School to keep bookstore

By Stephanie Bradley

James Harder, NIU vice president for business and operations, recently accepted the NIU Holmes Student Center Bookstore Evaluation Committee’s recommendation to retain NIU-ownership of the bookstore.

The recommendation was made at the committee’s Dec. 1, 1988 meeting after an 8-1 vote against contracting with a private vendor. Harder accepted the recommendation and said NIU can now “move forward” in operating the bookstore and hiring a permanent director.

NIU Accountant Neil Kepner currently is serving as the interim director. A new director will be found by the fall 1989 semester, hopefully sooner, Harder said.

The previously inactive Bookstore Advisory Committee will have a more prominent role in bookstore activities and will be required to work with the director to improve the bookstore, he said.

The committee’s recommendations include:

Increase the trade/general book department.

Improve the store’s layout and displays.

Hiring a highly effective director.

Consider implementing a student charge card system.

Remodel the outside and inside of the store.

Improve advertising and promotions.

Include members of the operating staff on the BAC and have a general/trade book subcommittee.

Allow patrons who purchase a certain minimum amount to have one hour free parking in the visitor’s parking lot.

Trade books, not the belief that an outside vendor can do a better job, are the reason Political Science Professor Morton Frisch, the only naysayer in the issue, did not vote in favor of the recommendation.

Frisch is concerned with the intellectual atmosphere of the bookstore which trade books define, he said, because they are seen first when patrons enter the store. “Students and faculty shouldn’t have to walk through the other stuff (cards and gifts) first,” he said.

Judy Bischoff, University Council executive secretary, said that other problems, such as the unavailability of textbooks and the delays in ordering more of the sold-out books, were also a main concern.