University of Southern Indiana

Purchasing Policies


Procurement Services of the University of Southern Indiana  is the central purchasing agency of the University. Procurement Services has the sole authority to order supplies, materials and equipment and obligate the University for contractual services. Without definite and particular permission of Procurement Services, no University department may order directly by computer, email, letter, telephone, fax or in any other manner. The University will assume no obligations, except on a previously issued and duly authorized purchase order.

Procurement Services, in conducting its business and discharging its responsibilities, is guided by three primary objectives:

  • To consider the objectives and policies of the University as well as the particular requirements and objectives of the department.
  • To obtain maximum ultimate value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • To make sure that all qualified, competitive bidders be given equal consideration and opportunity to quote on the University's requirements.

Since Procurement Services is charged with the responsibility of obtaining maximum value for each dollar spent, it has the prerogative of  selecting the vendor. Such selection may not be arbitrary, but shall be an objective decision based on knowledge of the market gained through competitive bidding. It is the policy of Procurement Services, where all things are equal, to give first preference to MWBE (Minority and Women owned businesses) vendors, then to local vendors and finally to Indiana vendors.

As a basic buying tool, the use of competitive quotation requests is to secure the lowest and best pricing available, to survey the market, to foster a competitive climate and to provide a traceable audit record.

The following guideline is offered not as a fixed limit, but rather to enable the buyer to make sound and consistent judgments compatible with the goals of the department:

There are two ways to process University purchases:

  1. Use BuyUSI
  •          Utilize BuyUSI for all Catalog Vendors. These include:


Henry Schein
B & H Photo Matrix Integration
CDW  Pocket Nurse
Dell  Porter Paint
Fastenal  Pro-Tex-All
Gov Connention  The Home Depot
Grainger VWR
Graybar WESCO
Guy Brown

  • Utilize BuyUSI for all vendors who do not accept the P-card

  • Utilize BuyUSI for Direct Payment requests as an Accounts Payable Payment order type

  • Utilize BuyUSI for Construction, Furniture and printing orders

2.  Use P-card

Purchase of items that total less than $500 (unless a catalog vendor exists, then you must use BuyUSI)
Memberships / Subscriptions / Dues
Academic Testing
Academic Acceditation Fees
Non-Travel Dining / Restaurants
Gift Cards

Quote Thresholds:

Catalog vendor purchases:

Under $10,000:
catalog serves as the quote

Over $10,000:
Requires 3 quotes or a sole source form

Non-Catalog vendor purchases: (those using a Banner vendor)

Under $10,000:
at least one quote

Over $10,000:
Requires 3 quotes or a sole source form

It will be generally permitted and sometimes required to purchase from a vendor which has negotiated a contract for its products with the University, state or federal government, the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service or with other Group Purchasing Organizations. State purchasing policies currently exclude Universities from specific rules and regulations as it pertains to the procurement of items except for public works projects. Public works projects follow specific procedures as outlined in Indiana Code. The above guidelines for request for bids or quotations have been established by Business Affairs, but the procurement decisions are vested with the Director of Procurement by the Vice President for Business Affairs or designee who may choose to waive the guidelines and formalities based upon situations and circumstances for the procurement of all items needed by the University, except as they pertain to public works.

Public Works Projects

Any Public Works projects over $150,000 must be advertised two times and must have a public bid opening.

The amount required for a bid bond, performance bond and legal contract is $150,000.

If the project is under $150,000, it does not need to be advertised and does not require a public bid opening.


Emergency Exception

When an emergency arises which could not be reasonably foreseen, and health, welfare or safety requires immediate action and the project is estimates to be in excess of $25,000,  Procurement Services may contract for a project without advertising for bids if quotes are obtained from at least two (2) persons or firms known to deal in the work required to be done.  Such action should be recorded with the Board of Trustees at its next meeting, along with the names of the parties invited to quote on the project.


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