ARAMARK to manage SMU facilities operations

Effective May 13, 2011, professional services provider ARAMARK will lead SMU’s Facilities Management and Sustainability operations.

Current FM&S employees are being offered the same or similar positions as part of the ARAMARK facilities services team. Each staff member’s salary and length of service at SMU will be transitioned to ARAMARK. There will be no salary decreases and no interruptions in pay or health benefits.

More information is included in the following statement released today:


Effective today, SMU has made a change in the leadership and management of the Facilities Management and Sustainability (FM&S) team. ARAMARK, a professional services provider well known to the SMU community and an industry leader, will now manage this component of the University’s operations.

Current FM&S employees are being offered the same or similar positions here on campus as part of the ARAMARK facilities services team. Each staff member’s salary and length of service at SMU will be transitioned to ARAMARK. There will be no salary decreases and no interruptions in pay or health benefits. ARAMARK will make every effort to provide employees with a benefits package that is comparable to the SMU plan.

This decision was based on three important considerations, as explained by SMU Vice President for Business and Finance Chris Casey:

Core competencies/organizational effectiveness – SMU’s core mission and competency is in the areas of teaching and research. Engaging with a respected professional service provider is a sensible solution that will allow the University to remain at the forefront of industry best practices and improve services to the campus. It also affords our FM&S employees with enhanced career and staff development opportunities.

Good stewardship – The SMU Board of Trustees has entrusted the administration of the University with the careful and responsible management of all funds, especially during challenging economic times. The University has been charged with managing budgets closely and initiating cost savings wherever possible while continuing to deliver first-rate service. The contract with ARAMARK is expected to result in significant savings to the University.

Proven track record – SMU has a long track record of engaging with professional service providers. Since 1995, the University has contracted with ARAMARK for Dining Services and more recently, for Custodial. During the past 25 years, SMU employees in the SMU Bookstore, Dining Services, Custodial Services, Copy Center and Parking Enforcement have made successful transitions to outside service providers.

Keith Gardner will serve as the Director of FM&S at SMU through ARAMARK. Keith has more than 30 years with ARAMARK in facilities management, most recently in health care. We welcome him to the SMU campus. Julie Wiksten will serve as the SMU contract administrator, just as she does for Dining Services, the Bookstore and other services. Those needing FM&S services should continue to access FM&S employees through their usual channels.

For more information or to ask questions, please e-mail auxiliaryservices@smu.edu.


About Kathleen Tibbetts

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