SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Cal Poly Corporation is pursuing Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to evaluate alternative management models for the Cal Poly University Store and Campus Dining.

The University Store RFP is intended to determine if outsourcing store management to a third party will generate more benefits than continuing to self-operate. These benefits could include improved facilities and space utilization as well as enhanced courseware offerings, merchandise and services for Cal Poly students, faculty and all members of the university community.

“We are looking at what the market might offer if we were to outsource some or all of our campus store operations,” said Lorlie Leetham, executive director of the Cal Poly Corporation and associate vice president of commercial services.

A critical factor in evaluating proposals will be the retention and transition of University Store staff.  The corporation estimates that the RFP process will take place over the next nine to 15 months. The University Store underwent a similar RFP process in 2010, at which time it was decided that the store would remain self-operated.

The corporation has also issued an RFP to attain an on‐site food service management team to lead its existing campus food operations – Cal Poly’s Campus Dining.  The corporation is not looking to privatize its food operations. Rather, the aim is to improve the level of excellence and efficiency related to its food services, including quality, service, value and variety. The on-site food service management team will assess, plan and implement effective strategies for food service operations.  This process will not affect the status of Campus Dining or other Cal Poly Corporation employees.

“We have many factors to consider, but our top priority is to ensure we are meeting the needs of today’s campus and today’s students,” said Leetham.

Leetham also said that universities across the country have been utilizing third party management and outsourcing services for many years for a variety of reasons.

The Campus Dining RFP process will remain underway throughout the fall, with a target for having consultants on-board by early January. The RFP is available for public review on the corporation’s website.

About Cal Poly

Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 20,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives.

About Cal Poly Corporation

Cal Poly Corporation is the non-profit auxiliary organization to Cal Poly, providing self-supporting, innovative, and high-quality services to the university and assisting the institution in achieving its educational mission. For additional information, visit or call 805-756-1451.

About University Store

The Cal Poly University Store currently sells approximately $14 million worth of books, computers, apparel and other merchandise annually through the physical store on campus, Cal Poly Downtown, Cal Poly Print and Copy, and online. The University Store employs 13 full-time staff and a large number of students and temporary employees. The Cal Poly Corporation has operated the University Store since 1966.

About Campus Dining

Campus Dining is the exclusive provider of food services for Cal Poly’s students, staff and faculty, including residential, retail, franchise, and concessions. Campus Dining also operates University Catering as a non‐exclusive provider of catering services to the campus community. Operated by the Cal Poly Corporation, Campus Dining generates approximately $30 million a year in gross revenues and operates 25 to 30 different food concepts throughout the campus at a given time.

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