March 25, 2019

Bookstore Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

A. Welcome - Jordan Edmisten guest, Dale Wheeler, John Eckman, Bill Gummerson, Steve Jepson, Pam Walker, Angel Neal, Alan Arnholdt, Trixie Wilkie, Pam Kidder-Ashley, Ben Powell, Ben Sibley.

B.Digital Access Update - Pam Walker

The contract with Pearson is sitting with App State General Counsel and is in negotiation. The Math Department has chosen to work with Pearson. The bookstore is in discussion with publishers for digital content to be incorporated into the rental program.

 Faculty that have participated in this program have given very positive feedback. At the Board of Governors meeting the topic of the challenges created by the high cost of digital materials was discussed. System schools have received feedback from students that it is becoming a hardship.

 Open Source is another option for lowering overall costs for the student.

Spring Semester Pilots

ECON 2030 236 codes

LAW 2150 65 codes

ACC 65 codes

ACC 40 codes

BUS 4000 220 codes


 Alan requested information about Access codes currently sold through the Bookstore.

A staff person is going to be added to the Rental Textbook Department to help with the work involved in negotiating and communicating the transition to inclusion of digital materials into the rental program.

  1. RFP Update - Steve Jepson
    We have recently become somewhat dissatisfied with the point of sale system we have had in place for 10 years, RBS. The company has recently been bought out and the new company, Prism, is managing better in the industry.

A committee has been formed with members from various relevant departments. RFPs have been received. Two major companies did not submit RFPs on time but would like to be considered.

As soon as the reference checks are completed, the committee will decide if to restart the process and allow the two other companies to participate.


  1. Bookstore Physical Layout Update
    Jordan Edmisten started a petition which ran for about 2 weeks at the beginning of the Spring Semester. After discussing her concerns about the move of Scholars Bookshop with fellow students and faculty, including Faculty Senate, it was decided to move forward with a petition in order to share the thoughts of the campus community.

Jordan feels strongly that the campus community needs to be involved in decisions like this one that reflect on the image and personality of our university.

  1. Topics for further discussion from the December meeting a. Semester long faculty access to Verba. Currently Verba does not offer read only access. Leaving Verba accessible to faculty may result in missed late course submissions.
    b. Ben Sibley - Can faculty get a confirmation email after submission?

c. Bookstore providing a resource for self published materials - topic will be added to the next agenda.


Next Meeting

John Eckman suggests meeting 3 times per semester for the next school year. The next meeting will be a summer meeting of the board members that are in town.


Bookstore Advisory Board Meeting

Friday, October 19, 2018

12 noon.

University Bookstore Conference Room

Attending: John Eckman, Pam Walker, Trixie Wilkie, Pam Kidder-Ashley, Alan Arnholdt, William Gummerson, Ben Powell.


A. Purpose Statement - the board will work to create a purpose statement. Members shared some things they hope the board will be able to address.

PKA - Clarify for faculty what is accessible through the rental program. Maintaining the digital connection a rental textbook may have once had but has since lost.

BG -An easy way for a student to buy a book from the bookstore and have it delivered directly to them.

BP - Track savings by academic department and recognize those that are saving students the most money. Look at how to incentivize departments to participate in the rental program.

JE - Improve our communication to faculty about how the rental program works including being a part of new faculty orientation.

B. Introductions

 Note* Reach out to Student Government about student representatives. Send minutes out to all board members.

C. Updates

Director Search - A new director has been hired, Angel Neal, coming from Duke Campus Stores, will begin November 19, 2018.

Customer Service Statement - The new Auxiliary Services customer service statement was shared with board members.

University Bookstore At A Glance - The infographic detailing the overall benefit to Appalachian State from the University Bookstore was shared with board members.

Textbooks - Book Rush Review. 1. More than 70,000 rental textbooks were distributed. 2. 7600 online orders for textbooks were processed. 3. $912,437 worth of purchased textbooks were sold. 4. 19 full-time staff + 48 student employees + 26 temporary employees + 71 Delta Zeta Sorority Members = 175 employees worked during book rush. 5. The store was open 13 days straight with extended hours for a total of 130 hours between August 13 and August 25.

Merchandise - 1. Alta Gracia brand is now in the store. USAS group is helping to spread the work about the opportunity to support a living wage college market brand. 2. TSDesigns, a North Carolina company selling a dirt to shirt product is available in the store. The cotton is grown, the fabric is created, the shirt is cut and sewn and designed all in NC. 3. House of Swank is a Raleigh, NC company we are bringing in to the bookstore. 4. Luke Combs, Appalachian Alumni and country music singer, has a line of co-branded clothing which is now available in the store. 5. Reusable items such as straws, utensils, napkins, food wrap, and food containers are being sold in the store to support on campus efforts to reduce single-use plastic.

Scholars Bookshop - Faculty Author Spotlight, sponsored by the University Bookstore, will be featuring newly published faculty authors. The inaugural event features Adrian Rice.


Discussion - To be discussed at future meetings. 1. Rental program and digital materials. 2. A strategic plan for the bookstore. 3. Communicating the benefits of the bookstore.

Next Steps

Next meeting, in November, discuss digital course materials. The Bookstore will share what has been tried so far. The Bookstore will share the economics of the rental program.

Next Next Steps

1. Find an easy way to link books to an ASULearn page. 2. Market pricing for purchased textbooks. 3. Ease and speed of getting a book. 4. Distance Ed classes having access to books. 5. Collaborate with other schools with a similar rental program.

Meet also in November, March, and April.


Meeting Date: April 30, 2018

In attendance:

John Eckman, Pam Walker, Steve Jepson, Trixie Wilkie.

Rich Christiana, Andrea Cheeseman, Mark Zrull, Dale Wheeler, Jean Francois Fournier, Robert Pope.

A. Purpose Statement

     a. The Board will work to create a purpose statement.

B. Updates

     a. Textbooks

          i. The rental program fee will remain the same for the coming year. $144.

          ii. The Economics department will test pilot a program to provide hard copy and digital course materials to students.

     b. Merchandise

          i.The Bookstore has worked with the group Students Against Sweatshops to bring in the Alta Gracia brand. Expected arrival August 2018.

          ii.The Bookstore's partnership with the Office of Sustainability with efforts to offer sustainable products from sustainable resources, is being covered in the National Association of College Stores magazine.

          iii. Plans are in place to provide a more robust stadium shop experience for the Fall football season. The Bookstore is purchasing semi permanent tents and some new fixtures to provide a better customer experience.

          iv. The Bookstore will have a presence inside the  End Zone project. A self contained, year round, stadium shop is a component of the plan.

          v. The Bookstore is formalizing its planning strategy to better reflect on-campus events throughout the year.

C. Planning

     a. The Bookstore Director position will be posted and a search will be conducted this summer with the intent of having a new Director in place before the Fall Semester.

     b. Campus Bookstore Consultants have been hired and are currently working on a report to help guide the strategic plan for the Bookstore. A report will be ready in the Fall.

D. Discussion Topics

     a. The APPStore Computer Shop is negotiating a contract renewal with Apple Computers. Board members were asked to share their thoughts on the value of maintaining an Apple Authorized Campus Store. Board members were strongly in favor of continuing to offer this service to students, noting that their students overwhelmingly use Apple products and until that trend changes the demand for Apple support should be considered.

     b. Dale Wheeler shared notes of interest from the recently conducted Faculty Survey in regards to textbooks.

E. Topics for future discussion

     a. Purpose statement for the Advisory Board.

     b. Student involvement on the Advisory Board.

     c. Digital materials discussion.

     d. Rental program for graduate students.

     e. Hybrid textbook program.

     f. Length of course adoptions. (Faculty Survey)

     g. Option to purchase textbooks.* (Faculty Survey)

*Students can purchase any textbooks from the Bookstore. Textbooks held on the rental program are sold to students at the used textbook price.

F. Next Meeting

     a. Fall 2018