Feb. 3, 2013
Northwest Board of Regents approves dining services contract, refunding of bonds, new graduate degree program
The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents during its regular meeting Friday, Feb. 1, approved a new contract for campus dining, catering and vending that will help the University make significant improvements to its dining facilities and meal offerings.
Regents unanimously approved the recommendation to award a five-year contract for dining services to Philadelphia-based Aramark Educational Services; the contract is set to expire in 2018 but includes one optional five-year renewal.
The new dining and vending options will bring changes to the J.W. Jones Student Union as well as The Station, B.D. Owens Library and the Garrett-Strong Science Building. Northwest Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Matt Baker said construction is expected to begin when the spring trimester ends in early May with a completion date of Aug. 9.
The Board’s approval concludes an 18-month process during which a Northwest committee worked with a consultant to gain feedback from students about the University’s current dining options and needs. The committee reviewed vendor proposals, considering their offerings, cost to students and the overall financial impact to the University’s budget.
Northwest leaders said the improvements with help to enhance enrollment, retention, health and wellness, sustainability and financial improvement.
“This will transform student life,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “We are continuing to embrace our focus on students and listening to their needs.”
The University will release additional details about the changes to its dining services plan this week.
In other business, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the University to issue and sell Housing System Refunding Revenue Bonds to refund bonds issued in 2003 and 2006. Northwest Vice President of Finance Stacy Carrick said the current market conditions and low interest rates supported the refunding of the bonds in an effort to smooth future debt payments and reduce future interest payments. By refunding the bonds, the University realizes a net present value cashflow savings of about $1.3 million. The University refinanced another set of bonds in December and has realized a net value savings of about $8.6 million.
The Board also approved a proposal to establish a new Master of Education degree in elementary mathematics. The new degree incorporates coursework necessary for the Elementary Mathematics Specialist DESE certification, which the Board approved at its December meeting.
The meeting was the first for new Regents Dr. Patrick Harr and John Richmond. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed them to the Board last month, and they are awaiting Senate confirmation.
The Board of Regents is responsible for sound resource management of the University and determining general, educational and financial policies.
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