The NIU Board of Trustees approved a plan at its special meeting on Aug. 26, to contract with RR Donnelley for the university’s printing needs.
One of the nation’s largest printers, RR Donnelley already handles many largescale printing jobs for NIU. The company successfully works with colleges and universities across the country and has established a reputation for offering a wide variety of high-quality printing products while providing outstanding service.
“We are confident that Donnelley can meet many of our printing needs more efficiently,” said NIU Chief Information Officer Matt Parks “We view this as an important step in modernizing the types of products and services we can utilize.”
The print shop has been an important part of campus for its 70-plus years of operations. However, the need for those services has steadily declined over the years, particularly over the last 18 months when circumstances compelled a greater reliance on digital student resources, tests and forms. Currently the print shop handles about 7,500 projects a year, but the majority of jobs these days are for fewer than 100 pieces – many of which can be completed using printers located throughout campus.
Declining utilization of the shop, along with aging equipment, which was expected to require a significant investment in the years ahead to maintain or replace, were factors in the decision to look for an outside partner.
The decision to contract with Donnelley is in line with the university’s recent history of seeking out successful partnerships with industry leaders to provide services that are not directly related to the university’s core mission of educating students. Other examples include recent agreements with Follett to run the university bookstore and with Northwestern Medicine to provide campus health care services.
The contract with Donnelley will take effect this fall and will compel the elimination of the Document and Print Management department at the end of the calendar year. Until that time, employees of the department will work with existing clients across campus to help them transition to electronic documents, better utilize other printing resources on campus or establish a relationship with RR Donnelley for their printing needs.
“We understand that there will be a period of adjustment as we make this transition, and our staff will work to help all of our existing clients find the best possible solution,” said Parks.