About the Planning Process

The food service planning process is an inclusive, transparent, and coordinated approach to food service planning, placement, and construction on the Ann Arbor campus. At the highest level, it is guided by an overall campus planning philosophy and guiding principles that ensure that, as an institution, food is placed intentionally and strategically, supporting and connecting needs at the individual unit level to the needs of campus “neighborhoods” to the broadest needs of the overall campus community.

The process covers all phases — from the earliest unit proposal phase through design, construction and opening — and clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved.

For detailed information on the food service planning process and guidelines, refer to Food Service Planning Guidelines.


The goals of the food service planning process are to ensure that food service operations are planned and placed based on campus needs, potential market demand, ability to be as financially self-sustaining as possible, and on overall fit with campus master plans. Additional goals of the process are to:

  • Clarify the University's decision-making process for planning and placing food service operations
  • Ensure that a new food service operation aligns with the University’s mission, food service guiding principles, and feasibility criteria
  • Promote productive use of existing facilities
  • Ensure that food service needs are carefully analyzed
  • Clarify the process and requirements for selecting suppliers and contractors
  • Clarify University and supplier responsibilities for building out food service space
  • Document the required approvals and inspections for compliance with building, life safety, and food safety codes


The food service planning process and guidelines apply to General Fund academic and administrative units and units that report to Student Life on the Ann Arbor campus. The process and guidelines do not apply to Athletics, the U-M Health System (i.e., U-M Hospitals, Health Centers), or the Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Executive Sponsors

The food service planning process and guidelines are officially sponsored and supported by the following Executive Officers:

  • Martino Harmon
    Vice President for Student Life
  • Geoff Chatas
    Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • Laurie McCauley
    Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs

Food Service Review Committee

The process, tools, decisions and recommendations for planning and placing food service operations, are stewarded by a campus-wide, cross-functional Food Service Review Committee. The Committee is charged with reviewing proposals for campus food service and ensuring that proposals meet institutional requirements. For additional information on institutional requirements or the planning process, refer to Food Service Planning Guidelines.

The Food Service Review Committee is comprised of the following individuals who are knowledgeable in food service planning on the Ann Arbor campus:

  • Gabriel Benitez
    Procurement Agent
  • James Bruce
    Construction and MRO Commodity Manager
  • Tony Burger
    Interim Director of Procurement Services
  • Michael Contrera
    Associate Director for Architecture & Engineering
  • Sue Gott
    Campus Planner
  • Jennifer Harris Nord
    Operational Health and Safety
  • Marwan Houry
    Chief Design Engineer, AEC
  • Kambiz Khalili (Chair)
    Associate Vice President for Student Life
  • Fadi Musleh
    Assistant Vice Provost, Office of the Provost
  • Dave Peters
    Operational Health and Safety
  • Susan Pile
    Senior Director University Unions & Auxiliary Services
  • Lauren Plews
    Senior Project Manager, Office of the Provost

For More Information

For more information on the food service planning process, guidelines, or tools, contact

Kambiz Khalili
Associate Vice President for Student Life
Email: foodplanning@umich.edu
Phone: 734.763.1291