Food and dining have been hot topics on campus for several years. As we have prepared for the next step in enhancing campus food and dining services, we have also been searching for a dining director to help lead the transformation of these critical campus services. Today, I’m pleased to let you know that we have selected Mark Hayes, Ed.D., to take on this important role.
Mark comes to MIT most recently from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS), where he oversaw dining and hospitality services and several auxiliary business services including a working farm and greenhouse. The search committee, which included students, faculty, and staff, was deeply impressed with his broad background in campus dining services, the innovative and award-winning programs at UCCS that were part of his portfolio, and his energetic approach. Before UCCS, Mark oversaw dining operations at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and at Harvard, where he managed dining in the Quincy House residential community and in the kosher kitchen in Rosovsky Hall, home to Harvard Hillel. Beyond his campus dining experience, Mark opened restaurants in the Netherlands and Singapore, and in 2001 helped open Italian eatery Lidia’s Pittsburgh with Beard Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich.
Mark will join DSL in late January, which is a pivotal moment in our efforts to improve campus food and dining services. With Envision Strategies, a consultancy specializing in institutional dining, DSL started a holistic review of food and dining earlier this year. Since then, a working group of students, faculty, and staff incorporated feedback from a student survey, input from Envision, and a review of best practices at other campuses to develop a new request for proposal (RFP) for dining services. Responses to that RFP are due in January, after which another committee will review the submissions and recommend a partner that best meets our needs and demonstrates the kind of creativity, vision, and quality commitment that MIT deserves. Mark will play a leading role in that process.
In the meantime, I want to thank the search committee that selected Mark from a solid group of candidates. In particular, I want to thank Bob Ferrara who chaired the committee, and Graham Haskin who helped us reach this successful result by ably managing calendars, arranging meetings, and organizing candidate travel.