VES Prof. Attacks Coop Purchasing

A Harvard professor lashed out at the Coop yesterday and suggested that professors look into other ways to order texts.

John R. Stilgoe, Orchard professor in the history of landscape development, said a small publisher told him they will not ship his order of 40 books since the Coop "is on credit hold."

"This is really crummy," Stilgoe said. "This is a required text...If the Coop isn't paying its bills, this could destroy confidence in placing textbook orders with the Coop."

"I've had trouble ordering books for a couple of years, but this is a real insight. I'd just as soon have another firm handle textbooks," Stilgoe said.

But officials at the Coop and at David R. Godeen Publisher, Inc., the publishing company involved, said that the delay is not a cause for broader concern.


"Basically we pay our bills when we get them. Occasionally we'll come across a situation where a publisher will call us to put us on credit hold, and we'll straighten it out with a few phone calls," said Jeremiah P. Murphy '73, president of the Coop.

And Judy A. Burns, credit manager at David Godeen, said that credit hold status is not usually indicative of a serious credit problem.

"It's just a matter of bringing things up to date," Burns said.

But Stilgoe said that a letter he received from Godeen made the situation seem more serious.

"The bad news is that the Harvard Coop is on credit hold, an action we take only in the most desperate cases," Publisher Gooden said in the letter.

"I have called them and alerted them to the order and their status, but being the Harvard Coop I doubt they'll do anything about it," the letter said.