Purchasing Policy and Procedures


This purchasing policy is intended to provide for the procurement of goods and services necessary to support the mission, goals and objectives of Willamette University, while ensuring that University resources are protected, that their use is optimized, and that the requirements of the sponsoring agency are met for sponsored research procurements.


This policy applies regardless of the funding source. In purchases using sponsored program or restricted discretionary funds, the terms of the grant, contract, or donor's limitations may be more restrictive than the University's policy. In purchases where these limitations are less restrictive, the University's policy will apply. Departments may, at their discretion, impose greater but not less control required by this policy.

Policy Statement

Willamette University will procure all goods and services on the best terms and at the lowest overall cost consistent with an appropriate level of quality. Acquisition will be without favoritism and on a competitive basis, whenever practical, to obtain maximum value for each dollar expended.

Restricted Purchases

The following items should be purchased through and with the approval of the Designated Authority listed below. Any potential exception should be worked out with the Department's Vice President or Dean and the Designated Authority.

Item Description

Designated Authority


Computer & Network Hardware, Software, Audio-Visual Equipment, and Telephone Equipment


To ensure that the purchase is compatible with other University software and equipment and meets pre-established minimum hardware configuration and quality requirements.



To ensure University standards and controls are maintained.


Document Management

To ensure that environmental and sustainable requirements and goals are met

Willamette Logo Items


To ensure that University standards are met and that the use of the University logo is appropriate.

Mobile Devices


To ensure proper management and distribution of University provided mobile devices.

Required Approvals

Purchases must be approved by a Willamette University employee who has direct knowledge of, and responsibility for, the transaction. Each Vice President, Dean, and Department Chair has responsibility for defining and delegating approval authority for expenditure of funds, subject to the limitation of their authority and approved budgets. Approval authority is defined and delegated through the completion of an Account Authorization Form. Delegation of approval or signature authority does not relieve the Vice President, Dean, and Department Chair of responsibility for ensuring compliance with University purchasing policies and procedures or any other regulatory constraints and/or requirements. Purchases must not be approved unless adequate funds are available within the identified funding source.

Conflicts of Interest

Any actual or perceived conflict of interest by either the person initiating the procurement of goods or services or by the individual approving the request must be disclosed to the Vice President & Executive Assistant to the President prior to a commitment to procure goods or services. This includes, but is not limited to, any circumstance which may provide financial gain to the Willamette University employee or a member of his or her family or household or to a business partner.

All employees involved in the purchasing of goods and services should review the Conflict of Interest statements in their corresponding employee handbooks annually and ensure that they are in compliance.


University purchasers should solicit bids for goods and services whenever it is to the benefit of the University to do so. The bidding process helps to ensure that Willamette University receives quality goods and services at the best price and terms. It is strongly encouraged that a minimum of three documented bids be obtained for all purchases totaling $25,000 or more. The exceptions to this requirement are for purchases from sole or single source vendors. Specific sponsored contracts/grants may require bids or justification for sole or single source for lesser amounts.


Sole Source Vendor - no other sources, other than the one recommended are available.

Single Source Vendor - the item may be available from multiple vendors, but only the requested vendor is acceptable for technical or other reasons.

Small Business, Minority, and Women Vendors

The University is committed to promoting opportunities for small business, minority and women owned vendors, whenever possible. Recipients of Federal awards should follow the guidelines outlined in OMB Circular A-110 to further this goal.

Equipment Leases

In certain circumstances, leasing equipment may be preferable to purchasing it. University Purchasing, under the Vice President of Administrative Services, can assist departments with a lease/buy analysis.

Leases are legal contracts and as such should only be entered after serious consideration and consultation with University Purchasing. Any lease should comply with Willamette University's Contract Approval Policy.

Research Procurement

In accordance with Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200), Willamette University is delaying implementation of the new procurement requirements until June 1, 2017. The university will continue to comply with the procurement standards in the OMB circulars until that time.

Research equipment may be purchased only when equipment is essential to a research project and is not reasonably available and accessible elsewhere on campus.

Purchases from research funds for supplies, equipment, and services must be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award. For specific requirements, see the Federal Acquisition Regulations, OMB Circular A-21, OMB Circular A-110, and the appropriate agency and individual contract/grant terms.

A completed Vendor Selection Form is required for purchases with a single-item cost greater than $5,000.

For purchases over $25,000 (in aggregate) from a particular vendor, the vendor must be verified as eligible to receive federal funds through the System for Award Management (SAM) (https://www.sam.gov/) before the order is placed. Any sub-award recipient selected to receive over $25,000 in federal funds would also need to be verified as eligible.

Contact the Grant & Restricted Fund Administrator for guidelines and additional information and requirements.


University Purchasing

Kindra Jordan
Coordinator of Purchasing & Travel

(503) 370-6659


Finance & Accounting

Jamie Hart
Grant & Restricted Fund Administrator

(503) 370-6119


Office of Faculty Research & Resources (OFFRR)

Kendra Mingo
Associate Director

(503) 370-6617


POLICY TITLE: Purchasing Policy and Procedures
DATE ISSUED: May 25, 2011
ACCOUNTABLE DEPT: Finance & Accounting