Report to the Faculty Senate

From the Bookstore Committee

1997-1998 Annual Report

Committee Membership, 1997-98:

Steve Borgatti, Sociology [No longer a member of USC Faculty]

Christine Haff, Dept of Retailing [No longer a member of USC Faculty]

Cassandra Gissendanner, Thomas Cooper Library

L. Clifton Fuhrman, College of Pharmacy

Bonnie Drewniany, Journalism & Mass Communications

Keen Butterworth, English, Chair

New members to begin term in the Fall of 1998:

Jeanne Garance, French and Classics [appointed 18 March 1998]

Terry Wolfer, College of Social Work [appointed 18 March 1998]

Since we received no complaints from faculty or students during the Spring, Summer, or Fall of 1997, the committee did not meet during the fall. The Chair, however, met with Phil Anders to make arrangements for a telephone hot-line that would allow faculty to call the bookstore to determine information about texts: ISBNs, current edition numbers, authors' full names, exact titles, costs, publishers' U. S. and E-mail addresses, and so forth. A similar arrangement had been made the year before with Bruce Darner, of Follett, but Follett was replaced by Wallace before these arrangements could be implemented. Wallace has since followed up on the arrangements: the hotline is now in operation.

The relative quiet of the Fall term gave way to a noisy chaos in January. The Wallace management had failed to order and shelve many textbooks that had been requested by faculty for the Spring semester. Chair of Faculty Senate and Chair of the Bookstore Committee received numerous complaints from faculty and students concerning these deficiencies. The problems were also reported in both the Gamecock and State newspapers. During the uproar that followed, the Chair of the Bookstore Committee investigated the causes of the problems and later reported his findings to the Faculty Senate at its February meeting. Wallace promised to resolve the managerial problems that had caused the deficiencies and explained their plans to the Bookstore Committee Chair and to the Faculty Senate.

To help understand why such failures might occur [since off-campus bookstores had also failed to provide adequate texts] the Bookstore Committee performed a survey of all three major suppliers: the University Bookstore; the South Carolina Bookstore; and Addams Bookstore. We also consulted selected departments throughout the University to determine their procedures for ordering texts. The committee met twice to discuss the results of the survey. Since procedures of the bookstores and the departments varied widely, we decided that a standardized university-wide procedure would be nearly impossible--and undesirable. The best solution was for the Bookstore Committee and departments to maintain amicable liaison with the three bookstores. Such a liaison is already being established by the University Bookstore: their textbook manager has begun to meet with representatives from selected departments, and plans to meet with all departments during the coming year.

Since Christine Haff has left the University, her position should be filled by a new appointment by Chair of Faculty Senate.

The Committee elected Cassandra Gissendanner Chair of the Bookstore Committee for the academic year, 1998-1999.

This page updated 25 August 1998 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.