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Clarke University Partners with Akademos to Launch New Hybrid Bookstore Model

By Clarke News  |  February 3, 2020

Clarke University has partnered with Akademos to deploy a hybrid online and on-campus college bookstore beginning with the summer 2020 term. The university is on the forefront of a rising trend to separate the complex management of course materials from operating a campus store. As a leading online college bookstore and course materials solution provider, Akademos is well-positioned to support this forward-thinking new hybrid model.

Formerly fully self-operated, Clarke University’s hybrid bookstore will allow students to order and access a wide selection of low-cost textbooks and other course materials online. Textbook services will be managed by Akademos and allows for students to choose from new, used, eBook, and rental options, including discounted textbooks sold through third-party marketplaces. Textbooks and other materials will be delivered to a student’s residence, email, or to the physical store.

Clarke will continue to operate a campus store with a range of branded clothing and other popular merchandise. Akademos will  handle textbook adoptions, pricing, sales, and more, while Clarke campus store staff will be freed to market a mix of higher-margin merchandise, ultimately funneling greater profits into student programs.

“We decided to move to a hybrid bookstore model to give students more affordable textbook options and a seamless ordering process, while enabling us to improve the overall profitability of our retail operations,” said Beth McGrath, Vice President for Business and Finance. “After a thorough review process, Akademos stood out as the best partner for this win-win solution.”

Like thousands of institutionally-owned college and university stores throughout the United States, Clarke University’s self-operated bookstore has been burdened by increasingly complex requirements. From negotiating prices with multiple publishers, to navigating state textbook regulations, competing with online sellers, and managing custom course packs and digital materials, fast-evolving textbook services demands can strain staff and resources.

Akademos will handle the complexities of course materials management through a centralized online platform. Akademos will provide a web portal for faculty to research and adopt the books they want to use, submit course materials, create course packs, and even estimate the cost to students. Clarke students will have more options, with multiple formats, delivery options, and subscription-based materials available at 30 to 35 percent less cost than traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore providers.

“With more and more course materials going digital, the hybrid model is a future-proof strategy,” said Akademos CEO Raj Kaji. “Students gain greater savings and convenience and campus stores are freed to focus on products and services that provide for the best and highest use physically.”

For more information, contact the Whitlow Campus Store at (563)588-6307.

About Clarke University

Founded in 1843 by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clarke University is located near the Mississippi River in Dubuque, Iowa. The University believes learning is lifelong and life-changing. Our community inspires intellectual curiosity, cultural engagement, professional preparedness, spiritual exploration, and a commitment to contributing to the common good in a global society. Academic offerings include over 50 undergraduate majors and minors, 10 pre-professional programs, and six graduate degree programs.

About Akademos

Akademos provides higher education institutions with a full-service online platform to manage course materials, from monitoring adoptions and compliance to purchasing textbooks to measuring utilization. More than just an online bookstore, we give school administrators a single platform to streamline course adoptions and meet compliance regulations. For students, the platform simplifies the purchasing and access of materials through a personalized portal that connects with school SIS, LMS, and payment systems. Akademos gives colleges and universities a more transparent, convenient, and cost-effective solution to manage how course materials are used and measured, helping to improve textbook affordability and student success. Learn more at