Latest News

General Membership Assembly

The National Association of College and University Food Services embarked on a historic vote of support for change during the 2015 National Conference. The new set of bylaws reflects the revised governance model that was conceptually approved at last years GMA. The vote honors the past, the history, and the culture. It respects the dedication and commitment of former leaders and volunteers, while moving toward building a NACUFS for the future and future leaders.

The governance changes will provide greater support to the regions, as well as an open, transparent path for volunteers to become engaged in meaningful opportunities.  These changes honor the effort and success of the past, while taking a careful and deliberate look to the future and concentrating on member-focused, data-driven, outcome-based organizational decisions.

Last year NACUFS president, Zia Ahmed, promised a few things as he assumed his role as President. Mr. Ahmed stated “this is the culmination of two years of work by over 100 volunteers to address what members’ value about NACUFS, including our regions.” Throughout the year he has delivered his promises of providing an open, inclusive and transparent process for governance, the completion of a governance process and strategic plan, a governance transition plan, and reduced financial and legal risk.

As new president, Dr. Dawn Aubrey, takes office, she spoke about implementing the strategic plan and positioning NACUFS and collegiate dining services for the future. “With the changing nature of higher education, the changing demands of students, the necessity to compete for students and the pressure to restrain the cost to attend, NACUFS must help dining professionals succeed and thrive in the current environment and prepare for the future.” She looks forward to implementing the strategic plan which focuses on, continued financial stability, building organizational capacity and enhancing member value.

NACUFS is a strong organization with more than 1,000 institutional and industry members. The association serves the changing needs of its members through resources, education, networking, and volunteer opportunities.

NACUFS is in a position of strength both in membership and financially. Structural and procedural changes will ensure that the organization continues to be strong and serve the needs of its members in the coming years.


Preparing for the General Membership Assembly

Dear Colleagues: 

Many volunteers worked diligently over the past year, keeping your interests and input in mind, to bring you a final bylaws revision. This revision will support a strategic governing board and strong regions. It will enable NACUFS to enhance member value to meet your needs in the future.  The purpose of this blog is to inform you of the process that will be followed for the upcoming bylaws revision vote at the General Membership Assembly (GMA).

Voting Delegate Expectations
Voting delegates should come prepared to vote at the GMA on the revised bylaws. The GMA will be held on July 24, 2015 at 4:45 p.m.  If a voting delegate is interested in submitting an amendment to the bylaws revision he or she should read the materials enclosed in the packet mailed to all voting delegates June 22 and follow the procedures outlined. Amendments from the floor will be accepted but will be discussed after those submitted in advance. Voting delegates are encouraged to submit amendments on or before July 7, 2015. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, the engagement of a professional parliamentarian is recommended when an organization is undergoing a general revision of the bylaws. Therefore, the board has engaged Professional Registered Parliamentarian Maurice S. Henderson to assist at the GMA.  

Information Mailed to Voting Delegates
In the packet you’ll find the proposed bylaws revision, bylaws revision amendment process, a sample bylaws revision amendment submission form, and NACUFS 2015 GMA meeting procedures. The purpose of the meeting procedures is to ensure neutrality and an efficient process. Please visit meatandpotatoes.info to access the actual form for amendment submissions.

Information Available at meatandpotatoes.info
Complete details are available for your review at our meatandpotatoes.info microsite. “Resources” includes frequently asked questions, vote video, proposed bylaws, webinar, PowerPoint, and governance gaps identified by the Governance Work Group. “Voices” includes board testimonials in support of the bylaws revision and links to my blog and that of the Bylaws Committee Chair, Janet Paul. “GMA” includes a copy of the letter mailed to voting delegates, NACUFS 2015 GMA meeting procedures, bylaws revision amendment process, and the bylaws revision amendment submission form. 

I thank the many volunteers who served on the Governance Work Group, the bylaws committee, and the many members who provided valuable input and feedback to improve the final product. As your President, I am voting ‘yes’ on the bylaws revision because I believe it will enable us to build an even stronger NACUFS focused on creating value for our members for the next 50 years. Thank you for allowing me to lead NACUFS this year. If you have questions regarding the bylaws, please contact me at ahmed.290@osu.edu.

Zia Ahmed, NACUFS President 

New Microsite Educates Members

Greetings everyone!  The NACUFS leadership has returned from our six regional conferences where we listened to members throughout the country.  Let me first thank these host schools for all their hard work creating unique regional conferences for all of our members: 

Gettysburg College
Providence Rhode Island School of Design
Brown University
Johnson and Wales University
Rhode Island University
North Carolina State University
University of California- Santa Cruz
San Jose State University
University of Montana
University of Nebraska

Having hosted a regional conference in the past, I understand the work entailed but also the team building that occurs when a university staff steps up to deliver a fantastic conference. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication to NACUFS.

At each regional conference we participated in town hall meetings to bring members up to date on the governance and bylaws process.  We recognized the hard work accomplished in the past year and a half by over 30 volunteers with over 400 years of involvement in NACUFS.  These volunteers designed a new governance model that will ensure that NACUFS is strong and able to deliver on our mission of excellence in collegiate dining for years to come.

To quickly recap the process, last year we embarked on a journey to honor our past while building for the future. We unveiled a proposed governance model at the national conference that would modernize NACUFS and allow us to deliver strong membership services including strong regions.   We deliberately rolled out a model to have a conversation with the membership.  Many changes were made to the proposed governance model based on member input throughout the year, primarily in the areas of member voice, nomenclature, leadership, and roles and responsibilities.   

The board of directors approved the bylaws for member consideration in January.  But we continued listening to members during our regional conferences. At its April board meeting, the board of directors made final changes to address questions raised by members, to continue to create clarity and to ensure that the final set of bylaws we present to the voting delegates are sound.  The board of directors approved these final changes and now presents to you bylaws which will be voted on at the July 24 General Membership Assembly. 

Furthermore, to continue educating members and gaining member input we developed a microsite, meatandpotatoes.info, to provide members complete details.  Under Resources, you’ll find frequently asked questions, the final version of the revised bylaws, a webinar, a Powerpoint and a video. Under Voices, you’ll find board testimonials in support of the proposed bylaws.  Under Contact, you can email us additional input.  On the home page of meatandpotatoes.info you can complete the survey and respond to the question “Do you support the proposed NACUFS bylaws changes?”  Please visit the site in preparation for the general membership assembly. 

This has been a long journey.  As your President, I am voting ‘yes’ on the bylaws changes because I believe they will enable us to build an even stronger NACUFS focused on creating value for our members for the next 50 years.  Thank you for allowing me to lead NACUFS this year. 


Board Moves Forward With Conference Plans

Dear Colleagues:

Last week the NACUFS Board of Directors reaffirmed our commitment to diversity and inclusivity following passage of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.   In addition, we promised that we would take additional action steps in support of our diversity and inclusivity policy, continue listening to our members and evaluate the pros and cons of holding conference in Indianapolis this July.

The NACUFS Board of Directors met this morning.  We reviewed the amendment language and list of states that have removed travel bans, discussed member feedback, and evaluated the impact on our institutional and industry members as well as the financial impact on NACUFS of cancelling or relocating the conference.  Following discussion, the Board voted to move forward with plans to hold our national conference in Indianapolis, July 22-25, 2015. We invite you to join us this July in the city of Indianapolis which has a longstanding Human Rights Ordinance which protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The key difference in the amended RFRA is legislative language added directly into the law which states that “providers,” which includes individuals and businesses, cannot “refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

The states of Washington, New York, and Connecticut, which had previously banned state-sponsored travel to Indiana, have lifted their travel bans in response to the amended law.

The ACLU of Indiana supports the amended RFRA.  The American Unity Fund (AUF), a national LGBT rights organization based in Washington, D.C., states that “Indiana’s RFRA now has clearer protections for civil rights than the federal RFRA or any of the other 30+ states with RFRA laws or comparable judicial direction in their state constitutions.”

The NCAA and other major associations, convention groups and trade shows which had reported concerns about the state’s original RFRA have communicated they are satisfied with the amended law’s protections against discrimination.

In accordance with our policy and values, NACUFS will continue to welcome all our members and denounce discrimination.  Please continue to support NACUFS value of inclusivity by attending the Indianapolis conference. Thank you to everyone who communicated with us on this issue.


Zia Ahmed
NACUFS’ President


NACUFS Response to Indiana Legislation

Dear Members:

The National Association for College and University Food Services (NACUFS) recognizes that the March 26th signing of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA SB 101) into law by the governor of Indiana is of utmost concern to our members and the larger community.

Although SB 101 is modeled after the Federal RFRA law signed in 1993 by President Clinton, the Indiana law, as passed, goes much further, and opens the door to potential discrimination of members in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in the name of religious freedom.

Moreover, yesterday Indiana passed an amendment to “fix” the law.  The effect of this amendment is to maintain LGBT protections in communities, including Indianapolis, that have local anti-discrimination ordinances protecting sexual orientation and gender identity.

NACUFS Position

NACUFS’ mission is to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining.  Our core values include integrity, inclusiveness, continuous improvement, critical thinking and responsiveness.

In keeping with our core values, NACUFS recognizes the diversity of our member education institutions, their employees and students and our industry members.  We recognize, respect and value that diversity.  NACUFS supports inclusivity of all people in our community.  NACUFS maintains that inclusion and diversity helps build high performing organizations where people feel respected, engaged and valued for who they are and what they contribute.

NACUFS denounces any kind of discrimination and is committed to celebrating individual differences, practicing inclusion and treating people with fairness and dignity. NACUFS will endeavor to work with people and organizations who share our core values. 

To read our diversity and inclusivity policy, click here.

What actions has NACUFS taken?

This week, NACUFS worked closely with the City of Indianapolis, the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce to communicate our position and our members’ concerns about the legislation and its potential for permitting discrimination. We are working with sister organizations in higher education associations who have also contracted with Indianapolis, to articulate a strong stand. 

We are actively listening to our members and engaging them in this issue, both for the near-term and future.  We are similarly listening to our industry members who actively support and partner with us.

The Board of Directors held an emergency conference call to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

Conference 2015 in Indianapolis

The Board of Directors is monitoring the situation closely, fact-finding, and listening to our members to continue evaluating all of our options and their consequences, knowing that the strong concerns of our members illustrate that this is a critical issue for our industry.    

We are taking a thoughtful, disciplined approach to an extremely complex issue that is not unique to Indiana, and affects the entire country. 

What’s next?  NACUFS will:

  • Communicate our concerns directly with Governor Pence’s office.  
  • Address this issue in greater detail at our April Board of Directors meeting where we will explore additional action steps to support diversity and inclusivity.    
  • Continue to welcome all our members and denounce discrimination. 
  • Keep members informed of our actions and encourage continued healthy dialogue, engagement and discussion of issues relevant to our members through various means.
  • Continue to evaluate the pros and cons of holding the conference in Indianapolis.


Zia Ahmed, NACUFS President


Media Contact

Kortney Pitts
Marketing Coordinator
Office: (517) 332-2494

Written Inquiries

2525 Jolly Road, Suite 280
Okemos, MI 48864-3680 


Download the 2016 Media Guide