More than just one breath: Exploring how three universities evaluated whether to outsource their campus bookstores
Researchers have noted the limited amount of scholarly explorations of the practice of outsourcing administrative services in higher education. This dissertation seeks to add to the body of literature pertaining to the subject by examining the experiences of three universities that grappled with the decision. Using a qualitative approach and a case study methodology, this research analyzes the evaluation processes of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Brown University (Brown), and Arizona State University (ASU) as each institution sought to outsource its campus bookstore—statistically one of the most frequently outsourced non-academic operations in colleges and universities.
At the heart of the research is the exploration of six primary decision factors that commonly characterize the evaluation processes of outsourcing in colleges and universities: financial, human resources; mission and culture; management control; service quality; and legal or ethical considerations (Goldstein, Kempner, & Rush, 1993). The universities under study arrived at different decisions as a result of their respective evaluations—Penn entered into a contractual relationship with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, Inc.; ASU assigned management of its campus store to Follett Higher Education Group; and Brown, after an extensive examination of outsourcing as an option, ultimately decided to keep its campus store under the institution's own auspices rather than entering into a relationship with a private provider. These three stories offer fmdings that may serve as a helpful reference to higher education decision makers, stakeholders and other researchers interested in the subject of privatizing college and university administrative services.
0680: Health education