Job ID: 2021-12447 Type: Full-Time # of Openings: 1 Category: Food Services and Dining
Campus Dining Operations and Strategic Planning
The Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Campus Dining is the senior administrator for Princeton University’s residential and retail dining operations. The award-winning dining program provides food service for the entire campus community. Campus Dining is responsible for the food service operations in six residential dining halls, nine cafes (one of which is a self-service styled café), a food gallery located in the Frist Campus Center, a convenience store, Prospect House—the University’s faculty and staff club, Palmer House—a nine-bedroom guest house, a bakeshop, athletics concessions, a food truck, and catering. Three of the aforementioned cafés, Prospect House and Palmer House are managed by outsourced service providers, with the remaining operations being self-operated. The residential section of Campus Dining has meal contracts with approximately 3,280 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students. Furthermore, we will be adding new colleges and additional cafés in the approaching years.
Campus Dining is an integral part of University Services, which is a comprehensive auxiliary enterprise whose mission is to provide the highest level of service that supports Princeton’s educational mission, by meeting and exceeding the expectations of the campus community. In addition to Campus Dining, departments which comprise University Services include Campus Support Services (Instructional Support Services, Performing Arts Services, Venue Services), Conference and Event Services and University Scheduling, Housing and Real Estate Services, Print and Mail Services, The Service Point (integrated customer service center), Talent and Organizational Development, Transportation and Parking Services, and University Services Administration (which includes Finance, Communications, and Information Technology). The AVP serves on the senior leadership team of University Services and contributes to the overall success of this auxiliary service department.
The AVP oversees both the self-operated and outsourced operations. The self-operated operations have a total annual budget of approximately $34,000,000 and employ approximately 70 management and office staff, 260 production staff, and 150 student employees. The production staff are members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The outsourced operations have a total annual budget of approximately $4,500,000 and employ approximately 60 full time and part-time staff, all of which are non-union. The AVP is responsible for facilitating the integration of these two types of operations so as to capitalize on the strengths of each and broaden perspectives thus ensuring that exceptional culinary programs, which will meet and exceed customer expectations, are executed.
The AVP must have a robust operational background and a good understanding of how to identify, develop, and implement changes resulting from food service trends, culinary objectives, and sustainability practices. He/she creates an environment where all are encouraged to suggest new ideas and he/she possesses ability to carefully evaluate these ideas. He/she must be able to respond quickly to changing business needs and priorities and to balance strategic thinking with tactical implementation.
The AVP must have a strong commitment to providing excellent customer service to both internal and external constituents; be able to get firsthand customer information and uses it for improvements in products and services; act with customers in mind; establish and maintain effective relationships with customers and gain their trust and respect.
Nutrition and sustainability are important initiatives of Campus Dining. Menus provide options for a healthy diet based on the principles of moderation and variety and the department operates an Allergy Awareness Program to assist customers with special dietary needs. The AVP of Campus Dining is expected to build on and lead further innovations in advancing sustainability across all dining operations, as part of performance expectations identified in the Princeton University Sustainability Action Plan. The AVP is responsible for leading these initiatives and overseeing the development of innovative programs that ensure progress continues in these areas.
The AVP must have experience in facilities and equipment management and long-range planning for the development of new/renovated dining facilities and equipment.
A full job description will be furnished prior to interview.
Princeton University has retained JDR Quest, an executive search firm, to assist in this search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be submitted to:
Direct reports to the Assistant Vice President of Campus Dining include the Director of Residential Dining, the Director of Retail Dining and Catering, the Director of Operations, the Associate Director of Marketing and Community Engagement, the Associate Director of Team and People, and the Project Coordinator and Office Manager.
Success in this role requires a proven professional who brings broad-based management experience in administration and finance and a demonstrated ability to lead a multi-faceted service organization, comprised of distinct administrative and production staff, whose mission is to provide exceptional service to diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The AVP of Campus Dining must have a proven ability to attract, mentor, motivate, and lead a strong, cohesive, and a high-performing team; the managerial skills to establish a team in a goal-oriented environment; the ability to provide vision and encourage innovation; and the skills and confidence to empower staff through active communication, delegation, direction, assessment, confidence building, promoting diversity of thought, and celebrating achievements. The AVP must possess the ability to coach, train, and evaluate professional team members and the courage to communicate honest, effective feedback in a transparent, respectful manner.
The AVP is responsible for hiring staff and ensuring that they are provided opportunities for continued development. As a result, the AVP must possess excellent human resource, supervisory, and mentoring/coaching skills, and the ability to successfully interact with administrative professionals, union staff, and outsourced service providers. The AVP must have a proven commitment to professional development, advanced training, and education, and the ability to identify professional development opportunities for staff to reach their full potential. As a result, he/she must be able to create an environment which facilitates career planning.
Campus Dining employs staff and serves customers with widely varying backgrounds, perspectives, education, and skills. In addition, the primary language spoken by those who work within the unit varies greatly. The AVP must have a personal and professional commitment to diversity and inclusion, as demonstrated by persistent effort, active and innovative planning, allocation of resources and/or accountability for diversity outcomes, and the ability to relate well with such diverse populations.
The AVP must be both an effective manager and team member who can work in a dynamic and collaborative environment and who has the ability to both take direction and communicate it to complex teams. He/she must have the ability to communicate and implement, in collaboration with subordinate personnel, Campus Dining’s vision, mission, goals, objectives and strategic plans. The AVP must have the ability to create a sense of ownership within the team by being a good communicator who clearly assigns responsibilities and objectives and who develops monitoring procedures and feedback mechanisms.
Internal and External Relationships
The Assistant Vice President of Campus Dining must possess effective communication and interpersonal skills and have the ability to create collaborative relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders. Princeton’s diversity initiatives have resulted in a vibrant, colorful, and inclusive campus. Graduate, and undergraduate student populations, along with faculty and staff, come from many different ethnic, religious, racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The AVP must have the interpersonal skills to effectively interact within such a diverse community.
The AVP must represent the department in a positive manner while creating an environment that fosters respect and courtesy for all. He/she works closely with staff in many administrative offices at the University, including but not limited to those in the residential colleges, Environmental Health and Safety, Public Safety, Facilities, Human Resources, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, Office of Design and Construction, Athletics, Housing, Conference and Event Services, and the Office of Sustainability. He/she serves on many standing University committees, including but not limited to The Princeton Sustainability Committee, The Prospect House Associate Board, The University Services Emergency Response Team, and The Healthier Princeton Advisory Board. In addition, he/she actively participates in planning University wide and departmental events such as the Human Resources Recognition Lunch, Princeton Preview, and the University Services Annual Staff Forum. The AVP must be able to quickly find common ground, solve problems for the good of all, represent his/her own interests and yet be fair to other groups. He/she must be an active listener, dynamic, a critical thinker, and have ability to multi-task and ensure effective time management.
The AVP must possess knowledge about how organizations such as Princeton University work and understand how to get things done through both formal and informal networks. Unmatched responsiveness, astute stewardship, and the ability to build and maintain campus community relationships will be critical for success.
The AVP must be a person of the highest integrity with a collegial style that engenders trust and enables collaboration – someone who brings enthusiasm for day-to-day management of efficient, responsive operations, and for working as part of a leadership team to develop and implement an effective management strategy. The AVP must have the ability to understand the objectives, goals, activities, and regulations of the institution and departments and their implications for programs, policies, and decisions. He/she must understand the wide range of issues affecting Princeton University and have the ability to take initiative while exercising sound judgment and decision making.
The AVP must be a good listener who has a willingness to support and contribute to the University’s culture of respect and civility. He/she must uphold a strong work ethic, be caring and thoughtful, and have the ability to think strategically.
Financial and Compliance
The Assistant Vice President of Campus Dining is responsible for overseeing the preparation and management of budgets and monitoring the financial success of Campus Dining. He/she must possess a strong background in fiscal planning, budget preparation and management, revenue forecasting and financial modeling, understanding, interpreting, and explaining profit and loss reports and recommending corrective actions.
The AVP must be able to evaluate opportunities to refine services, perform operations analysis and quality control analysis, and work with colleagues in the Office of the Provost and the Budget Director to secure the required resources. In addition, on an annual basis, he/she is responsible for leading the annual Campus Dining budget request that is made to the University Priorities Committee. The AVP is responsible for overseeing the evaluation of any Campus Dining suggestions received from SUMAR, the University committee established to enhance management and identify and implement cost efficiencies.
The AVP is responsible for ensuring compliance with University policy and enforcing, reviewing, and interpreting safety and sanitation standards and regulations mandated by local, state, and federal agencies in regard to safety, health, and sanitation regulations. He/she is responsible for administering quality control systems in food production and presentation within units.
Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, food science, or other related field, or a culinary degree or the equivalent work-related experience. Eight to ten years’ experience in progressive leadership/management roles in the food service industry is required. Experience in college or university setting is preferred. The ability to work nights, weekends, holidays, etc. is required.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW.
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