Texas A&M looks to outsource dining services

Chancellor seeks to reassure staff among worries of layoffs.

Feb. 27—Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp on Saturday sought to reassure university employees who fear losing their jobs under a possible privatization of services, but he offered no guarantee.

Sharp met with the media at the John Connally Building a day after more than 700 workers packed Rudder Theatre on Friday to voice concerns about Sharp's plan to seek proposals for outsourcing much of facilities services and dining services. The chancellor was in Galveston for a prior engagement and did not attend that meeting.

Though Sharp admitted there is no written guarantee that employees will keep their jobs, he told reporters that the staff at A&M will benefit from the change.

"When you are losing a million bucks a year, I would say that the chances are greater that employees will be laid off," Sharp said of the dining services operation.

In examining other universities that have privatized their dining programs, Sharp said, "In almost none of these instances did anyone lose their jobs. They went to work for a private company at same salaries, basically, same benefits, same health care."