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How to Purchase

Purchasing rule of thumb: Always do the paperwork first.

With very few exceptions the purchase of goods and services on behalf of the University requires that a purchase order be done prior to the purchase being made unless you are using a University Purchasing Card. The purchase order or purchase order number is to be given to the vendor so that number can be referenced on the invoice.

Purchases of more than $5000 should be made by obtaining competitive quotes. Purchasing can assist you with that process.

Basic Purchasing Procedures

  1. Department identifies need
  2. Vendor and best pricing is found (Purchasing is happy to help with this)
  3. Initiator places requisition for a purchase order.
  4. Purchasing creates purchase order and places order with vendor or returns purchase order to department for them to give the vendor the PO number.
  5. Vendor delivers goods or services.
  6. Department accepts merchandise or service in PORC.
  7. Vendor submits invoice referencing purchase order.
  8. Accounts payable pays vendor
Office Supplies

We have contract pricing with Office Depot. Items may be ordered on the Office Depot Business Services website by using a department purchasing card.

In order to do this, you must be set up as an end user. Please request a user ID through Purchasing. You may also take advantage of our contract at the Office Depot retail stores. Our contract and tax exemption will load when your purchasing card is run through on the purchase.

If you do not have a purchasing card, you can have your initiator issue a requisition for the items and the order will be placed by Purchasing for delivery to your department. 


Our paper supplier is Western-BRW. Cases of 8 ½ x 11 copy paper can be purchased via purchase order, please contact Purchasing for pricing.


Technology purchase requests may be initiated by school or departmental administrators, through the approved school or departmental initiator. Technology purchase requests should address needs identified in the department's Strategic & Operational Plan and be approved for purchase based on priorities established by your Vice President and ICT.

Hardware items should be purchased per standards outlined on the Technology Hardware Standards page. The vendors for these items are as follows:

Desktop computers
Dell Marketing
Laptop computers
Dell Marketing
Other items
Call Purchasing for vendor

A requisition should be created based on the pricing shown on the ICT website and forwarded to your budget officer AND the CIO for approval. The requisition initiator must indicate the location where the item is to be installed, who will be the primary user of the item, the purpose for the purchase in the "Comments" section of the requisition.

The GL section should be left blank and the requisition should be left in unfinished status. ICT will take care of completing the requisition once the purchase has been approved.

Once the purchase is approved, a purchase order will be created and the item ordered by Purchasing. Upon the items arrival, a work order will be created by ICT to deliver/install the merchandise in the appropriate location.

Nonstandard items must go through an extensive approval process and will only be approved/supported if the hardware or software items are essential to the fulfillment of a department's role and mission. ICT is available for consultation for those particular needs.

Nonstandard purchases for academic areas must be approved through the Academic Technology department. Nonstandard purchases for administrative areas must be approved through ICT and the appropriate Vice President.

Once a nonstandard item has been approved for use, the standard purchasing process outlined above should be followed. Purchasing will be happy to work with you on the best vendor to supply the approved nonstandard item.

Technology purchases are not allowed on the purchasing card.



UPS is our urgent shipping provider of choice. We participate in a consortium contract that provides discounted rates well below what any other service offers. Please contact Purchasing for instructions on creating a user account so you can create your own shipping documents.

Please note that this account can be used when shipping through our mailroom but also at UPS store locations as long as our account number is on the shipping documents. 

Students may also take advantage of these rates by shipping their packages through the mailroom. 


We currently have a shredding program in place with Expanco.  They come to campus every eight weeks to perform secure, onsite shredding and will issue a certificate of destruction the same day.  

Please contact Purchasing for more information about joining the program.


University departments wishing to purchase office furniture should consult with Purchasing to make sure that the furniture is suitable for commercial use in the area it will be placed. We will be happy to suggest vendors that not only have proper furniture, but have pricing available based on our consortium contracts.

If you need space planning assistance, both of our preferred furniture dealers have people that can assist you with such planning.

All classroom furniture purchases should be requested through the Provost's office for funding and to ensure that standards are met for this furniture type.


Business Cards

Business cards are ordered through ComarkDirect. The website link goes to the site where you are to input the information for your business cards. Once you have completed filling in the form and have submitted, you will receive an email confirmation. Please proof this information carefully and if it is correct, have your initiator process a requisition to ComarkDirect. After the requisition is approved, we will turn it into a purchase order and release the order to production.

Contact Purchasing for the user ID and password and instructions for the website.

Standard Letterhead and Envelopes

Standard letterhead and envelopes can be obtained in the Mailroom.

Multi-part Forms

We have two or three vendors from which we routinely source multi-part forms. Please contact Purchasing with your requirements and we will be happy to obtain a quote through these vendors. Please note that the cost is significantly reduced if you have the form available to be transmitted to the vendor electronically. Once your department has approved a quote, a requisition should be done and we will forward the purchase order to the selected vendor.

Departmental Letterhead and Envelopes & Specialized Printing 

The Office of Marketing and Communications can assist you with obtaining quotes and selecting vendors for the production of departmental letterhead and envelopes as well as flyers, invitations, posters and other specialized printing needs. Upon approval of a quote, a requisition should be done to the selected vendor for the purpose of creating a purchase order. The purchase order number should be given to the vendor prior to release of the order for delivery.

Office Signage and Name Badges

Our preferred vendor is The Mulholland Company. You will need to create a requisition and include a line item for each type of name badge/sign that you need. The description should specify the item, size and color. Please note that magnetic name badges will be the type of name badge ordered unless otherwise directed.

Please contact Purchasing for item and pricing details.


Rental Car Information

Enterprise and National

Please contact Purchasing for details on our rental car discounts.

Contract Purchasing

All purchases requiring a signed contract must go through a review process through the Purchasing department and must be signed ONLY by those employees authorized to sign via Board Authority (through the Vice President of Finance and Administration).

Contracts will be reviewed for Terms and Conditions that might be contrary to University policies for governing authority, liability acceptance, and various other terms that might be unfavorable to the University. If the purchase or lease for goods or services is of a complicated nature it may be forwarded for further legal review.

Any items of concern that are found will be forwarded to the requesting department to address with their vendor. Once an agreement has been arrived at that meets our policies, the contract will be forwarded for the appropriate signature. After the appropriate signature has been obtained, the signed original will be forward to the vendor and a copy sent to Purchasing.

The contract will be logged into the Purchasing contract database and a file created and maintained in Purchasing. Any amendments to the contract must be forwarded to Purchasing so that the contract file is complete.

Any contract signed must be tied to a purchase order or a blanket purchase order for payments that are to be made within the current fiscal year. Multi-year contracts must be encumbered by a new purchase order or blanket purchase order at the beginning of each fiscal year so that funds can properly be encumbered for these contractual agreements.

Contract Signature Authority

Professional services and consulting agreements for their area that terminate within 12 months or less:

  • Sr. Vice President, Provost
  • Vice President for Advancement
  • Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services

Purchasing agreements tied to a purchase order:

  • Director of Purchasing

All other contracts related to the purchase or lease of goods and services:

  • Chief Financial Officer (currently the VP for Finance and Administration)