Monday, April 30, 2012

[418] MTSU Selects Follett to Manage Phillips Bookstore

For release:  April 26, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
Second MTSU contact: Name Name, 615-xxx-xxxx or
Follett Higher Education Group contact: Elio DiStaola, 800-323-4506 or

MTSU selects Follett to manage Phillips Bookstore

MURFREESBORO — Follett Higher Education Group of Oak Brook, Ill., has been selected to manage operations of MTSU’s Phillips Bookstore, which will be relocating to the new Student Union this summer. The takeover is effective May 9.

John Cothern, senior vice president in the Division of Business and Finance, and Kathy Crisp, assistant vice president for Administrative and Business Services at the University, made the announcement.

A selection committee consisting of administrators, faculty and students chose Follett as their partner through an extensive evaluation process. Follett was identified as the company that had the technology, experience and resources to best serve MTSU and its greater community.

“Many changes have and are taking place in the college textbook and bookstore service industry,” Cothern said. “It is important for MTSU to be in the best position it can be in order to provide the most up-to-date textbook and course materials service that our students demand and need.”

“We are pleased that Follett Higher Education Group is joining our team,” Cothern added. “They bring an expertise to our campus that will enable us to enhance the level of bookstore service and support needed by our students as they prepare for their professional careers. This change is part of our continued efforts to position MTSU for the future.”

Follett has committed to providing first-class service to MTSU students, faculty and staff by offering a variety of affordable choices maximizing access to the materials and supplies necessary for student success, Elio DiStaolo, director of public and campus relations for Follett, said.

In addition to Rent-A-Text, a robust textbook rental program that saves students 50 percent or more compared to new, Follett also offers smarter digital textbooks with their cloud-based CafeScribe digital platform. These cost-saving options can be explored both in-store and online through a link on MTSU’s website to, the nation’s largest textbook portal.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors to the new Phillips Bookstore can rely on a dedicated bookstore team, comprised of familiar faces, to help navigate these options. Jeff Whitwell will remain director and textbook manager.

To ensure a seamless transition, all current Phillips Bookstore associates have been invited to remain and will be provided additional training development opportunities specifically designed to enhance each associate’s retail and customer-service skills.

In this transition, Phillips Bookstore will be moving to the first floor of the new Student Union building after decades in Keathley University Center. With relocating, the new store layout accommodates space for expanded products and services.

The new location also positions the bookstore near other central campus resources, including dining areas, retail outlets and meeting rooms.

“We are excited to be serving Middle Tennessee State University,” said Thomas Christopher, president of Follett Higher Education Group. “We’ll bring our best to the community — using all of our resources, best-in-class technology and our newest product offerings to provide a retail operation that will only enhance the MTSU campus.”  


About MTSU

Middle Tennessee State University, founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training and located in Murfreesboro on its 500-plus acre campus, enters its second century of higher education with the largest undergraduate student population in Tennessee. With a total enrollment of 26,412 students in fall 2011, MTSU offers nearly 150 programs — including aerospace, concrete industry, business, recording industry and nursing — in nine colleges and 37 departments within the university. MTSU is home to 12 centers, three centers of excellence, 10 chairs of excellence and two endowed chairs.

About Follett Higher Education Group

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Follett Higher Education Group is the leading provider of bookstore services and the foremost supplier of used books in North America. Follett services five million students and more than 400,000 faculty members through 930-plus stores. Follett also services more than 1,600 independent campus stores with its wholesale services, and has the most visited ecommerce collegiate website,, that provides services and products through its network of campus stores.

            The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized MTSU for its outstanding curricular engagement, community outreach and partnerships. As MTSU celebrates its 100th anniversary, Pride, Tradition and Excellence are the cornerstones of "Tennessee’s Best"!

For MTSU news and information anytime, visit

No comments: