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Reducing the Prices of textbooks: A Project Proposal

Team Textbooks: Julia Stevenson Megan Hockens Kristiana Sigmon

Submitted to: Professor Michelle Manning University of North Carolina at Wilmington

March 23, 2012


Introductory Summary The University of North Carolina Wilmington’s textbook system has been an issue for students in the past. They have complained about the price of textbooks, having to wait for textbooks, and many other various issues that have occurred through the UNCW textbook system. Students at UNCW want a new textbook system that is more affordable and more organized so that students feel better about using the on-campus bookstore instead of an alternative resource for their textbooks. Team Textbooks has a genuine concern for the remodeling of the current UNCW oncampus bookstore textbook system. During the next few months, Team Textbooks will be researching textbook systems from other universities and trying to find one that will fit UNCW the best. Team Textbooks’ goal is to have a finalized system by the end of the semester so that the system may be implemented by the next school year. This proposal will highlight UNCW’s on-campus textbook system problems, Team Textbooks’ proposed solutions, and the execution of those solutions. In addition, our contact information, assigned deadlines, and designated tasks will be further discussed.

Problem: Overwhelming Student Concern of Textbooks The main problem that students have with the current UNCW rental textbook system is the price. Students are aware that renting textbooks are cheaper than purchasing a new or used textbook, but they still feel that the price is too high for just a rental purpose. In response to our survey, students informed Team Textbooks that they “bought three to five books a semester,” paid “between $300 and $400 a semester,” and “used an online source” to purchase books. Students also commented that when re-selling textbooks back to the on-campus bookstore that they, “receive between $25 and $75” for all books. The second problem students have with the rental system is the complicated process required to obtain their textbooks. Books become sparse quickly and most students are unable to purchase their books on time for class. After purchasing the book on back order, students are required to wait an unspecified amount of time for their book, thus missing homework assignments. When books do arrive, students are not notified at all or are not notified until the end of the day.

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Solution: Create a New Rental System for UNCW After surveying six different classes and receiving 47 responses, we would like to create a new rental system at UNCW in response to the student concern of prices. The student responses, along with our own thoughts about the bookstore, fueled our motivations to research a new system for UNCW.By switching to a complete textbook rental system, student concern of textbook prices would be diminished. This new system would also help bring more business back to the on-campus bookstore for UNCW. We propose a flat rate that would be included into each semester’s tuition so that students are no longer paying out of pocket for their textbooks. The flat rate could be anywhere from $5.00 a credit hour to $200.00 each semester. Task 1: Meet with Ms. Stephanie Garay to get a better perspective on UNCW’s textbook system. Task 2: Create a proposal/ plan of action to explain how the flat rate would work for students and the on-campus bookstore. Task 3: Submit proposal/plan of action to Stephanie Garay for approval. Revise again if necessary. Task 4: Submit proposal/ plan of action to whoever would need to officially approve the new idea.

Task 1: Meet with Ms. Stephanie Garay to get a better perspective on UNCW’s system. The meeting will allow us to get a better understanding of UNCW’s current textbook system. During this meeting we can discuss with Ms. Garay our proposal of a new, complete rental system. This meeting will allow us to discover if the system is able to be implemented, and if so, how long it would take and who would need to approve of the system.

Task 2: Create a proposal/ plan of action to explain the flat rate. After meeting with Ms. Garay, we will create a proposal/ plan of action that will explain how the flat rate will work for UNCW and its students. The proposal/plan of action will also go into detail about how it has worked at other school systems to show that it is already in use and is very effective. The proposal/ plan of action will also include a strict return policy that will ensure the return of all rentals on time, or the student will be charged full-price to replace the rental. The proposal/ plan of action will also explain how the flat rate will increase business for the on-campus bookstore, thus eliminating any competition such as Chegg.com or Amazon.com.

Task 3: Submit proposal/ plan of action for Ms. Stephanie Garay’s approval. Revise again if necessary After delivering the proposal/ plan of action to Ms. Garay, we are prepared to revise the document and resubmit for approval.

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Task 4: Submit proposal/ plan of action to whoever would need to officially approve the new rental system. We will have revised the proposal/ plan of action and obtained Ms. Garay’s approval. At this time, we will submit the proposal/ plan of action to whoever would need to officially approve the new rental system. Hopefully, the new system will begin taking affect as soon as possible, before the 2012-2013 school year begins.

Management: Collaborating & Completing Tasks Now that we have explained the tasks that we will complete, we will now outline how to best manage the project. The following table includes the people in the group, their abilities, their roles in the project, and the deadlines that must be kept. Table 1. Contact Information for Project Participants Name Megan Hockens Julia Stevenson Kristiana Sigmon Michelle Manning Stephanie Garay

Phone (507) 696-1869 (336) 972-5854 (910) 391-1097 (910) 962-7426 (910) 962-3188

Email mnh3859@uncw.edu jms8143@uncw.edu kas3520@uncw.edu manningm@uncw.edu bksuncwilmington@bncollege.com

The members of our team possess a broad range of skills. The following is a list of our relevant qualifications.

Megan Hockens, Project Liaison   

Retail Merchandising and Management Major Great communication skills Pronounced time management skills

Julia Stevenson, Back-Up Liaison  

English Major Proficient computer skills  Good creativity skills

Kristiana Sigmon, Editing Coordinator  English Major  Strong library, research and editing skills  Excellent people skills

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Organization Responsibilities Our team divided the tasks based on the qualifications and interests of each member. Megan has experience in marketing along with excellent communication skills. Megan will be the main liaison for the project because she enjoys communicating with people. She will be the one to contact Ms. Manning and Stephanie Garay, the bookstore manager, when needed and schedule team meetings periodically throughout the semester. Each member will communicate through Megan with problems, concerns, issues, updates and project drafts to relay to Ms. Manning to ensure all information is correct. Julia has experience in event coordinating positions, and is pleasant and easy to work with. Due to her strong computer technology and editing skills, she will be in charge of creating graphs or tables, designing the layout of our work, and making our documents look appealing. Julia has also been titled as the back-up liaison to our project. Kristiana has a great discipline of editing practices and will be the editing coordinator for our team. Her extensive knowledge of library and research skills has provided her a background to complete our tasks with no problems. Kristiana will do in-depth research for information regarding our project. She will do all the final editing of our project.

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Meeting and Timeline The following graphic, Figure 1, is a basic overview of the timeline we are going to follow in order to complete the project. Aside from the critical dates, the chart is subject to change; however, it is an overall view of the team’s goals and expectations. In this chart, our team has divided up the workload to suit each member’s ability and expertise. Even though the project has been delegated among members, we still acknowledge that it is a group effort and will be actively helping each other.

Figure 1: Milestone Chart Showing Major Tasks and Timeline

Assess Needs

All

Compile Information

All- Individual

Bookstore Analysis

Megan

Create Drafts

All All- Individual

Research Systems

Revise

Julia Kristiana

Final Edit

14 16 21 23 28 30 2 7 9 14 16 21 23 28 30 4 6 11 13 18 ------February------ --------March ------------April----

Critical Date Feb. 20 Feb. 29 March 2 March 5 March 19 March 23

Assignment Preliminary Analysis Concepts and Plan of Action Post Due Preliminary Analysis Draft 1 Due Preliminary Analysis Draft 2 Due Preliminary Analysis Due Proposal Draft Due Proposal Due

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Conclusion Team Textbook is excited to be working on improving the UNCW textbook system. We all are enthusiastic in participating in lowering the price of textbooks for students like us and bringing back more business to the on-campus bookstore. We also have a strong belief in our abilities to complete this project well and on time. Our goal is to present this project to the UNCW bookstore in hopes that it will benefit them as well as the students for many years.

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Project Proposal