Founded in 1837, Davidson College is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,920 students, located in the historic town of Davidson, North Carolina – 20 minutes from Charlotte and minutes from beautiful Lake Norman. Davidson's primary purpose is to assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service in our interconnected world. The college is governed by a vital honor code, its students compete in 21 sports at the NCAA Division I level, and it boasts 23 Rhodes Scholars.
Dining Services at Davidson has been institutionally-operated since 1982 and the college has made a renewed commitment to self-operation after strongly positive external reviews which were completed in 2016 and 2017. The current program rests on a very strong financial foundation.
The Director of Dining Services at Davidson College is responsible for the strategic vision and implementation of our $9 million program, which employs approximately 110 staff. The program includes a primary ‘all you care to eat’ facility, two retail locations, campus catering, basketball concessions, and all campus vending. The Director of Dining Services will lead a program committed to:
Consistent high food quality
Diverse culinary offerings
A sustainable ethic
Excellent customer service
Careful financial stewardship
A student-centered orientation
Diversity in all of its forms
Vigilant attention to the health and safety of customers and employees
Reporting directly to the Director of Auxiliary Services within the Division of Finance and Administration, the Director of Dining Services is responsible for establishing a culture of respect for all of our customers – students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni, employees and guests. The Dining Services program should demonstrate an openness to student input and, moreover, actively solicit feedback through multiple channels. Students should come to regard Dining Services as a department that is willing to explore their ideas thoughtfully and objectively thus providing an opportunity for learning and growth that compliments their learning at Davidson.
The Director of Dining Services will lead promotion of Davidson Dining Services to both internal and external audiences. Using the resources available inside and outside the department and leveraging multiple communications channels, the Director will successfully advance the Dining Services story. By doing so the Director will support the overall mission of the college, promote dining services as a positive variable in new student recruitment and retention, and serve as the face of the program
The Director of Dining Services must actively build relationships across campus and remain fully committed to the mission of the college and the institution at large. The Davidson dining program has effectively partnered with academic departments for several years, creating events that raise awareness, interest and understanding of a multitude of topics. Co-curricular collaboration will continue to be a distinctive value within dining services. Its success rests in large part on the Director’s ability to build bridges with faculty and other department heads. Likewise, a successful catering operation depends on building relationships with departments across campus, some that include dedicated event planning professionals and others utilizing administrative assistants to initiate and plan programs.
The Davidson dining program has remained committed to providing a sound nutritional program for students within the principles of variety, quality, and sustainability. Our Director will continue to provide leadership in this regard promoting high standards and seeking best practices around food allergy management and special dietary needs.
Dining Services has enjoyed a strong collegial relationship with the college’s Office of Sustainability and the dining program has helped lead sustainability efforts to which we will remain committed. Primary areas of interest of the student body around food sustainability include diverse vegan, vegetarian, and plant-forward menu offerings; minimizing food and packaging waste; and sourcing of local ingredients (including from the on-campus farm).
The Director of Dining Services will be able to communicate the vision for the department throughout the organization for all employees to embrace. This vision will be grounded in the college mission and our commitment to students, but it will be further informed by trends and innovations in the dining industry. The Director will be expected to keep abreast of emerging concepts in the field.
Providing oversight to a complex organization requires the ability to effectively direct talented managers.
The Director is expected to provide guidance, opportunities for growth and development, mentorship, and clear direction to his/her reports. The Director is responsible for conveying applicable institutional policies as well as state and local regulatory requirements through his/her managers to all dining service employees and making sure that these are consistently understood and practiced. He/she will create an environment where managers feel empowered to own and direct their units with confidence while providing judicious amounts of accountability. The management team should be collaborative to ensure the overarching vision of the department is uniformly shared within an atmosphere of professional support and cooperation.
A successful candidate will demonstrate acumen in the following areas:
Communication – written and oral
Strategic thinking and planning
Bachelor’s degree in hospitality, food and nutrition, business, or an equivalent combination of experience and credentialing.
Minimum of ten years of experience in institutional or corporate dining, with at least five years of program or unit leadership experience with evidence of increasing levels of management responsibility.
Leadership experience in a collegiate food service dining program (preferred)
Training and/or certification in nutritional science and principles (preferred)
Training or certification in sanitation and/or food safety (preferred)
At Davidson College, we believe the college grows stronger by recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff committed to building an inclusive community. In order to achieve and sustain educational excellence, we seek to hire talented faculty and staff across the intersections of diverse races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political perspectives, abilities, cultures, and national origins.
JDRQUEST&CO Global Executive Search has been retained to handle this position
Davidson College seeks out intellectually curious students who are committed to developing their talents for lives of leadership and service.Small classes enable our renowned faculty to work closely with students, engaging them directly in original research and creative work across the arts, sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In the classroom and beyond, Davidson cultivates students' compassion, creativity, resilience, and moral courage.