Ferris State University — Director of Dining Services

Founded in 1884 by Woodbridge and Helen Ferris as the privately-owned Big Rapids Industrial School, Ferris State University today is a mid-sized, public institution known for its quality of instruction, large selection of academic programs, and its mission of preparing students for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning. With its main campus located on 930 acres near the historic district of the city of Big Rapids, Michigan, approximately one hour north of Grand Rapids, the university serves approximately 9,900 students (spring 2022) from 44 states and 34 countries through seven degree-granting colleges. Ferris State offers 49 associate, 113 bachelor, and 20 graduate- and doctorate-level degrees; retains 703 faculty and 746 staff; sustains a student-faculty ratio of 16:1; houses 25 percent of its students in university-owned, -operated or -affiliated residences; sponsors over 220 registered student clubs and organizations; and maintains 15 NCAA Division II varsity sports teams. 

The Position
Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services, the Director of Dining Services provides innovative, strategic, and comprehensive leadership for an extensive, self-operated dining program and delivers a high-quality dining experience for the campus community. Administering a dining program comprised of board, retail, catering, and athletic concession operations, the Director establishes and maintains high standards of quality through well-developed culinary and production standards; analyzes and interprets financial data, to include forecasting, benchmarking, and developing monthly financial reports; emphasizes healthy dining options and accommodating students with food sensitivities, insecurities, and allergies; and maintains a strong focus on sustainability, with an emphasis on food waste management and local food procurement. The Director maintains exceptional customer service standards, with an emphasis on quality, presentation, and innovation, and develops and fosters robust, collaborative relationships with campus partners. The Director coordinates dining facility remodeling and renovation; evaluates and authorizes new equipment purchases; diligently maintains compliance with safety and sanitation regulations; and consistently demonstrates an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in working relationships with students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Director is expected to actively participate in professional organizations (e.g., NACUFS, NACAS, etc.) to remain current on industry trends, best practices, and future developments. 

The Director of Dining Services leads, trains, and provides professional development opportunities for a dynamic team of over 60 full- and part-time staff, including six direct reports, employs more than 400 students, and develops and manages an annual budget of approximately $13 million across all business venues.

A bachelor’s degree in hospitality, food and nutrition, business, or a related discipline is required (master’s preferred), with a minimum of ten years of progressive, professional experience in a food service or hospitality environment and five years of significant supervisory experience over a large, diverse, multi-unit operation. Experience managing bargaining unit staff is also required. The successful candidate should possess strong decision-making abilities; effective organizational, budgeting, and fiscal management skills; experience working with food management, inventory, and point-of-sale systems; and a demonstrated commitment to, experience with, and an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate should also maintain excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication, and presentation skills, as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, customers, and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Experience working in a university food service setting is preferred. 

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin April 29, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

Visit the Ferris State University website at https://www.ferris.edu/. 

Ferris State University, an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, is committed to enhancing equity, inclusion, and diversity within its community. Ferris offers employment opportunities to qualified candidates seeking careers in a student-focused environment that values opportunity, collaboration, diversity and educational excellence. The University actively seeks applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and other underrepresented