CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – For the past 80 years, University Book & Supply (UBS) has served and supported the University of Northern Iowa and the surrounding community from its convenient location on West 23rd Street. The store has long fulfilled the unofficial role of a one-stop shop for students, alumni and friends, with an inventory ranging from textbooks and course materials to licensed university apparel.
On Tuesday, Feb. 27, a new chapter begins for both UNI and UBS. The address won’t change and that same level of service and support will continue, but the university will officially acquire ownership of the store and reopen it as the UNI Bookstore.
The store’s private shareholders first approached the university in spring of last year about the prospect of UNI purchasing the store. While due diligence was required on both sides, the decision for the university ultimately came down to the impact on students.
“In this case, we saw that we could add value for students,” said Michael Hager, senior vice president of finance operations at UNI.
Hager explained that the UNI Bookstore will operate as a not-for-profit entity of the university, allowing them to maintain reasonable educational costs for students. The change of ownership will also allow the bookstore to be more tightly integrated with the university, enabling store employees to work closely with faculty members and coordinate with the orientation staff to better serve new students.
In terms of convenience, students will now be able to charge the cost of their textbooks and other materials to their U-bill and use their financial aid to cover it. Hager also said that there are plans to bolster the store’s selection of licensed logo wear, with an emphasis on providing quality merchandise at a variety of different price points.
“If you want a lower cost t-shirt, you can find it at the bookstore. If you want a higher quality Nike item, you can find it at the bookstore,” said Hager, describing his hopes for the bookstore. “We’ll have a broader range of materials that people can look at and purchase.
For more information about the UNI Bookstore, visit unibookstore.com.