Lindsay Packey, a junior who works at Student Stores, said Gorsuch met with her and other employees to update them on the details of the potential privatization. She said he has been considering retirement.
“I’m really sad and I know that it’s probably concerning with everything that’s going on with (Student Stores) possibly being bought out, but I know that he’s been talking about retiring for some time now, because he has been working for the student stores for over 30 and a half years," she said.
Packey said the idea of privatizing Student Stores scares her.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be a good thing, but I know the administration has our back and I hope they make the best decision for us," she said.
Charles Streeter, UNC Employee Forum chairperson, said whether or not Gorsuch’s retirement impacted the decision to privatize the stores, it could lower staff morale.
“Any time you have a leader that parts — and he seemed to be, from everything that I could see, very well-liked and respected — then, you know, regardless of the potential outsourcing going forward or not, you can still affect the morale," he said.
Streeter said the University is considering privatizing Student Stores primarily for financial reasons and that it has not reached a decision.
“I understand the University’s need for money," he said. "I understand that this was an unsolicited proposal, and it’s just a proposal.”
Ives said Student Stores would conduct a nationwide search for a new director.
“Our continued goal is for the Student Stores to be an iconic destination for students, faculty, staff and alumni alike.”