Barnes & Noble now manages SOU bookstore
Southern Oregon University is selling its bookstore inventory and has handed over store management to Barnes & Noble College, a division of the national chain.
SOU will pay Barnes & Noble a flat management fee each year and then reap about 14 percent of the annual profits, said SOU Vice President of Finance and Administration Craig Morris.
"We did not 'sell' the bookstore, but we entered into a contract with Barnes & Noble for them to manage it for us," said Morris. "They will buy the books and pay the salaries of employees."
Morris said the bookstore's inventory is in the process of being assessed, and SOU will be paid fair value for all of the books and other merchandise, an estimated $600,000.
Profits from the inventory payout, along with existing cash and unsettled transactions, will total about $1 million and will be moved from the SOU bookstore fund into the general fund, Morris said.
The bookstore closed last week following SOU graduation and reopened Monday under Barnes & Noble management.
The bookstore's three administrative employees accepted contracts with Barnes & Noble and will shift their employment status July 1, while two classified bookstore employees will remain contracted with SOU.
Morris said Barnes & Noble plans to continue SOU's practice of hiring student workers as additional staff.
Barnes & Noble was one of two booksellers that responded to a request for proposals SOU put out earlier this year for running the bookstore.
Presentations were given in February, and Morris announced SOU's decision to the campus community via email Tuesday afternoon.
Barnes & Noble College is a division of Barnes & Noble Inc., and operates more than 700 college bookstores nationwide.
The company runs stores at the University of Portland and three other campuses in the state.
Morris said students wouldn't notice many changes in how the bookstore is run, but said Barnes & Noble has agreed to invest $250,000 in remodeling the space over the next couple of years.
"There will be some changes to the look of the bookstore," he said.
Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.