Preferred Purchasing Methods

Purchase Order - University Purchase Orders (POs) can be created in BuySite, the University’s electronic purchasing application.  BuySite allows departments to make purchases from University authorized suppliers.

GEMS Card - The University's corporate credit card that works in conjunction with the web based expense management system. The card provides faculty and staff with a convenient method of procuring and paying for travel expenditures and small dollar purchases.

Check Request - The University uses the ePayment online application to issue Non-Purchase Order payments to suppliers for a select group of expense types that are not well suited for purchase orders or credit card payments.

Preferred Purchasing method is listed with a "P"; acceptable alternative methods are listed with an "X." Click the commodity to view the Supplier Contract Announcements.

Good or Service          PO GEMS Check Request Notes
Advertising P X   Refer to Policy 1013 for guidance on accounting for Advertising
Animals P      
Apparel P      
Athletic Goods and Services P      
Audio Visual P      
Awards and Prizes (Cash Equivalent)     P Not allowed for employees
Books / Subscriptions X P    
Business Meals   P   Includes Grocery Purchases for an event
Capital Equipment Purchases P     Refer to Policy 1004.1 for capital equipment accounting guidance
Catering X P    
Construction / Renovation / Operations Contact Facilities Services
Consultants / Professional Services P      
Donations     P Refer to Policy 1206 regarding gifts to Not-for-Profit organizations
Events and Entertainment Event/Meeting Guidelines

Hotel Room Block/Facility Rental 


Tents / Staging / Lighting 


Sporting Event 

Food and Beverage Services X P    
Furniture P P   Per State of Illinois - all new/reupholstered furniture purchases must comply with Fire Resistive Rating Policy, following instructions of Procedure 13.31.  Forward a copy of the Fire Resistive Rating Policy to the Supplier prior to releasing your purchase order.
Gifts (Non-Cash)     P

Refer to Policy 1206 regarding gifts to Not-for-Profit organizations.

Refer to Policy 1211 regarding gifts to employees.

Honoraria     P Refer to the Honorarium Payments website for guidance
Human Resources

Benefits (Medical/Dental)

      Contact Human Resources

Employment Agency / Training Firms

P X    

Executive Recruiting

P     Human Resources Talent Acquisition

Background Checks

      HR coordinates centrally using General Information Services, Inc. (GIS)
Human Test Subjects     P Refer to the Human/Research Subjects website for guidance
Information Technology If not available through BuySite, contact PPS ( for more information.




Industrial Supplies P      
Lab Supplies P      
Legal Fees P     Refer to Policy 1215 regarding Retention of Outside Legal Counsel
Mail Service P      
Office Machines Contact IT Services Support @ 4-TECH (773-834-8324) /
Office Supplies P X    
Printing P X    
Professional Development Refer to Policy 1209 regarding Membership Fees and Dues
License Feesarrow   P X  
Conference Feesarrow   P X  
Membership Feesarrow   P X  
Promotional/Logo Items P      
Relocation Expenses Refer to guidance on the Payroll website regarding Moving Expenses
Non Employeearrow P X    
Employeearrow       Contact payroll
Rent/Lease Payments     P Refer to Policy 1213 regarding the leasing of real estate.
Repairs (Service/Maintenance) P X    
Royalties     P  
Scholarships / Fellowships / Stipends     P  
Security / Alarms / Access Control P      
Speakers / Honorariums     P  
Taxes     P  
Telecommunications Contact IT Services at links provided below
Analog / VOIParrow       voice-telecommunications
Wireless Phones & Service Providersarrow       cellular-phone-services
Car Sharearrow   P   Enterprise CarShare
Charters / Shuttlesarrow P X   Compass Transportation (formerly AI Bus Service)
First Student
First Transit
Free Enterprise System
Infinity Transportation Management LLC Odyssey Transportation LLC
Parking / Tollsarrow   P    
Taxicabs / Limousines / Liveryarrow X P   Livery Rate Sheet
Travel News Flash-Breaking Travel News
Airfare / Car Rental / Lodgingarrow   P    
Individual Travel Mealsarrow   P    
Passport and Visa Servicesarrow   P    
Travel Agencyarrow   P    
Utilities X X P