To the University Community

On Dining Services and Residential Living

On August 30, The Daily Pennsylvanian ran a story to the effect that both the dining services and residential living were "targeted for outsourcing." This was inaccurate, misleading and inflammatory, and I said as much in a letter to the D.P. editors, which they were courteous enough to print on September 4. To make certain that the facts reach the entire University community, however, I would like to repeat the essence of my statement here:

We have made no decision to outsource Dining Services. Rather, we are conducting a comprehensive market study to determine how well Penn's Dining Services meets the needs of our campus constituencies, with the goal of identifying opportunities to improve the quality and selection of food, enhance the service environment, and contain or reduce the cost of the Dining program. The outcome of this analysis will not necessarily be a decision to outsource, although contracting with an external provider of food services will certainly be examined as one potential option. The consultative committee being appointed to guide this analysis will be composed of students, faculty and administrators, and be supported by an external food service market consultant who has no ties to any of the major food services providers.

As to Residential Living, our primary focus is on developing a facilities reinvestment plan to improve the physical quality of the buildings, in order to make them more contemporary, attractive and safer places to live and work. At the same time, we are seeking to stabilize the management structure in the Department of Housing and Residence Life, given the recent resignations that have occurred in that department. At this time, there are no plans to outsource the operations of Residential Living, although we will continue to seek ways to better manage and maintain the residence halls.

While selective outsourcing will continue to be pursued as one restructuring strategy, many of Penn's administrative operations will never be outsourced. They will, however, be scrutinized regularly to make sure they are serving the campus community well and managing costs aggressively.


John A. Fry, Executive Vice President


Volume 43 Number 3
September 10, 1996

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