Boilers of Dining – Kari Glebe

This week’s Boiler of Dining is Kari Glebe! Kari is from Hebron, Indiana, and has been the Director of Residential Dining for 5 years, but she’s been at Purdue for 26! Kari is definitely a Boilermaker.


You must love Purdue if you’ve been with us for 26 years! How has that time gone?

Well, I started at Purdue and got my degree in Hotel Institutions. I worked in the restaurant business before coming back to Purdue, where I bounced between retail and residential dining.

So what does the Director of Residential Dining do, Kari?

I’m in charge of 5 large dining courts and the Athletic Dining Room. I have 35 administrative staff, 200 hourly staff, and 750 student employees. I’m very involved with meal plans, future planning, and developing leaders.

Wow, that sounds busy! What does your typical day look like?

My normal day is a long string of meetings, usually about 6-8 hours worth. The few minutes I have between meetings, I use to catch up on email.

Sounds like PD&C keeps you pretty busy! When you aren’t working, what are your hobbies?

I like traveling and playing Nana with my grandkids. I loves to swim or just  lay in pool and soak up the sun. I love to read, too!

What part of your job is your favorite?

I love to develop the leaders of our future!

What is your favorite place to get lunch?

On campus, I love Windsor’s salad bar. Off campus, I’m a big fan of Chipotle.

What would you like to accomplish in your job this year?

I’m currently working on something major! We’re in a period of time where one generation is retiring and the next needs to step up to fill their role. I’ve been working for a while to manage this transition, including creating a mid-level role to help smooth the process.

If you could invite four famous people to dinner, who would you choose and why?

Robin Williams, because he always made me laugh. Oprah Winfrey, because she’s such an inspiration for me. Walt Disney, so I could pick his brain. And Michael Jordan, because I’m a die-hard bulls fan!

Anything you want to say to the Purdue community?

Yes! There’s a quote by Jim Collins that goes something like: A good manager, when things are going wrong, looks in the mirror and thinks ‘what can I do better?’ And when things are going right, looks out the mirror and says ‘this is because of all of them.’

That’s how I manage; always open hands, not pointed fingers.


Wise words, Kari! Thanks so much for squeezing time to chat with us into your busy schedule, we really enjoyed it!


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