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Bookstore General Manager

Apply now Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: Enrollment & Student Services

Position Title Bookstore General Manager
About the University

Western is located in Bellingham, a city with a population of over 80,000 in northwestern Washington, situated on a series of hills overlooking northern Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.  The metropolitan areas of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia are nearby (90 miles south and 55 miles north, respectively) and the Cascade Mountains are about one hour east of Bellingham.  WWU is one of six state-funded, four-year institutions of higher education in Washington.  It is the third largest institution of higher education in the state, enrolling approximately 15,000 full-time equivalent students.  Nearly one-third live in on-campus housing and an additional third live within one mile of campus. 

The University operates on a September to June academic year (quarter system) with six- and nine-week summer sessions.  A liberal arts program is required of all students.  Academic divisions at the University are the College of Business and Economics, College of Fine and Performing Arts, College of the Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Sciences & Technology, Fairhaven College (an interdisciplinary college), Huxley College of the Environment, Woodring College of Education, and the Graduate School.  Additional information may be found on the University’s website:

About the Department

As an independent bookstore, the Bookstore actively works to reduce the price of materials while maintaining a self-supporting operation.  In partnership with the AS, the Bookstore integrates feedback and recommendations regarding policies and services.  Annual net proceeds are shared with the AS for student programs.

Approximately 75% of the $5.7 million annual overall gross sales are related to course materials.  The Bookstore utilizes Sequoia, Banner, Verba and RedShelf software to facilitate textbook adoptions, sales and operations in conjunction with Canvas, the University’s Learning Management System.  The store is a resource to, and partners closely with, campus departments and faculty throughout the course material selection process to offer new and used materials, rentals, e-books, and digital and inclusive access.  The Bookstore currently has 14 staff and 39 student employees. 

The store is situated on WWU’s Bellingham campus and also serves distance learning and off-site programs, but has no satellite operations.  A renovation to the Student Union is underway joining the Bookstore to the new addition of a Multicultural Center.  The main entrance to the Bookstore will be integrated within the entrance of the Student Union.  The Bookstore is temporarily operating in a smaller space, and is projected to return to the newly renovated space in early Summer 2019.  Bookstore website:

The Bookstore is part of the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, which includes the following departments:  Academic Advising, Admissions, Athletics, Campus Recreation, Career Services, Counseling Health & Wellness, Disability Services, Financial Aid, New Student Services/Family Outreach, Registrar, Student Life, Student Outreach Services, University Residences and Dining Services, the Viking Union/Student Activities and Associated Students, and Veterans Services. 

The Bookstore and the Division of Enrollment and Student Services support Western’s mission to bring together individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive, student-centered university that develops the potential of learners and the well-being of communities. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

Division website:

About the Position

As our Bookstore General Manager you will be responsible for the strategic leadership and operations of the Western Associated Students (AS) Bookstore. The Bookstore supports the educational mission of the University by providing academic resource materials for students and faculty using a competitive model that strives to provide affordable course materials and accompanying academic support materials as well as art, school and office supplies.

The General Manager is responsible for facilitating and promoting the store as a resource for students and faculty.  Market analysis and strategic marketing of all store merchandise is a key priority for the General Manager in their role. The General Manager is responsible for implementation of new ideas and processes to strategically lead the Bookstore in a diverse and evolving market.  They will be expected to utilize industry best practices and metrics to improve performance.

You will create a team atmosphere among the staff and student employees, utilizing a collaborative management approach encouraging contributions from all employees toward organizational goals, and the employees’ growth and development.   The General Manager practices a strong and clear communication style that engages employees and allows for transparent decision-making, while ensuring that there are open and continuous feedback and assessment opportunities. 

See link to position description:  Bookstore General Manager

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in management of a retail operation including supervision of full-time staff at the scope of Assistant Manager level or higher
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, organize, motivate, develop, recognize, and set goals for staff in a collaborative team environment and to lead personnel through change
  • Demonstrated well-rounded experiences working effectively in highly diverse and inclusive environments
  • Experience with POS, inventory management and social media integration with a demonstrated ability to evaluate and adopt new methods and technologies that drive results
  • Proven ability to forge positive, collaborative relationships with various constituencies, create a positive customer service environment, and to be responsive to a diverse set of needs within a campus community
  • Knowledge of current college store industry trends and market initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to collect & utilize relevant data and to analyze financial information for assessment & decision-making in order to achieve tangible results and measure progress toward goals
  • Strong oral and written communication skills with effective application in a leadership role
Preferred Qualifications
  • Business related bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or other relevant advanced certification
  • Three years of management experience within the college store or closely related industry  Management of a unit within a larger store is acceptable, but must include sufficient personnel supervision and similarly broad store leadership experience
  • Retail and/or college store industry training, development or industry certification Involvement in college store industry related professional organizations
  • Knowledge and experience in college or university course material acquisition and management including multiple formats, sourcing, price points and related issues
  • Experience with college store ERP software and associated online sales solutions
  • Skills and experience that demonstrates a proactive, creative, and market-responsive approach
Salary New hires typically start at $71,800 - $83,700 per year, commensurate with experience.  The full hiring range is $71,800 - $91,730.
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required to address, in detail, how your experience related to the position responsibilities meets the required and preferred qualifications.

Also include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Application review begins August 22, 2018; position is open until filled

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act").  It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus.  The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.  You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the office of the Vice President for enrollment and Student Services.  The report can be found at

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 495919
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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