Eli Capilouto

Building Community through Dining

Published: Jul 2, 2014

During the summer, the University of Kentucky negotiated a 15-year, nearly $250 million contract with Aramark to create a public-private partnership for dining that will transform this vital service for our students, faculty, staff and the larger community we serve. The partnership is an opportunity to improve service, provide healthier food at lower cost to our students, invest millions in facilities and enhance our commitment to locally sourced food.

 

Our campus, community and Board of Trustees diligently prodded, poked and asked questions throughout our decision-making process. While the investments and financial returns are important in advancing the transformation of our campus, our decision is not simply one of bricks and mortar.

 

Our decision to partner with Aramark is about stirring human transformation through community. In doing so, we must ask ourselves, “What is our purpose – our responsibility to each other and the world? How do we support each other in a community?”

 

Mary Lynne and I are fans of NPR’s award winning program, On Being. The show explores a variety of perspectives, experiences and beliefs that center around human life.  The topics explore what it means to be human – and what it means to be part of a community.

 

Past guests include Rosanna Cash, who talked about her love of language, quantum mechanics and her search for new sources of creativity and meaning. Vincent Harding – civil rights veteran who recently passed away – shared his perspective on social change in a multi-racial, multi-religion democracy.

 

Recently, Reverend Nadia Bolz-Weber was a guest on the program. She leads the House of All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. Rev. Bolz-Weber disagrees with the notion that God will never give you more than you can handle. She says, “God will never give you more than your community can bear or you as a member of a community.”

 

Our effort in housing and dining is to build community for a new generation – millennials who grew up at a time when the kitchen never closed. The spaces that will come to life over the next few years are more than dining halls, they are spaces for people to gather, collaborate and create. We are opening new kitchens, so as individuals and community they can grow as a family with bonds that nurture their ties to each other and their responsibility to community and world.

 

We do so building upon the work of our current dining services, those employees and in a spirit of 150-year proud tradition as a land grant university. Our partnership with Aramark represents exciting progress to strengthen community on our campus. Key provisions include:
 

·         Price reductions for UK's six current student meal plans, with the most expensive plan falling in price by 26 percent or about $740 per semester.

·         $70 million in facilities investments, including $40 million in new facilities, will be made by 2017-2018, including the new K-Lair at Haggin Hall and substantial upgrades to the Student Center Food Court, which will be ready in fall 2014.

·         A new $32 million Commons for Fall 2015 will feature Kentucky Proud products, sustainable design elements and the nation’s first on-campus Panera Bread Co.

·         Several new food brands will locate on campus, including a new locally owned Common Grounds, Rising Roll Gourmet, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Greens to Go.

·         More emphasis on nutrition and wellness with a full-time dietician hired by Aramark, digital menu boards, a nutrition website and mobile apps for nutrition and fitness.

·         Aramark provides guarantees to increase Kentucky Proud and local food purchasing, including an 11 percent increase in the first year of the contract with $2 million in guaranteed purchases. Over the life of the contract, local food and Kentucky Proud purchases are projected to grow each year and represent approximately 25 percent of total food purchases by the end of the term.

·         Significant sustainability initiatives include LEED certification being sought on new construction, hiring of a full-time sustainability coordinator and implementation of Green Thread business practices, including waste stream management practices, minimizing food waste and supporting composting, energy audits and other energy and conservation initiatives.

·         The creation of a "Food Hub" in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, including a $5 million guaranteed investment in an unprecedented academic partnership.

·         Current UK employees with dining — about 110 people — will have the opportunity to remain university employees with the same salary and benefits — a guarantee made by the university more than a year ago.

·         Aramark is committed to growing the number of full-time and student employees.

 

Over the last two years, we gathered in a shared dialogue with campus and community stakeholders whose feedback was critical to negotiating this impactful partnership. I want to thank everyone involved with this process –especially the students, faculty, staff and community members who made this possible. Together, we are building new communities for the UK family. 

November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nov 26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays 11/26/2014 - 11/29/2014

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/29/2014

Sat, 11/29/2014

Mon, 12/01/2014

Tue, 12/02/2014

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