By Cady Inabinett, News editor
Montevallo’s campus bookstore will be rebranded prior to the fall semester, announced UM Business Affairs on April 18.
Starting May 31, the bookstore, currently managed through Barnes and Noble, will be managed through a partnership with Follett Higher Education Group. In a campus-wide email, Business Affairs said Follett Higher Education Group plans to provide the university with passionate retail service, greater student access and affordability and “A robust ecommerce experience.”
The email said, “With nearly 150 years of experience in higher education, Follett’s partnership brings new resources, innovative technology and enhanced product assortments to the University.”
With the change in management, the bookstore will also adopt a new name: Freddie’s Books and More, deriving its name from university mascot, Freddie the Falcon.
When asked what prompted the change, Purchasing and Contract Manager B.J. Posey replied that the university is not allowed to be in contracts for more than 10 years under Alabama state law.
This rule is outlined in Alabama Code 41-16-27, which says, “any contract that generates funds or will reduce annual costs by awarding the contract for a longer term than a period of three years which is let by or on behalf of a state two-year or four-year college or university may be let for periods not greater than 10 years.”
Posey pointed out, “Our contract with Barnes & Noble had reached the end of term, and the University opened up the competitive bid process to select a vendor for campus for the next term.”
Posey also discussed what the university hopes Follett High Education Group will provide the campus community, saying, “With the new vendor, we are excited to be able to offer students more options in regards to merchandise and online accessibility, as well as some new innovative technology that interfaces with our current systems.”