In the face of the Great Recession a number of colleges and universities are raising tuition and making cuts to academic departments. At Brown University in Providence, R.I., even the bookstore has not been immune to early retirement offers and layoffs. As of June 30, Brown University Bookstore will have eliminated eight staffers, including senior buyer Peter Sevenair, who has been with the bookstore for more than 30 years.
According to Elizabeth Gentry, assistant v-p of financial & administrative services at Brown, “great care was given to evaluation of the bookstore, and it was determined the staffing was not organized to effectively meet our mission and operate to the fullest potential. In addition, as we did some comparison to similar sized bookstores and ascertained we were overstaffed.”
Cuts at the bookstore are part of the university’s overall efforts to close a $30 million projected shortfall for the coming academic year.