BOV Renews Bookstore, Food Service Contracts

Posted: May 28, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

At a special Board of Visitors (BOV) Executive Committee Meeting held Wednesday, members agreed to renew the university’s bookstore contract with Barnes and Noble and its food service contract with Sodexho. Both contracts, effective July 1, are for five years, with an option to sign a contract renewal, not to exceed five years, through June 30, 2014.

George Mason received proposals from the two major campus bookstore companies—Follett and Barnes and Noble-but the latter provided a higher projected return to the university, additional funds for renovations over the next five years, and a one-time signing bonus. In his presentation to the board, Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens also noted that since 1999—when Barnes and Noble first began operating the Bookstore—the percentage of used books available has increased from 10 to 22.

In the new contract, Barnes and Noble proposed new web site enhancements to allow online access to course and book information, text orders with either in-store or at-home delivery 24 hours a day, integration with the Banner Student system, and digital textbooks. The company is also working to counteract the increasing price of textbooks by ordering more used texts and breaking up packaged texts to sell the items individually.

Three companies submitted proposals for the Food Services contract: Sodexho, Aramark, and Chartwells. Sodexho promised the highest return to George Mason, and all 13 committee members who reviewed the proposals ranked Sodexho at the top. Sodexho proposed possible future dining options such as a Damon’s in SUB I and a Burger King and Subway or Quiznos in the Johnson Center. Sodexho will also address student concerns for more late-night food service and a new meal plan option in which students would receive 100 percent of the plan’s value.

Write to at