NACUFS: The National Association of College & University Food Services

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Posted by Mrs. Patricia Lee K. on Sep 7th, 2017 1:09pm

A new school year has begun—for most of us—and you can feel it.  There’s excitement in the air as our campuses come back to life. Students are back, new programs are underway, and operations are up and running full steam.  As hectic as the start of the year can be, I find it useful to pause to reflect on what we, in our fast-paced environment, can do to slow down and have dialogue about managing the future for our staff, students, and campuses. As with summer preparations at our colleges and universities, NACUFS leaders kept the momentum going on several strategic initiatives for the association.


As I mentioned in my previous blog, we are focusing on the education strategy and why it’s important to our members. Later this month, the education committee will be meeting to review the learning survey results and the summary report from our education stakeholders’ retreat. The board will review the committee’s recommendations in October to establish the strategic pathway for NACUFS’ education.

What does that mean for our members and their teams? NACUFS members want and need to be actively engaged in the process of learning, in any setting, in order to retain and apply new knowledge.

We’re all looking for content that is relevant to our work. We want content that addresses our specific challenges. We seek ways to relate the content to what we already know, so we can understand and build upon it. We’re looking for content that promises a practical and immediately applicable outcome. And, we want to contribute our own thoughts and experiences, sharing our ideas and hearing the ideas of others.

Just recently, during mandatory allergy training for our staff, an associate commented that they felt challenged by the material, saying “there is so much to remember at the start of the school year, after having been away over the summer.” I stopped to think about the expectations we held for our staff, and how they were able to absorb and apply knowledge. I was relieved when they went on to say that they didn’t mind too much, because at least they would put what they were learning to use right away, since the lunch counts were going to go from 200 daily to 1200 practically overnight.  Well timed, well developed, relevant information is what we all seek in order to do our jobs well.

Learning is becoming inseparable from daily work and life. NACUFS is striving to be the leader in learning for our members. I am excited about the continual research and dialogue around member learning needs. The education strategy will complement our strategic plan and mission, ensuring excellence in member learning.

I will continue to communicate the progress, highlights from the learning survey, and the final education strategy. I am dedicated to showing you why being a NACUFS member will continue to be one of the best investments for your staff, students, and institutions.


As the board of trustees continues our work, one of our responsibilities is to appoint for vacancies in the office of at-large trustees for the remainder of unexpired terms when vacancies occur. We will be doing so, as we were recently notified by Alecia Stultz of her decision to resign from Kansas University to pursue other personal and professional opportunities. We are grateful for Alecia’s commitment to NACUFS over many years and her contributions and service on the board. Her knowledge, history and experience with NACUFS added value to board discussions and deliberations. We wish her well in her future.

The board will seek a candidate who meets the board approved competencies. We will also consider the work ahead for this year to balance the board composition. There are two other individuals from the Midwest on the board so geography is not a determining factor. This will be a short-term, interim appointment through July, 2018. According to the bylaws, the individual appointed to serve shall not have the time served to fill that position count towards his or her term limits. 

We will seek input; however, we will not conduct an open call for nominations due to the time constraints posed by this resignation. If you have questions, please contact me directly at


Continue to read and share our e-newsletters with your team, so you can follow closely the stories of your peers and association news. As a reminder, submit your news here: for inclusion in our e-newsletter and social media outlets.

Please be on the lookout for my monthly blog, the first Wednesday of every month. Next month, I’ll include an update on the education committee meeting, as they prepare to go to the board with their recommendations, strategy, and timeline. We’re prepping for 2018, celebrating our 60 years as an amazing association – a community of campus dining professionals, serving our students by creating positive and memorable experiences for them each and every day. 

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