University Continues with Transition of UC Services

The transition of services managed by University Center is underway. Humboldt State University is working diligently to transition all University Center services effective January 9, with immediate priorities being continuity of services and retaining as many UC employees as possible.

Information and Updates on the Transition of UC Services

Immediately upon notice of termination last year, HSU met with UC leadership to discuss the transition and priorities. On Dec. 23, Chartwells Higher Education, which is contracted to provide on-campus dining through June 2022, held very productive meetings with UC professional employees and student dining employees, and sent offer letters to all managers and 13 full-time hourly positions. There will be no reduction in student employment. At this point, all 26 students currently working have received offer letters, and as classes resume more students will be hired.

Staff and student employees were offered compensation and benefits equal to or better than they previously earned from their UC employment.

In addition to dining services, most management and support staff from the UC have been offered stateside positions by the University. HSU Human Resources has been in communication with most active UC employees and has extended offers of employment, and continues to work closely with employees to ensure they understand their options. The University will maintain all student jobs in non-dining areas like Center Activities and CenterArts.

As the transition continues, Humboldt State’s priority is enhancing and expanding the programs and services for students. The University is working on a smooth transition to ensure continuity of services, minimize disruptions for employees, and improve oversight of funds.

The changes now underway follow a decision by California State University and HSU to end the operating agreement with University Center. This decision was due to breaches outlined in the letter of notice. HSU and the UC are working in collaboration to finalize the most current audit.

CSU and HSU notified the University Center Board in September of the intent to end the operating agreement unless the Board could adequately address the breaches. In December, the Board was notified that the breaches were not adequately addressed, and that the agreement would be formally ended at the close of business on Jan. 8.

University Center oversees student services including dining, CenterArts, Center Activities, and the contract for the bookstore. HSU is taking on most management and oversight of the services, and will also manage the bookstore contract with Follett. For the typical student, services and programs will either remain the same or be improved.

Staff members from Chartwells are currently in the area working on the transition in dining services. Chartwells is preparing to open Jan. 9, and has been working with several departments and representatives to prepare for a seamless transition.

Chartwells has also worked to secure food distribution beginning Jan. 9 and is working on establishing relationships with local vendors. Chartwells will continue to onboard employees this week and begin implementation of menu, point-of-sale, and signage updates. Chartwells staff will also be examining and evaluating student meal plans for Fall 2021, which will be announced in February. There will be no price increase for meal plans this year or next.

CenterArts and oversight of the University-owned student union building will be moved to student services. Priorities will include expanding campus programming and events, enhancing the quality and responsiveness of student services, and continuing to offer engaging community programming.

CenterArts emailed patrons in December, sharing that the transition has positive potential for the campus and community. CenterArts has currently suspended programming due to the pandemic, but is planning a safe return to performances for the 2021-22 season.

Center Activities and oversight of the Student Recreation Center, Humboldt Bay Aquatics Center and the Recreational & Wellness Center will be moved to athletics. These areas will benefit from enhanced offerings to students as well as enhanced operational efficiencies and compliance.

HSU is committed to reimagining and improving important campus and community services, and the responsible management of the student and public funds that allow these services to continue and improve our student experience.