Duke University has named Robert Coffey, currently resident district manager at the University of South Carolina for management company Sodexo, as its new director of dining services. At Duke, Coffey rejoins Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs for Housing, Dining and Residence Life Rick Johnson, under whom he had served as senior associate director of housing & dining at Virginia Tech University. Johnson was director of housing & dining services at Virginia Tech until taking his current position at Duke in late 2010.
"We have set a goal to elevate the Duke dining experience to be the world-class equal of the educational experience," says Johnson. "Robert is the right person to lead us there."
"The dining experience plays such a major role in campus life and I'm very anxious to explore how Duke Dining can continually provide high-quality services while helping build community in collaboration with the new house system," Coffey adds. "I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to serve this great university and extraordinary campus community. I look forward to getting to know the student body and collaborating with DUSDAC and the many talented people in Student Affairs to exceed our customer expectations."
At South Carolina, Coffey managed a $30 million operating budget and a team of 1,100 employees that served more than 6 million meals a year. Before joining the dining team at Virginia Tech, he served in various capacities at Greensboro College, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Longwood College in Virginia.
"We've made great strides in dining services over the past couple of years," says Duke's Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta. "We've got a lot of big project underway that will require creative thinking and execution as we renovate spaces and introduce new vendors. We’re looking forward to having Robert’s leadership as part of the Duke team."