Some workers upset over plans for cosmetic counter

Sunday, March 10, 2002

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Some employees of Southwest Missouri State University are upset with plans to spend more than $100,000 to build and manage a cosmetics counter at the school's bookstore.

One employee, Concha N. Marbut, executive secretary in the College of Continuing Education, said she will urge other employees not to buy the Clinique makeup and facial products that will be sold at when the counter opens for business next month.

"Many of the staff can't afford it," she said. Not buying "will be a natural reaction."

An $87,000 counter will be built in the bookstore, and a manager will be paid about $28,000 a year.

Cliff Davis, assistant to the vice president for student affairs, said no state tax money will be used in the Clinique project. He said the bookstore is completely dependent on the revenue it generates to stay in business.

About $600,000 in bookstore revenue will be given to the university this year, he said, to be used for scholarships, salaries and other expenses.

Davis said the school and cosmetics company have been talking about bringing a counter to the bookstore for three years. Similar counters operate in bookstores at the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas.

"This is an investment. We plan on recouping that money but we expect the first year to be lean. We have to create a market," Davis said.

Marbut and others said they wanted to see the money paid for the counter and manager used for immediate needs such as books, scholarships and building repairs.

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