NAU selects Follett for bookstore partnership

As part of its commitment to increase and improve bookstore services and expand product lines, Northern Arizona University has selected the Follett Higher Education Group to operate its university bookstore, effective Dec. 4.

Follett operates more than 750 college and university bookstores nationwide, including the Maricopa Community Colleges’ bookstores.

“We’re convinced the students, faculty and staff will be pleased with NAU’s partnership with Follett,” said Kathe Shinham, vice president for Administration and Finance. “Their extensive resources and experience, especially in the area of distance learning, will greatly improve our current services.”

NAU’s current bookstore employees will be offered positions with Follett at comparable salary and benefits. Years of service will transfer as well.

A committee of administrators, distance learning representatives, a faculty member and a student presented NAU President John Haeger with their observations regarding the services offered by each firm after conducting public forums and meeting with representatives of the two companies. University representatives also visited sites at comparable universities.

Haeger concurred with the recommendations of the committee that reviewed the documents and conducted the interviews.

Follett has agreed to provide NAU with 12 percent to 15 percent of its gross revenues, depending on the level of sales. It also has agreed to invest $1 million refurbishing the current bookstore facility on central campus and to provide $25,000 annually in textbook scholarships.

Follett has a contract with Apple computers and will continue computer sales and service as currently available through the NAU Bookstore.

“We are very pleased that the university has placed its trust in Follett to operate its bookstore,” said Bruce Snyder, vice president of marketing. “We are firmly committed to bringing Follett’s track record of managing college stores to work for Northern Arizona University.”

In addition to operating bookstores for Maricopa Community Colleges, Follett manages bookstores at University of Texas-El Paso, Sacramento State, Old Dominion, Xavier, Berkeley and Stanford.