Campus Mail costs increasing for first time in over decade


Joseph Abe-Bell

The University’s Document Services Building, located at 54 E. Gregory Drive in Champaign. Illini Union Document Services will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Friday by declaring June 1 as “Printing Day.”

By Madelyn Foster, Staff Writer

Beginning in January 2018, the cost of Campus Mail services will increase by 5 percent. This is the first price increase Campus Mail has seen in over ten years.

Campus Mail is state funded and became a part of the Document Services unit in 2011. The department as a whole has been open for almost a hundred years and will be celebrating its centennial next year. It is the only in-house print shop for the University.

According to an email sent to all University faculty and staff in the Aug. 6 E-Week notice, “Campus Mail handles outgoing first class, media, parcel and international mail and sells stamps. These services must be operated on a cost-recovery basis.”

Liz Bowden, Duplicating Services manager for Campus Mail and Document Services, said the Campus Mail price increase is not designed to make more money, but rather to ensure the costs associated with Campus Mail services are covered.

“Campus Mail customer prices have not increased in over ten years, and as we reevaluate costs the campus really wants us to make sure that we are covering all fronts, which means a 5 percent increase for Campus Mail prices,” Bowden said.

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As a department, Campus Mail has very few line items pertaining to the budget other than personnel, meters and miscellaneous supplies.

“You cannot make people mail things so Campus Mail has to be very cost effect and it has to recover its costs as best as possible so that we can continue to offer this service to the campus and to the campus offices that are a little bit outside of the campus district,” Bowden said.

Campus Mail handles interdepartmental mail or mail that is being transported from a department to the post office. It does not process incoming USPS mail or student packages.

“Students cannot really just come in and buy a stamp or send a package because this service is really just for campus units. We are not a post office,” Bowden said.

Those most affected by the Campus Mail price increase are the departments that have their mail metered and sent to the post office daily, said Bowden. The increase will not affect students.

“The increase will not be coming out of the student fee pool since the money that Campus Mail gets comes from the state. I know that with all of the increases in tuition and fees, students are way more aware of what their fees go towards, but this has nothing to do with that,” Bowden said.

There have been no formal complaints about the increase in Campus Mail prices since the notice was sent out.

“Most of our customers are pretty understanding and realize that as time goes on, prices increase so the costs of goods have to increase. It’s so very nominal that I cannot imagine that it would be that difficult,” Bowen said.

One of Campus Mail’s customers, UI Press, holds many accounts in the department.

According to an email from Laurie Matheson, Director of UI Press, “We don’t really have comments on this situation. We appreciate the services the Campus Mail center provides.”

Campus Mail has gone through many of its prices in an effort to be realistic about what they are paying in order to figure out what to charge for goods and services and how to minimize costs for customers.

“We have the price increase coming, but with that we are processing everything as economically as possible with our customers and the University campus in mind,” Bowden said.

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