Bookstore gets new owners, but staff to remain

Photo illustration by Marco Lam / Castleton Spartan

A student peruses some items in the newly designed Castleton University book store.

Money. The whole world revolves around it. It’s the root of most decisions and controls virtually everyone’s lives.

Castleton University is not exempt from this, and the the recent change in ownership of the school store is an example. But it seems to be a positive change for everyone, students included.

Previously owned by the university itself, the store is now run by a company named Follett. This company has been around for over 140 years and operates nearly 1,200 stores across the continent, according to its website.

Scott Dikeman, dean of Administration, was part of the process to change the store’s ownership, a decision that has been contemplated for the past few years, h e said.

“It improves our situation financially. It will save the university a fair amount as well as bring in money,” Dikeman said.

But what about the prices?

According to Dikeman, they may even go down.

Students did you hear that? The prices of textbooks may be more affordable.

Before the change, Castleton was the only school in the Vermont State College system that did not run through Follett. And although there are some new faces in the store, all of the old ones remain.

“That was one of our conditions when we were negotiating with the company. All of the full-time staff be retained with no reduction. That they needed to be protected and taken care of,” Dikeman said.

Along with some new faces, this company brought in some new policies. All questions from student reporters must be run through the corporate office before any employees can answer anything about anything including new merchandise and what students and faculty can expect.

A call to the corporate office resulted in a 10-minute hold before being dropped all together.

Dikeman said he believes the switch will be a positive one for all.

“We as a university have a great relationship with Sodexo. We’re hoping Follett will be the same way. We’re just trying to make decisions that will be beneficial for both the students and faculty,” Dikeman said with a smile.

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