Universities
Examining the Value of Traditional Campus Services in an Increasingly Technology-Centric World
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Technology has had a dramatic and undeniable impact on almost every facet of modern life, and higher education is no exception. From how lectures and course materials are delivered to the immense wealth of learning resources that are available from anywhere at any time, technology has enabled greater access to education than ever before. (more…)

The importance of Environment Higher Education
Rob Hailey
Rob Hailey

Senior Associate Vice President,
University Services,
Tulane University

Shifting global trends have had a significant impact on the business, economic and political landscapes—and the academic world is not immune. (more…)

Helping Campus Partners Demonstrate the Value of Exceptional College Experiences
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

From the kitchen table to the political stage, the ever-increasing cost to attend college has become a hot topic of discussion. As costs have risen, students have taken on more and more student loan debt and other forms of financial liability to finance their education. Adding to the apprehension, many of these students face an uncertain job market after graduation, making it difficult to manage living expenses and student loan payments. (more…)

Data Analytics: Leveraging Insights to Drive Program Innovation
Jonathan Preciado
Jonathan Preciado

Director of Consumer Insights and
Quality of Life Research,
Sodexo Universities

Data analytics has changed the way we view operations, performance, and student outcomes. As Southern New Hampshire University President Paul L. LeBlanc, mentions in the latest chapter of President to President, “Engineering a 21st Century Higher Educational Model:  Guidelines for Leading the Work,” understanding data can be an important step in meeting the needs and expectations of today’s students. Through Sodexo’s interactions with students, educators, and campus administrators, we have seen firsthand how analytics can change the way an institution operates. Taking this idea a step further, data analytics can enable us to design experiences in a way that will have a meaningful impact on student outcomes.   (more…)

Shaping the Future: How Disruptive Innovation is Changing Higher Education
Kevin Rettle
Kevin Rettle

Vice President,
Global Offer Development – Universities
Sodexo

The pace of change in higher education is accelerating faster than any time in history. Today, higher education is a global commodity with all the competition and product diversification of any Fortune 500 organization. Mostly steeped in learning constructs hundreds of years old, today’s colleges and universities are subject to stronger political, social, economic, and technology market forces than ever before and are driven by a generation of students that will not accept the status quo. (more…)

University Presidents Share Perspectives on Student Success
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

The 2016-2017 edition of President to President, titled “Integrated Approaches to Student Living and Campus Housing—Enhancing Quality of Life and Performance,” focused on issues, trends and opportunities related to campus life. University presidents from around the country shared their views and experiences on the relationship between life on campus and student success, comfort, and performance. Key takeaways included the importance of student living, diversity and inclusion on campus, safety & security, student retention and fostering resiliency. (more…)

Hungry for More: Generation Z’s Impact on the Food Industry
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

As a provider of dining options for colleges and universities around the world, it’s our job to monitor what consumer trends are saying about college dining and, more importantly, what students want to eat. It’s evident that Generation Z, the generational cohort younger than millennials, is changing the workplace but many don’t realize that they are also taking the culinary industry by storm — challenging the food preferences of baby boomers and leaning toward a fresher, less-processed food movement. (more…)

Supporting Transfer Students with Welcoming Campus Environments
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Transfer students are an important contribution to the University ecosystem. They bring different experiences and perspectives to the campus environment and have a unique set of needs for life on campus. Ensuring that transfer students receive a convenient, safe, and personalized experience is vital to driving continued transfer student enrollment and retention. More importantly, it is every education institution’s responsibility to support this subset of students and prepare them for success. (more…)

Above and Beyond: How to Differentiate from your Competitors
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

The business realm can be frustrating. Trends fluctuate, consumer demands vary, and competition is fierce. Proven success is cultivated based on how well a business plans strategically, analyzes trends, and, most importantly, differentiates from their competitors. In an industry driven solely by consumer satisfaction, where negotiations and deals are made on the daily, being unique to your competitions isn’t practical — it’s necessary. (more…)

Promoting Physical Safety Programs and Education on College Campuses
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

Often a stepping stone from childhood to young adulthood, college acts as a safe environment in which students can explore life beyond high school before entering the workforce. As these students anticipate a taste of independence, many of their parents face the confusion and discomfort associated with preparing their child for the next phase of their life. The college experience, albeit one of the most transformative experiences for young adults, can be a scary and intimidating journey for parents as they consider their students’ safety on campus. Our job is to build an environment which not only creates convenience for parents and students but also serves as a safe, comfortable place for students to learn and grow. (more…)

What’s behind the headlines? Separating health and nutrition facts from fiction
Beth Winthrop
Beth Winthrop

Senior Manager, Health & Wellness
Senior Registered Dietitian,
Sodexo Universities

In today’s media-saturated world, information about health and nutrition is everywhere. But while we have access to more reliable information about nutrition than ever, there are also many scientifically questionable or even false claims presented as fact. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort out truths from falsehoods.

One such questionable source is the website “Is It Bad for You?”  This site publishes health and nutrition reviews of food products, restaurants and a variety of products and services.

(more…)

Beyond the Books: Creating a Campus Community
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

For students, the college experience is a pivotal time of growth. Not only are these individuals learning new concepts and theories through their studies, many are also taking that first initial jump from childhood to adulthood as they navigate life with an increased sense of independence. Whether these students live on campus or commute from home, their experience at college shapes their first impression of life beyond the books. Because of this, providing the foundation for a robust campus community not only enhances the student experience but improves students’ quality of life.  (more…)

Easing the Transition to Campus Life: Recruiting and Retaining First-Generation College Students
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Change is all around us, so when we think about college enrollment declining and federal funding decreasing, we know we have to think differently about how we can impact student recruitment and retention. An inspiring place to explore is how to impact recruitment and retention rates among first-generation students; it’s a group that, by nature, can help the academic sector expand its reach and further its mission – to teach and support the next generation of informed, educated and civically-responsible citizens.  (more…)

How to Enhance the College Experience for International Students
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

International students bring to American college campuses a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. In return, U.S. students expose their international counterparts to American customs including the ability to practice freedom of speech. In both cases, this mutually beneficial alliance formed among American students and those from abroad fortifies the campus community by and large. (more…)

How the University Environment Affects a Changing Demographic
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD

SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

College students’ social encounters on campus shape their college experience. Therefore, it is imperative that campuses foster inclusive environments where all students feel valued, respected and celebrated. This in mind, the need for a sense of belonging is more pressing than ever. Our society’s tendency to display racial intolerance, cultural disengagement and lack of understanding across differences calls for more culturally aware campuses. (more…)

Room for Discussion: Encouraging Open Discourse on College Campuses During Times of Social and Political Unrest
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

The purpose of academia is to nurture and strengthen the next generation of leaders through research and critical analysis. Additionally, higher education aims to encourage individuals to investigate their interests and pursue a greater understanding of the world surrounding them. Today’s college students, many of whom are members of Generation Z, are some of the most inquisitive and confident scholars who demand campus communities built on the theories of peaceful coexistence and safety for all. (more…)

Three Ways to Lessen the Impact of Mental Illness on College Students
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

The transition from high school to college, for many, is both a daunting and exciting journey. As parents, we view this opportunity as a means to a beginning – encouraging our children to discover self-sufficiency without expecting them to be fully independent. Surprisingly, 2016 statistics show a steady increase in mental illness among college students, a derivative of this newfound independence and the pressure that comes with it. Knowing the signs and following the advice outlined by professionals in the field sets the foundation for beating mental illness among college students. (more…)

Hunger on Campus: College Students Facing Food Insecurity
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Food insecurity on campus is often an unmentionable topic. Many assume that, while enrolled in college, students’ needs are entirely met through financial assistance programs such as financial aid. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. With the cost of public and private universities on the rise, some college students are left to suffer silently while the issue of food insecurity remains a subject of little discussion.  (more…)

Helping Students Overcome Personal Obstacles to Academic Success
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

College can be a stressful time for many students. They often face greater demands, expectations and workloads than in high school. It is also the first time many have been on their own and away from familiar support networks such as friends, family and their local community. The stress of a new environment, lack of familiarity and heightened academic demands can take its toll on a student’s well-being and potentially have a significant impact on their performance and ability to succeed. The transition can be even more challenging for students who must deal with issues that go beyond academics – issues that can have a significant impact on their overall achievement. (more…)

Beyond the Lecture Hall: Residence Life Turns Campus into Community
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

For today’s students, college is about more than just academics. When students select a college, they are increasingly likely to consider factors beyond the institution’s academic reputation, research facilities and faculty credentials. Students understand that the campus they select will be their home for the next few years, and they are interested in the quality of life they can expect there. For this reason, students are placing greater emphasis on residence life programs when contemplating their options for higher education.

(more…)

Exploring the Role of Higher Education in Creating Community
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Establishing a strong sense of belonging and purpose, both on campus and in the larger community is essential to engaging and retaining students. For many students, college represents their first taste of true independence, away from parents, teachers and other authority figures. Their actions are their own, and the decision whether or not to get involved is up to them.  For college and university administrators, it is imperative that they establish an environment, on campus and beyond, that fosters a sense of belonging so students have the best opportunity to succeed academically, socially and civically.

(more…)

President2President: Next-Gen Campus Housing Built for Living-Learning Communities
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

A new generation is getting ready to enter the hallowed halls of higher education and in addition to bringing their devices to campus, they will also arrive with a new set of expectations on how they want to live, learn and experience college. This is the first year Generation Z students will be graduating from high school and descending on college and university campuses across the country—in record numbers, in fact—bringing their unique learning styles along with them. If academia plans to recruit, retain and engage these students, they will be up against some new challenges that will ultimately yield exciting opportunities for the future of educational institutions.

(more…)

Welcome to Gen Z’s idea of a campus Utopia, and one that keeps me up at night
Scott D. Miller, PhD
Scott D. Miller, PhD

President of Virginia Wesleyan College &
Co-Executive Editor of “President to President”

We’ve heard a lot about what today a college student (and their parents) expects from their institutions.

Frequently at the top of the list is student housing. They want distinctive, comfortable, convenient, attractive student housing—not the traditional dormitory with a bathroom at the end of the hall. They want privacy and amenities, easy proximity to classes and co-curricular activities, up-to-date technology, and in-room dining options. Let’s not forget parking. Some students arrive with more than one vehicle these days.

(more…)

Ode to Living on Campus by a Member of Generation Z
Jake Hughes
Jake Hughes

University of Maryland Student &
Sodexo Future Leader Intern

I represent Generation Z, a generation that spent our childhood taking care of virtual pets on Neopets and playing Pokémon Yellow on a Gameboy. We made Facebook accounts in middle school, as Facebook Memories likes to continuously remind us. We watched our parents cry during the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. We experienced “The Great Recession” firsthand. We saw millions of gallons of oil pour into the Gulf of Mexico. We witnessed our siblings terrified to go to school the day after the Columbine Shooting.

We’re a product of information, communication, and innovation. We’ve seen hardships not only on a national scale, but also on a global scale. The fusion of all of these experiences has led to a new generational mentality- one of strong work ethic, global understanding, and technological reliance. (more…)

Bring on the Artisan Pickles: How Generation Z’s Preferences are Changing Campus Dining
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

This is the third blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement. 

  (more…)

Growing Up Gen Z: new challenges and opportunities for campus life
Pat Connolly
Pat Connolly

Global CEO,
Universities,
Sodexo

This is the second blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement.  (more…)

Introducing the New Generation on College Campuses
Jeff Pente
Jeff Pente

Senior Director,
Brand Management,
Universities,
Sodexo North America

This is the first blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement.  (more…)

Feeding the Future of New Orleans and 22 Other U.S. Cities
Pat Connolly
Pat Connolly

Global CEO,
Universities,
Sodexo

“Food is national security. Food is economy. It is employment, energy, history. Food is everything.”   — Chef José Andrés

Food is an integral part of our everyday lives. However, the sad reality for many families is that the ability to provide one of life’s basic necessities to their children is barely, if at all, feasible. While programs put into place during the school year take the strain off of parents and caretakers only about 18 percent of eligible students participate in summer feeding programs according to the United States Department of Agriculture. (more…)