Frequently Asked Questions: Termination of Agreement and Operational Transition of Services to HSU

Dec 21, 2020

After careful consideration, the California State University and Humboldt State University have decided to formally end the CSU’s operating agreement with University Center. All services provided by University Center will continue under the direction of HSU as of the close of business on January 8, 2021.

Message to campus
Letter to the University Center Board

Does the University President have authority to make this decision?
Yes, the CSU and HSU have the authority to proceed with termination of the operating agreement, and have conveyed that termination through the HSU President with authorization and concurrence from Chancellor Timothy White.

Why did HSU terminate the operating agreement?
The CSU and HSU terminated the agreement due to breaches referenced in the September 24, 2020 letter that the University Center did not cure. In addition, due to these uncured contract breaches and the University Center’s continued operational challenges, the CSU no longer has confidence in the University Center’s performance of its assigned critical campus functions.

What does this mean for the services provided by the University Center?
HSU will maintain and manage all functions currently handled by the University Center. Students will see enhancements in many of these programs and services over the next few semesters.

HSU has entered into a short-term agreement with Chartwells Higher Education to ensure continuity of dining services through June 2022. A partner will be sought before then for a longer-term contract to handle dining services.

What will happen with University Center employees?
The University is working to preserve a significant number of University Center employees, and it is committed to retaining all student employees who desire to continue working. Chartwells will offer positions to University Center Dining employees conditional upon a background check. Associates will be offered compensation and benefits equal to or better than what they currently have. Chartwells will also look to honor existing partnerships with local vendors.

How can we be sure of smooth dining services?
HSU and Chartwells will work collectively to ensure we sustain and evolve the operation. We are hopeful the University Center will be partners in a smooth transition of dining and other services.

What about local vendors?
Chartwells will work to continue using those same vendors and explore additional local food suppliers.

What about housing?
Housing does not fall under University Center and is not an auxiliary.

What about the University Center Board and University Center as a non-profit organization?
This will be up to the University Center board.

What about the bookstore?
The bookstore contract with Follett will be assigned to HSU.

What about the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center?
The Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center is an HSU facility. It will continue to be used as a home for Women’s Crew, for boating and water safety programs for students and the community, and for community outreach and events.

What happens with campus union fees?
The fees will continue to be collected by HSU, and will be used to support the delivery of services.