IC Partners with Cornell University for Dining Services Transition

By Dave Maley, July 10, 2019
Ithaca College’s conversion to in-house dining operations will get boost from proven leader in the field.

Ithaca College has entered into a partnership with Cornell University to acquire services and tools that will support the college’s transition to a self-operated campus dining program. Cornell Dining — a proven leader in the field — will license recipes, operation manuals and training materials for IC management and frontline employees.

In March, Ithaca College announced that it was ending its relationship with long-time dining services provider Sodexo and instead bringing those operations “in house.” Cornell, which also operates its own dining program, reached out to the college to offer its assistance and expertise.

IC has arranged to license materials that will provide a foundation for the college to open its dining operations with thousands of established recipes, along with standard operating procedures designed to achieve high food quality, consistency and safety. Training on protocols for food management will also be provided before the beginning of the fall semester, and will extend into the academic year as needed.

“This agreement with Cornell is a bold, smart and local collaboration that will help us continue to provide an outstanding student experience.”

IC President Shirley M. Collado

The agreement, which is distinctive in higher education and the food industry, is in line with the kinds of cross-sector, community partnership opportunities envisioned in the college’s recently adopted five-year strategic plan.

“Identifying and cultivating innovative partnerships is not just embedded within our strategic plan, it’s part of the DNA of this institution,” said Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado. “This agreement with Cornell is a bold, smart and local collaboration that will help us continue to provide an outstanding student experience.”

Dustin Cutler, executive director for Cornell Dining, will help Ithaca College translate their expertise to fit the needs of ICs student population.

“I am very proud of Dustin and his team for stepping up in this manner,” said Ryan Lombardi, Cornell vice president for student and campus life. “It developed quickly as an outstanding community partnership and is reflective of the strength and quality of our program and team at Cornell Dining.”

The partnership with Cornell will allow Ithaca College to realize the benefits of immediate productivity, providing a framework from which the college can tailor its operations and future initiatives.

IC is also exploring potential partnerships with other local and national vendors and suppliers for dining halls and retail operations, to ensure that the dining program is being responsive to the needs of the campus community.