As higher education evolves, the role of the campus bookstore has become even more important. Campus stores must continue to manage the traditional business while also transitioning to keep pace with changes in higher education. Russell Markman, Barnes & Noble College Vice President for Campus Relations, recently presented on the future of the college bookstore at the 2013 NACAS West Annual Conference, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The three-day meeting, designed to help members make the “connections that count,” was held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and was presented by the West Region of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS).
The 2013 Annual Meeting, entitled Some Vegas, All Business, united leaders of ancillary services organizations from around the globe for collaboration and the sharing of best practices in the service of higher education. This year’s keynote was given by Kevin Kruger, President and Associate Executive Director of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Kruger stressed the importance of relationship building between student affairs, campus auxiliaries and faculty members.
Markman, who co-presented an educational session on the future of college bookstores, explored the effects of online courses and digital textbooks on faculty, students, administrators, and campus stores. Emphasizing the fast-changing times in higher education and course material delivery, he advocated for strategic partnerships between universities and bookstore providers as the “most effective way to manage the present state of change and prepare for even greater future developments.”
A dedication to work closely with campus partners is the driving factor in shared success. Acting as a strong advocate for an institution’s academic mission creates an exceptional experience for students, faculty, alumni and the community at large. By working together, bookstores and the colleges they serve can capitalize on new opportunities to expand the school’s brand while also cementing the bookstore as a key social and academic ally on campus. With rapid shifts in retail trends, cutting-edge technologies, changing consumer behavior and more, the bookstore can provide students and faculty a retail and academic experience that drives loyalty and valuable revenue for its school.
Barnes & Noble College hosted a reception for attendees in the UNLV Bookstore on the final day of the summit. The reception afforded NACAS West members the opportunity to tour the store and see, first hand, the results of a successful 28-year partnership with UNLV. Barnes & Noble College, honored as NACAS West’s 2013 Business Partner of the Year, was pleased to welcome attendees for an enjoyable conclusion to the Annual Conference. Noting the positive response and social atmosphere of the reception, Markman stated, “It’s truly a pleasure to share our home on campus with the NACAS West community. To focus on our newly formed and enduring relationships, and celebrate our camaraderie seems a fitting end to such a successful conference.”
Founded in 1969, NACAS is the largest auxiliary services support organization serving higher education. With members from colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Lebanon, Qatar and Australia, NACAS offers extensive opportunities for members to “share ideas, develop business solutions, enhance programs and revenues, and develop meaningful professional relationships.” U.S. members of NACAS West include institutions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The West Region also incorporates international territories, such as Australia, Canada, Guam and New Zealand.