As of Sept. 20, Drexel University cancelled its contract with food service provider SodexoMagic, to conclude a 21-year partnership this December. Exactly three weeks later on Oct. 11, Temple University announced that they would not be renewing their contract with SodexoMagic, who they had partnered with for 28 years. Temple’s new 15-year contract with Aramark is slated to go into effect July 1, 2017.
That both universities will not have a contract with SodexoMagic this time next year is about where the similarities end.
While Temple announced that they were not continuing their relationship with SodexoMagic, The Triangle had no clue of Drexel’s contract cancellation until we received an anonymous tip from a teamster. Additionally, Temple included the identity of SodexoMagic’s replacement, Aramark, in the announcement. Drexel has still yet to announce SodexoMagic’s successor, though it has been rumored to be Aramark.
Perhaps the most profound difference between the way Drexel and Temple handled this similar issue is the fact that Temple guaranteed their current employees a chance to keep their jobs.
“Current dining employees will have the opportunity to continue their employment. There’s just a basic screening process that we always do,” Aramark’s vice president of corporate communications Karen Cutler told The Temple News.
Meanwhile, Drexel has not commented on whether or not the current SodexoMagic employees will have a chance to keep their jobs. In Drexel’s case, the contract ends right before the winter holidays, and current employees still don’t know if they’ll be starting the new year with gainful employment.
In addition to offering job security to loyal employees, Temple University employed another laudable strategy — asking for the input of their student body.
According to The Temple News, 26 individuals – consisting of students, staff, faculty and Temple Student Government members – assisted the university in deciding on SodexoMagic’s replacement.
No one from Drexel has told us anything about how the replacement will be decided. If there are any students involved, we haven’t been made aware of it.
Temple handled their situation with grace, keeping the student body informed and active in the decision and assuring employees that they wouldn’t be left in the lurch.
Being the staunch advocates of experiential learning that they are, perhaps Drexel officials could stand to learn something from our northern neighbors.