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Iowa Hawk Shop supplier selected

Update: On March 12, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa approved the agreement for Follett Higher Education Group, Inc., to manage the day-to-day operations of the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore.

Pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the Follett Higher Education Group, Inc., will manage the day-to-day operations of the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore.

Last September, the university issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQL) to explore whether partnering with a large national provider of college and university bookstore services would offer the opportunity to provide more efficiencies and enhance the services for the campus community.

The Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore was impacted significantly by the 2008 flood and has struggled to regain its financial footing since then due to increased competition in the online market for educational materials.

“Those who have been involved throughout the RFQL process have remained committed to the Iowa Hawk Shop team and the best interests of individual staff members, the Iowa Memorial Union, the Division of Student Life, and the customers we serve,” says Bill Nelson, associate dean and executive director of the IMU. “Follett has shown, at every turn, the same commitment. It is also essential to both the UI and Follett that staff remain engaged in the DSL and IMU.”

Under the proposed agreement, Follett has agreed to hire all full-time employees at their current salary levels and with commensurate benefits; or they may work with University Human Resources to review options within the university system. They also look forward to engaging with temporary and student staff regarding potential employment opportunities.

The Board of Regents will vote on whether to authorize the agreement between the university and Follett during a meeting on March 12, 2021.

If the partnership moves forward, the operation will remain in the IMU and there will be no disruption of service for students, retail partners, and departments during the transition time. The anticipated official opening date for Follett is Monday, April 26.

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