A popular new service for students has been suspended for the spring semester at the University of Colorado at Boulder Book Store, due to issues raised about possible unfair competitive advantage over outside book stores.
Last fall, in response to student and parent requests, the CU Book Store arranged for textbook purchases to be included on the students' main university bill, along with tuition, fees and housing.
Questions have been raised about whether such a service represents an unfair advantage by the university's book store over private-sector enterprises. Until the issues can be resolved, the university has suspended the service, according to Pamela Mills, director of the CU Bookstore.
"We pride ourselves on listening to student and parent requests and the response to this new service last fall was overwhelmingly positive," Mills said. "However, we understand that the issues must be resolved before we can reinstate the service. Despite this setback, the store stands ready to help students make the most of their academic careers at CU-Boulder."
The CU Book Store is owned and operated by the university with the "express purpose of serving its students, faculty and staff," Mills said. "We will do everything possible to fulfill that purpose."
Pete Barden, vice chancellor for administration, said the university will continue to explore ways of improving service to students. "We believe that student-centered services are always appropriate and do not constitute an unfair competitive advantage over private enterprise. In fact, CU works hard to anticipate and provide services that meet student needs."
Barden said he does not know at this time whether the university will be able to reinstate the textbook purchase program.
Regular hours for the CU Book Store, located in the University Memorial Center, are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.