Princeton is a world-renowned research university with a vibrant community of scholarship, research, and teaching that seeks to live up to its informal motto, “In the Nation’s Service and the Service of Humanity.” The university has a profound commitment to undergraduate education with a low student-to-faculty ratio and a curriculum that emphasizes learning, creativity, innovation, and collaboration with a program of liberal arts in the humanities, arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Princeton similarly has a strong commitment to graduate education, where students become part of a community of scholars at one of the world’s leading universities. Each year, faculty members receive numerous national and international honors recognizing their scholarship and research. The current faculty includes ten Nobel laureates.

Princeton enrolls 7,900 students, employs 6,100 benefits-eligible staff members, and has 1,289 faculty members who are world-renowned scholars and teachers inspired by their research and driven to help all students grow as thinkers and world citizens. The historic campus, its physical and cultural assets, and university events attract more than 860,000 visitors to the campus annually. The campus is more than ten million square feet in more than 200 buildings on 600 acres and is located in central New Jersey. Ninety-eight (98) percent of undergraduates and 70 percent of graduate students live in university housing.

 

 

The Position

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION

Reporting to the assistant vice president of campus dining, the director of operations is a senior management team member providing leadership, expertise, and oversight of the dining facilities within Campus Dining. This position will also lead the development of capital and operational project delivery for Campus Dining by designing and managing efficient, effective, and collaborative processes to align internal and external project participants. The director will provide data and strategic direction to senior administration related to operations and service. The position will work collaboratively with the culinary and operations teams to ensure the delivery of an exceptional, consistent dining program in a safe manner. Responsibilities include direct responsibility for all capital projects, quality assurance standards, waste management, overall culinary programs for the dining program, residential and retail cost analysis, measuring operations for efficiency and results, and establishing safety programs. In addition, this position oversees the Campus Wellness Dietician, Purchasing, and the Sustainability Manager.

Essential duties and responsibilities as outlined in the position description include:

Capital and Operations Projects:

  • Strategically identifies and plans capital investments that enable Campus Dining to maintain a dynamic campus dining environment. Recognizes the changing landscape of culinary excellence, laws and regulations, compliance, and technology, and advises operations about advances as it relates to heart-of-the-house and front-of-the-house operations.
  • Partners with Campus Dining leadership team and the Office of Capital Projects on developing and implementing the new campus plan, which will include residential dining and campus nodes, ensuring that operational needs are met and optimizing resource allocation.
  • Coordinates university capital projects for Campus Dining and leads all Campus Dining department projects.
  • Oversees all major maintenance projects for Campus Dining.

Quality Assurance Standards and Processes:

  • Collaborates with the Office of Finance and Treasury and facilities to develop an equipment inventory list and ensure maintenance of all departmental assets at each operating location.
  • Determines life cycles and standard processes to identify equipment needs, evaluate repair versus replacement/renovations, and cost proposals for funding plans.
  • Oversees all repairs, renovations, and replacements of capital equipment.
  • Ensures compliance with all state, local, and university food safety, workplace safety, fleet safety, and HACCP policies and procedures. Ensures a safe work environment through addressing safety concerns to eliminate hazards; investigates and reports incidents by enforcing safety work rules and procedures.
  • In collaboration with campus partners, ensures that standards are established for a safe work environment, through effective and consistent training, management, and enforcement of safe work practices. Along with the director of Residential Dining and the director of Retail & Catering Operations, resolves safety issues and investigates all accidents.
  • Ensures all regulatory inspections and repairs (approximately 200 work orders monthly) are completed at prescribed schedules and fully documented.
  • Chairs the Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QA/QC) Committee working with the directors of Residential Dining and Retail & Catering Operations.
  • Conducts investigations and resolves safety issues in partnership with campus colleagues and Campus Dining staff.
  • Develops facilities management safety and sanitation strategy and implements change as needed. Partners with the director of Residential Dining and the director of Retail & Catering Operations to ensure all Campus Dining venues adhere to safety standards by developing a schedule and conducting regular inspections of all dining facilities.
  • Ensures continuity of established quality assurance schedules, preventative maintenance, and maintenance proposals that support the long-term goals of Campus Dining.
  • Conducts field operations assessment with a hands-on approach, ensuring compliance and monitoring standard operating procedures.
  • Sets standards for sustainable food service operations in terms of equipment, energy, water use, and waste management.

Culinary:

  • Provides leadership to Campus Dining’s Culinary Counsel to ensure delivery of an exceptional dining program in a consistently safe manner.
  • Provides oversight to Campus Dining’s wellness dietician.
  • Reviews special culinary programs for functionality and delivery.
  • Ensures programs to support special dietary needs are efficient and meet customer needs and expectations.

Sustainability:

  • Works with Office of Sustainability to ensure Campus Dining’s sustainability goals are aligned and support the overall University goals.
  • Provides oversight to Campus Dining’s sustainability program and sustainability manager.
  • Responsible for monitoring progress toward sustainability goals.
  • Reviews and recommends changes to current sustainability initiatives.

Emergency Preparedness:

  • Leads emergency preparedness efforts on behalf of Campus Dining. Campus Dining provides essential services to students, faculty, staff, and the Princeton community during emergencies.
  • Ensures Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) is up to date as needed (at least annually) and kept current in the database.
  • Ensures University protocols, policies, and procedures are followed during emergencies.

The full position description may be found here.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

The successful candidate must possess a bachelor’s or culinary degree, experience in managing, resetting, and developing high-volume dining programs, and a minimum of ten years of experience, including planning and design management and implementation of capital programs. Qualified candidates must have a sustainability commitment and experience in developing partnerships with local farmers and business; knowledge of health department’s rules and regulations including HACCP, OSHA, ServSafe, and other federal, state, and local laws/codes; experience in consumer goods, food service operations, or multi-restaurant management.; proven ability to lead projects; knowledge of the maintenance requirements of equipment; ability to develop and implement training programs for employees to promote quality assurance; knowledge and experience with capital planning, developing budgets, analyzing financial information, and strategic planning; the ability to work independently with a high level of accuracy, manage multiple priorities, and delegate tasks efficiently; strong organizational and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability work in a timely manner, meet deadlines and act decisively; demonstrated ability to be effective at listening, understanding, and clarifying concerns and issues raised by various constituents and to work effectively with others; and must be a self-starter who demonstrates initiative and a drive for results. Experience working in a college or university setting is preferred. The ability to work nights, weekends, holidays, etc., is required.

In addition to the above qualification requirements, institutional stakeholders indicated that the following personal characteristics and experience would be sought in candidates to ensure their opportunity for success:

  • Visionary and forward-thinking
  • Exceptional skills in people management and professional development of staff
  • Student-centered
  • Excellent communicator
  • Experience working with unions
  • Good listener
  • Understands the needs of students
  • Organized and excellent with details and logistics
  • Collaborator
  • Experience working closely with multiple stakeholder groups
  • Flexible and nimble
  • Creative problem solver
  • One who can pivot quickly and seamlessly
  • Technologically savvy and able to make data-derived decisions
  • Innovative
  • Experience with renovations and construction
  • Ability to balance multiple and competing priorities
  • Strategic thinker
  • Ability to work in a results-oriented culture
  • Commitment to and respect for staff
  • Politically savvy
  • Confident leadership
  • Commitment to and expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • A relationship builder
  • Ability to delegate and support a strong team

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

The position has been vacant since March 2021. The previous director served at Princeton for eight years, and left the university to be a managing director at another institution. Since her departure, the assistant vice president of campus dining has served in both roles.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

Campus Dining at Princeton is a dynamic and progressive department responsible for the food program management. The director of operations will come into a role in a highly respected and nationally recognized dining program. They must possess a broad and deep understanding of national trends and best practices concerning dining, catering, and retail operations, as well as exceptional skills in organization and people management. They will have the support of the administration and the campus community as they work to enhance and evaluate the current dining offerings. In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated in the position announcement, some potential opportunities, priorities, and challenges of the position that arose during stakeholder conversations include the following:

Scope of Operation. It will be necessary for candidates to understand the full breadth of the operations that include:

  • Residential dining program consisting of six colleges, the graduate school, and a kosher facility.
  • Catering, which offers many services, including high-profile receptions, full-service dinners, catering delivery service, and a food truck.
  • Retail dining program that consists of eight cafes, a food gallery in the campus center, a convenience store, Prospect House – the university’s faculty and staff club, Palmer House – a nine-bedroom guest house, and athletic concessions.

Change management. The director will be courageous in advancing new ideas, shifting the dining culture, and addressing challenges with creativity and innovation.

Staffing. Like many campus dining operations, competition for staff in the food service industry continues to be challenging. The new director will work with leadership to highlight competitive salaries, exceptional benefits, and a supportive working environment.

Content expertise. The director will possess an understanding of the opportunities for dining services in the rapidly changing landscape of higher education. They will be abreast of the current trends and dietary needs of students.

Staff management and development. The director will need experience supervising, training, and supporting staff in various stages of their careers. The team ranges from those individuals with 20+ years of experience to new staff in their first jobs. They must possess management experience to motivate effectively and engage and lead a complex organization. They must work effectively with union leaders and their concerns.

Strategic planning. The director will establish a strategic and integrated approach to implementing the Vision for the Future of Dining. They will provide data and strategic direction to senior administration related to operations and service.

Financial acumen. The new director will need strong business insight and an understanding of the area’s complex accounts, procurement, contracts, and finances. They will be responsible for residential and retail cost analysis and reporting.

Construction and renovation. The new director will have an opportunity to be involved in renovations and future construction for dining. They must work collaboratively with all campus partners, stakeholders, and staff to ensure appropriate planning and successful execution of these important projects.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining Princeton, the following will initially define success for the director of operations:

  • The director has introduced programs and initiatives to address dining concerns and trends.
  • The director has demonstrated they are a valuable thought leader, joining the assistant vice president and other leaders in advancing strategic priorities for the University and its students.
  • The director has established significant relationships with students, faculty, staff, campus leadership, and community members to enhance the campus dining experience.
  • The director has cultivated an atmosphere conducive to rethinking dining strategy and innovation throughout the campus.
  • The director has contributed strategic leadership and effective planning toward renovation and construction projects.

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF CAMPUS DINING

Campus Dining is a dynamic and progressive department responsible for the food program management in residential dining halls, retail venues, and catering across campus. The residential dining program consists of six colleges, the graduate school, and a kosher facility. Catering offers the campus community a broad range of services, including high-profile receptions, full-service dinners, catering delivery service, and a food truck, which currently offers two separate menus. The retail dining program consists of eight cafes, a food gallery in the Frist Campus Center, a convenience store, Prospect House—the University’s faculty and staff club, Palmer House—a nine-bedroom guest house, and athletic concessions.

Nutrition and sustainability are important initiatives of Campus Dining. Menus provide options for a healthy diet and promote well-balanced meals. Campus Dining also operates an allergy awareness program to assist guests with special dietary needs. In addition, through Campus Dining’s sustainability initiative, thoughtful consideration is given to the broader context of social and environmental issues surrounding food production, distribution, and preparation.

The Campus Dining food program is culinary-driven, based on the culinary principles of healthy and sustainable menus. The food program focuses on scientific research, innovative menu concepts, and ingredients. Menus are globally inspired and plant-centric, which celebrate cultural diversity and discovery. Campus Dining’s Culinary Council and a team of food and beverage professionals develop unique, memorable experiences for our students, faculty, and staff. Campus Dining’s vision for the future engages our campus community in activity-based learning.

Campus Dining guiding principles are:

  • Team and People: to inspire our team of hospitality professionals.
  • Service Excellence: to deliver excellence in food and beverage service and food and beverage production.
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness: to continually develop innovative solutions that are fiscally responsible while being sustainable for our community, health, well-being, and the environment.

Campus Dining Home Page

CAMPUS DINING LEADERSHIP

Nadeem Siddiqui – Assistant Vice President of Campus Dining

As assistant vice president of campus dining, Siddiqui leads and oversees all of the University’s multi-faceted residential and retail dining operations, its award-winning dining program, and over 300 dining staff.

Prior to consulting, Siddiqui was the executive director for the Faculty Student Association at Stony Brook University, where he oversaw auxiliary service contracts for dining, course materials, and campus retail programs. His experience also includes leading dining teams at Texas A&M, Stanford University, Cornell University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Chicago.

Siddiqui graduated with a bachelor of arts from Punjab University and holds a bachelor of science in hotel and motel restaurant management from Moorhead State University.

OVERVIEW OF UNIVERSITY SERVICES

University Services provides an integrated set of services throughout the campus community focusing on executing critical administrative functions that provide daily services – ranging from mail delivery and parking to housing and dining functions – to students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP

Chad L. Klaus – Vice President for University Services

As vice president for university services, Chad Klaus is responsible for leading critical administrative functions that provide daily services — ranging from mail delivery and parking to housing and dining functions — to faculty, students and staff. Klaus came to Princeton in 2000 as director of customer service and quality improvement in the facilities department and was named assistant vice president in 2008 and vice president in 2012.

During his tenure at the University, he has helped to implement a number of organizational development and customer-focused initiatives to strengthen collaboration among campus departments as well as played a significant role in the implementation of our four-year college system.

Klaus holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oregon State University. He represents the University on the board of Princeton Community Housing and is a trustee of McCarter Theater.

University Services Home Page

University Services Mission and Principles

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

Princeton University was British North America’s fourth college, chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey—the name by which it was known for 150 years. Located in Elizabeth for one year and Newark for nine, the College of New Jersey moved to Princeton in 1756. It was housed in Nassau Hall, newly built on land donated by Nathaniel Fitz Randolph. In 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University. The Graduate School was established in 1900.

The University provides its students with academic, extracurricular, and other resources—in a residential community committed to diversity—that prepare them for leadership positions and lives of service in many fields of human endeavor.

Strategic planning

THE STUDENT BODY

Enrollment
Undergraduate: 5,548
Male: 50%
Female: 50%
International Students: 635
Graduate: 3,157
Academics
5: 1 Student to Faculty
36 Academic Departments
42 Doctoral Departments and Programs
33 Interdisciplinary/Interdepartmental Doctoral Programs
18 Master’s Degree Programs

For more facts and figures, see here.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

Diversity and inclusion are central to Princeton’s educational mission and desire to serve society; throughout the University, members of the Princeton community have a deep commitment to being inclusive.

“Only by drawing the best talent from every sector of society can we achieve the scholarly and educational excellence to which we aspire.” —Christopher L. Eisgruber, Princeton University president

INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP

Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber – President

Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber has served since July 2013 as Princeton University’s 20th president. He served previously as Princeton’s provost for nine years, beginning in 2004, after joining the Princeton faculty in 2001.

As president, Eisgruber has led efforts to increase the representation of low-income and first-generation students at Princeton and other colleges and universities. Princeton’s socioeconomic diversity initiatives have attracted national attention from The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, and other news outlets. Eisgruber has also been a leading voice in Washington and elsewhere for the value of research and liberal arts education. He has emphasized the importance of both free speech and inclusivity to Princeton’s mission, championed the University’s commitment to service, and launched initiatives designed to fortify Princeton’s connections to the innovation ecosystem in New Jersey and beyond.

In 2001, Eisgruber joined the Princeton faculty as the Law and Public Affairs program director and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He directed Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs program from 2001 to 2004. Eisgruber was named Princeton’s 11th provost in 2004 and, in that capacity, was the University’s second-ranking official and its chief academic and budgetary officer.

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

Princeton University provides benefits-eligible employees with a comprehensive, competitive suite of benefits designed to offer options best to meet the needs of our diverse faculty and staff. Enrollment in most traditional uses, such as health, retirement, and life insurance, occurs within the first 31 days of employment. For more information on the benefits offered at Princeton University, see here.

Application & Nomination

Princeton has retained the services of Spelman Johnson, a leading national executive search firm, to assist with leading this search. Review of applications will begin Wednesday, December 7, 2022, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Laura Puckett-Boler at lpb@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Princeton University website at www.princeton.edu.

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.