Director of Dining Services

Duluth, Minnesota
Jun 12, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

A part of the University of Minnesota System since 1947, the University of Minnesota Duluth is a medium-sized, public regional university located on 244 acres overlooking Lake Superior. Currently the second-largest (and growing) institution in the University of Minnesota System, UMD has a population of over 11,000 students in five colleges and schools. UMD also hosts programs of the University of Minnesota’s Graduate School, Medical School, and the College of Pharmacy. The university offers more than 93 undergraduate and post-baccalaureate degrees, as well as graduate programs in more than 20 different fields. UMD houses approximately 1,850 students in traditional residence halls, with an additional 1,100 students living in apartment-style units. Forty-one percent of all undergraduates are from the Twin Cities area, and an additional 44 percent are from the rest of Minnesota. UMD’s acclaimed graduates include 2012 Nobel Prize recipient and chemist Brian Kobilka, among others. UMD understands that diversity is crucial in preparing students for a global society, and its student-friendly Multicultural Center and American Indian Learning Resource Center emphasize the importance of an expanded worldview, which is reinforced by classes across the curriculum. Among a distinctive group of universities designated as land- and sea-grant institutions, UMD is increasingly recognized for innovative research, and its faculty and staff attract more than $85 million annually in grants and contracts.

Duluth, the fourth-largest city in Minnesota, is located on the north shore of Lake Superior. With a population of approximately 85,000, Duluth has been rated by Money magazine as one of the top four Midwestern small cities, based on livability; and Outside magazine named Duluth the #1 outdoor town in America. The Duluth metropolitan area consists of a bustling population of approximately 276,000. Duluth has more than 11,000 acres of park space, where citizens can rock climb, walk, ski, bike, kayak, hike, golf, fish, rollerblade, and view wildlife—all within city limits. Major industries in Duluth include world-class health care, education, shipping, aviation, technology, and tourism. Duluth supports a vibrant arts and culture scene with a symphony, ballet, plays, children’s theater, sports, history, and many outdoor recreational opportunities. For more information, visit,, or

The Position
Reporting to the associate vice chancellor for student life and serving as a key leader in the Division of Student Life, the director of dining services provides innovative, strategic, and comprehensive leadership for an extensive self-operated dining program that comprises three units: board, retail, and catering. The director oversees a broad portfolio of responsibilities, providing an overall vision, developing a budget, and managing personnel functions. The director executes the strategic plan, administers fiscal management, and leads a team that provides oversight of food preparation and services, nutrition and food sensitivities, compliance with safety and sanitation regulations, staff supervision and training, development of customer service standards, policies and procedures, and the support of sustainability and local-foods programs. Additionally, the director fosters strong, collaborative relationships with campus partners, including the Kirby Student Center, Housing & Residence Life, Intercollegiate Athletics, Admissions, and the Office of Sustainability; leads and implements a new marketing and branding effort across all dining units; will create a comprehensive plan to more fully accommodate students with food sensitivities and allergies; and will oversee the renovation and construction of multiple innovative, cutting-edge dining opportunities to enhance the student experience. The director manages an annual operating budget with revenues of $13 million, and supervises a high-performing management team of 15, nearly 50 staff, and approximately 250 student employees.

Required Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 12 years of progressive professional experience in a food service/hospitality setting are required. Further requirements include demonstrated experience supervising and training a staff of full-time and part-time employees; demonstrated experience engaging with and empowering staff to support the missions of the department; administrative ability and proven commitment to employee/team development; demonstrated knowledge of profit and loss accountability; and proven ability to support the university’s commitment to equity and diversity, as demonstrated in the candidate’s personal diversity philosophy statement (to be included in cover letter—see below).

Preferred Qualifications
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in hospitality management, food service management, business administration, culinary arts, dietetics, or related field are preferred. Additional preferred qualifications include a familiarity with multiple phases of food service such as purchasing, preparation, production, merchandising, customer service, catering, and inventory control; ServSafe® certification, and familiarity with food service software programs (e.g., Cbord); five or more years of experience in a college or university setting; and experience with bargaining union staff. Candidates should have a vision for creative and successful campus community dining systems and possess a commitment to maintaining self-operated facilities in a team-supported environment. To be successful in this fast-paced work environment, candidates should be energetic, organized, capable of handling details effectively, and possess strong interpersonal, communication, and team skills.

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin July 10, 2018, and continue until the position is filled. Applications may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at [email protected]. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895. Applicants should submit a cover letter and current resume. The cover letter must include the candidate’s diversity philosophy statement (1-2 paragraphs), detailing the candidate's personal philosophy on affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. Finalists will be asked to provide up to five professional references.

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Smoking is prohibited on all UMD property. The smoking ban includes indoor facilities and the campus grounds, as well as all university vehicles. As of July 1, 2014, UMD extended its no smoking policy to include a ban on the use of commercial tobacco products and electronic cigarettes on all university property. The university recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The university is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds. The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the university, go to