A note from Brad Ives, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises

The University issued a “Request for Proposals,” or RFP, on January 11, 2016, to invite outside companies to submit proposals for management of the operations of UNC Student Stores under a time-limited arrangement with the University.  Responses to the RFP are due on February 18.  Respondents will have the opportunity make presentations about their bids after responses are submitted.

Bids and presentations will be reviewed by an Advisory Committee that will be appointed by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Enterprises.  The Advisory Committee will have two representatives from the Employee Forum as well as student, faculty and administration members.

No decision has been made on whether outsourcing is best for UNC Student Stores. The University will make a determination on whether to outsource UNC Student Stores by spring 2016. If a decision is made to outsource, a transfer of operations would occur sometime in early July 2016.

More information about the RFP process can be found on the Campus Enterprises website at:  http://fa.unc.edu/enterprises/student-stores-outsourcing/

A note from the editor: The Employee Forum has been working with Finance and Administration to provide input on the Request For Proposals document, and we expect to be represented on the committee that will be responsible for reviewing proposals. We will provide updates as we receive new information. 

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2 Responses to “Ives provides update on Student Stores RFP process”

  1. Arlene Sandoval

    I am hoping that the decision will be to NOT outsource UNC’s Student Stores!

  2. Sara Malone

    Thank you for this information. I’m glad that the Employee Forum is directly involved in the monitoring of the RFP process and acting on behalf of the fair representation of the permanent employees who may lose their jobs under any form of privatization plan with an outside entity. It concerns me that the administration continues to appear to fault the current Student Stores staff for the decline in their monetary support of scholarships since 2006 without recognizing and acknowledging both the effect of the Great Recession on the economy generally and on retail sales specifically throughout the US and the excellent job that the UNC Student Stores did to continue to generate a profit each year of at least $400,000 in spite of the recession and the drain on the Store’s cash flow from revenues caused by the required payment of the outstanding debt service of $800,000 each year from their current year proceeds. Why is this debt service requirement never mentioned? Who’s going to pay it if the Stores are privatized? And why did UNC administrators force John Gorsuch into early retirement (I’m glad he quickly got a new position at Duke)? Why was he forced out and silenced to boot? I hope someone–perhaps the representatives from the Employee Forum–will be able to ask and get answers to these questions and concerns because the attitude and actions of the administration thus far are troubling and not conducive to confidence in their underlying motivations and intensions. Are the current administrators going to stick around to take the blame if any privatization scheme they should pursue doesn’t work out? Why are we wasting time trying to fix something that really is not broken (the Student Stores) instead of actually working on something else that could help the University grow in the future, like renewing the effort and attention needed that will make something like Carolina North a reality? Grabbing short-term, low-hanging fruit may look good on a resume but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a better future in the longer term for Carolina. And, since the Perkins Loan program has been reinstated by the Federal government, slightly modified, the whole scholarship problem excuse for selling out the Student Stores is no longer as supportable, is it? So many questions–so few answers. Please keep us informed. Thanks!

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