MORGANTOWN — WVU is looking for a third-party manager for its dining services.

On Feb. 2, the university released a request for proposals for its dining services. Companies have until March 29 to submit their bids. According to bid documents, companies must have 10 or more years as a food-service operator, including at least five clients that are in higher education.

WVU Dining Services provides food services across the Morgantown campus, satellite schools and other facilities. The operation includes traditional residence hall dining, as well as other duties such as providing Flying WV cookies and operating cafes.

“We are looking to go from self-manager to third-party managed,” said Rob Alsop, WVU’s vice president for strategic initiatives.

The operator switch is not guaranteed and Alsop said without the proposals he cannot say how much WVU could save with the transition.

“It’s not a done deal,” Alsop said.

University officials met with dining services employees earlier in the week to inform them of the change, Alsop said. Across WVU’s campuses and facilities, there are about 220 full-time dining employees.

The proposal includes provisions that current dining service employees with three or more years of service will have the option to remain WVU employees — even with the new manager — with the same benefit plan.

For those with less than three years experience, the university asked that the chosen company allow them to have first-refusal of positions.