behind the decision to consider an alternative dining service provider is described on UK’s Dining Revitalization webpage. It is our understanding that the impetus behind the decision is the need to build new dining facilities based on a consultant’s assessment of the existing facilities compared to the projected needs. Plans for new housing will increase bed count from ~5,000 to ~9,000 beds with construction being fast-tracked to completion in about 5 years. Three of the major dining facilities will come off-line as a result, leaving a gap in facilities and service.
The fundamental problem of how to bridge this gap boils down to debt capacity. How much can UK borrow and maintain our current bond rating? Currently, UK can borrow an estimated $400-$600 million. The trustees have approved $250 million which has been slated for 3 major projects: B&E ($50 m), Academic Science Building ($100 m), and Athletics ($100 m). Funds of ~$1 billion are required to meet the remaining needs (i.e., health care, unfinished floors for Academic Science, dining, Student Center remodel and new facility, Athletic facilities, parking).
To explore other options, the Administration decided to go through the RFI/RFP process to evaluate ways to provide for new facilities and to expand and improve existing services. Based on the RFI, they have opted to move forward with the RFP, which was issued September 12, 2013. Proposals are due at the beginning of November. The Administration maintains that this decision does not exclude the option to retain UK Dining (self-op). Please link to the press release for additional details.
There have been several public forums held to allow campus and the surrounding community to interject their opinions and voice their concerns about the proposed path forward including:
• March 27, 2013: hosted by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) (flyer);
• April 9 and April 18, 2013: hosted by Administration and the Dining Revitalization Committee;
• September 18, 2013: hosted by Administration and the Dining Revitalization Committee;
• October 16, 2013: hosted by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS);
• November 6, 2013: hosted by Administration and the Dining Revitalization Committee;
• November 20, 2013: Student Rally hosted by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)
• December 18, 2013: Student Rally hosted by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) (link to article)
• April 1, 2014: Student Rally hosted by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) (link to article)
These forums were preceded by a memo from the President’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (PSAC) to the Administration outlining a list of sustainability principles and recommendations for a UK dining service provider. A white paper summarizing the forum outcomes and public concerns has been submitted to the Board of Trustees.
List of associated documents are provided below:
5/8/13: White Paper (summary of public response)
4/24/13: Follow-up Forum Presentation
4/24/13: Follow-Up Forum Flyer
3/27/13: USAS Speakout Flyer
12/20/12: PSAC memo to Administration Link to Dining Revitalization Website