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UCA board approves Aramark contract extension

By David Harten

This article was originally published April 2, 2012 at 11:12 a.m. Updated April 2, 2012 at 2:21 p.m.


The UCA Board of Trustees meeting met Monday afternoon to approve the 10-year extension of the university's contract with Aramark. The board also voted unanimously to approve a 3-percent increase in the room and board rates for students.

— The University of Central Arkansas Board of Trustees approved a 10-year contract extension on the school's deal with with Aramark as the sole food supplier on campus in a Monday afternoon meeting.

Aramark's contract was set to expire on June 30, with the company in competition with a second vendor, Sodexo. The board approved the extension unanimously, 9-0, on the 10-member panel. Rush Harding was absent from the meeting.

Representatives from the faculty and students approved the move during the meeting.

Under the new contract, Aramark will be the UCA's food supplier until 2022.

The decision comes after some scrutiny in the past when the food vendor’s $700,000 offer to renovate the UCA-owned president’s house led to the Sept. 2 resignation of UCA President Allen Meadors. He and then-board Chairman Scott Roussel described the money as a donation and did not tell other trustees that it was contingent on the renewal of Aramark’s contract. Arkansas State Police are still investigating the matter.

"The deck is wiped clean, if we approve this deal and sign it," UCA President Mark Courtway said in his address of the board.

Along with the extension of Aramark's services, the board also approved a proposal to increase the room and board rates for students for the 2012-13 school year. The proposal passed unanimously.

The approval will mean a 3-percent increase in student housing rates, but board rates will remain unchanged. UCA will open a new dormitory, Bear Hall, in the fall.

With the increase, the annual housing rate per student for double-occupancy room and board will rise $45 from $2,590 per semester to $2,635.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details about the meeting.

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