National Institute on Aging

University of Iowa — Director of University Dining

The University of Iowa (UI), founded in 1847, is the state’s oldest institution of higher education and is located alongside the picturesque Iowa River in Iowa City. A member of the Association of American Universities since 1909 and the Big Ten Conference since 1899, UI is among the top public research institutions in the nation, home to one of the most acclaimed academic medical centers in the country, and is globally recognized for leadership in the study and craft of writing. Home to more than 31,000 students, the university delivers a world-class education in over 200 areas of study and over 100 graduate programs. Its 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio and smaller class sizes than peer institutions allow students to work directly with their professors while gaining real-world experience and valuable, practical skills. With more than 600 student organizations on campus, UI offers a variety of opportunities to get involved and have fun outside the classroom. The university seamlessly blends into the heart of Iowa City, a top 10 college town that offers all the amenities of a big city in a safe and open environment, with more than 100 restaurants, local shops, Big Ten athletics, and music venues within walking distance of campus.

Reporting to the assistant vice president for student life and senior director, university housing & dining, the director of university dining is responsible for the leadership, direction, planning, and coordination of an extensive, complex, self-operated dining program comprised of three residence hall marketplaces, 14 cafes and convenience stores throughout campus, and an in-house catering/banquet operation – together serving over three million meals annually. The director provides comprehensive strategic direction for university dining, coordinated with the strategic plans of university housing and dining, the division of student life, and the University of Iowa. The director ensures that exceptional products and services are available to meal plan holders and other customers; develops and maintains industry-leading programs focused on student well-being through nutrition, menu development, and educational events; and creates a culture of engagement and community within the residence hall dining marketplaces. As a leader in fostering an outstanding student experience, the director utilizes dining as an educational tool to provide diverse culinary offerings to students, expanding their palate and broadening their understanding of foods and customs of different cultures.

The director of university dining leads, motivates, and supports a dynamic staff of 168, including seven direct reports, manages a student staff of over 1,000, and administers an annual operating budget of approximately $33 million.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in hospitality, restaurant/hotel management, business administration, or a related field, or an equivalent combination of education and related hospitality and supervisory experience, as well as progressive administrative and management expertise in full-time food service operations. Other requirements include excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong leadership and organizational skills, the ability to work collaboratively with a variety of individuals and groups, and a commitment to and alignment with the values of the division of student life, including a demonstrated, active commitment to excellence through diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate will maintain a commitment to consistently deliver excellent customer service, possess knowledge of event management processes and activities, hold extensive experience with electronic food service systems, and possess or be able to obtain and maintain ServSafe certification.

Review of applications will begin May 19, 2023, and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

Public Salary Range: $120,000-$130,000

Visit the University of Iowa website at 

The University of Iowa prohibits discrimination in employment, educational programs, and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth and related conditions), disability, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, service in the U.S. military, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences. The university also affirms its commitment to providing equal opportunities and equal access to university facilities. For additional information on nondiscrimination policies, contact the Director, Office of Institutional Equity, the University of Iowa, 202 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316, 319-335-0705, 

The University of Iowa values diversity among students, faculty, and staff and regards equal employment opportunity and affirmative action as tools to achieve diversity. The University believes that a rich diversity of people and the many points of view they bring serve to enhance the quality of the educational experience at The University of Iowa.