Director of Dining Services
Spelman Johnson

Big Rapids, Michigan

Posted in Education and Training


Job Info


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 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 scenic city of Big Rapids, Michigan, approximately one hour north of Grand Rapids, the University enrolls over 10,000 students (fall 2022) from 44 states and 34 countries through seven degree-granting colleges. Ferris State offers more than 180 undergraduate and graduate majors, including associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and professional degrees; sustains a student-faculty ratio of 16:1; houses 25 percent of its students in University-owned, -operated or -affiliated residences; sponsors over 200 registered student clubs and organizations; and maintains 17 varsity sports teams (the ice hockey team competes in NCAA Division I, all others are NCAA Division II).

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. The Ferris State dining program is comprised of board, retail, catering, and athletic concession operations, and the director ensures exceptional customer service and high quality at all levels, emphasizing presentation, innovation, and well-developed culinary and production standards. The individual in this role develops and fosters robust, collaborative relationships with internal and external partners; emphasizes healthy dining options and accommodating students with food sensitivities, insecurities, and allergies; and maintains a strong focus on sustainability, emphasizing waste management and local food procurement. The director analyzes and interprets financial data, including forecasting, benchmarking, and developing monthly financial reports; coordinates dining facility remodeling and renovation; evaluates and authorizes new equipment purchases; and diligently maintains compliance with safety and sanitation regulations. Consistently demonstrating an in-depth understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in working relationships with students, faculty, staff, and community members; actively participating in professional organizations (e.g., NACUFS, NACAS, etc.); and remaining current on industry trends, best practices, and future developments are expected.

The director of Dining Services leads, supervises, 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 demonstrated, progressive, professional experience in a food service or hospitality environment and 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 and establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, customers, and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Experience working in a university food service setting is preferred.

Review of applications will begin March 6, 2023, 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.

Expected Salary Range: $95,000-$105,000

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

AA/EOE Statement: 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 groups.

Diversity Statement: Ferris commits to being an inclusive university community that respects the dignity of the individual and promotes the acceptance of others.



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