One of the big decisions facing Iowa State University in the new year involves choosing how the school will feed students. The university in Ames asked for bids on running its food service and received a bid from three outside companies and a proposal from the university service. Nancy Brooks of the university purchasing department says the Board of Regents asked them to put the contract up for bids. She thinks they were asked to do that to “make sure that we were maximizing our opportunity.” Brooks says the move may save money — but that’s not the main emphasis. She says cost is not the only factor, though is a major component. She says the Regents want to be sure they can repay their bond debt on the renovations they’ve made. Brooks says there’s a university committee that’s going to go over each of the proposals. Brooks says the proposals are “quite complicated and in depth” and she says they have a criteria that they’ll use to determine the best proposal. Brooks says the winner of the process will not only provide food for students, but will also run the campus catering, retail cafes, convenience stores, vending machines, and the Memorial Union food court. Brooks says it’s part of the changes in the way the system operates. Brooks says any kind of dinning operation in higher education has gotten a lot more complex. Brooks says information on the proposals will be available for public viewing near the end of the first week of January.