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University considers multiple contract services to up funds

Jan. 23, 1997

Matthew Lester/The Baylor LariatAn ARA employee mops the floor of the Memorial Cafeteria.

By Lisa Zapata

Lariat Staff Writer

College campuses across the nation have been exploring options that would contract campus services to private companies, and Baylor is no exception.

Contract work has meant an increase in funds for some college campuses, while others are just trying to save money.

Contracting of dining services, vending machines and trash collection to private companies has been practiced for many years on college campuses; however, the contracting of services such as book stores, housing and campus security is new at many schools.

Baylor first began outsourcing its services in 1959 with the contract of its dining services to Aramark, said Kenneth Simons, University assistant vice president and business manager.

Baylor has not only outsourced its dining services, but its bookstore is owned and operated by Follett College Stores.

Baylor contracted out its custodial services in 1980 to ABM Janitorial, and in 1993, the physical plant, which oversees the maintenance of buildings, grounds and other facilities, was outsourced to Waco Construction.

The latest contracting was that of the mail room and duplicating services to Xerox in 1994, Simons said.

'We still believe that we have control over the various outsourcings,' Simons said. 'We worked all of our outsourcing contracts to include the hiring of former employees and other benefits for employees.'

Each of the contracted companies has unique arrangements with Baylor.

Simons said Aramark charges Baylor a fee for each of the meal plans and Baylor in turn charges students a meal plan fee.

The book store pays Baylor a license fee while Baylor pays the mail and duplicating services a specified amount.

Colleges such as George Mason University in Virginia are even outsourcing their residence hall services, but Simons said the residence halls are different from other services and Baylor wants to keep a personal approach to managing the halls.

'The basic reason we've done it (outsourcing) is the financial constraints over the years,' Simons said. 'We try to keep costs down for students.'

Simons said outsourcing has increased efficiency and quality of the different services, which has helped to reduce cost.

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