The University of Chicago

Financial Services


Preferred Purchasing Methods

Purchase Order - The University has two (2) methods to request and create a purchase order, BuySite or the paper Purchase Request Form 100. The BuySite order is created by the department in the University's electronic purchasing application and allows the department to make purchases from University authorized suppliers. The Form 100 is generally used to create standing orders or when requesting a contract review.

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. Visit the GEMS site for more information.

Check Request - A Non-Purchase Order payment method used for limited goods or services. The ePayment Request system and Direct Payment Vouchers (DPV) are the most commonly used examples. Visit the Check Request/ePayment website for more information.

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. Click here for a printable version of the Preferred Purchasing Methods.                                                             
Advertising arrows P X   Refer to Policy 1013 for guidance on accounting for Advertising
Animals arrow P      
Apparel (lab coats/uniforms) arrow P      
Athletic Goods and Servicesarrow P      
Audio Visual arrow P      
Awards and Prizes (Cash Equivalent) arrow     P Not allowed for employees
Books / Subscriptions arrow X P    
Business Meals arrow   P   Includes Grocery Purchases for an event
Capital Equipment Purchases arrow P     Refer to Policy 1004.1 for capital equipment accounting guidance
Catering arrow X P    
Construction / Renovation / Operations arrow       Contact Facilities Services
Consultants / Professional Services arrow P      
Donations arrow     P Refer to Policy 1206 regarding gifts to Not-for-Profit organizations
Events and Entertainment arrow       Event/Meeting Guidelines
Hotel Room Block/Facility Rental   P    
Tents / Staging / Lighting P      
Sporting Event   P    
Food and Beverage Services arrow X P    
Furniture arrow 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) arrow     P Refer to Policy 1206 regarding gifts to Not-for-Profit organizations
Refer to Policy 1211 regarding gifts to employees
Honoraria arrow     P Refer to the Honorarium Payments website for guidance
Human Resources arrow        
Benefits (Medical/Dental)        Contact Human Resources
Employment Agency / Training Firms P X    
Executive Recruitment P     Human Resources Talent Acquisition
Background Checks       HR coordinates centrally using General Information Services, Inc. (GIS)
Human Test Subjects arrow     P Refer to the Human/Research Subjects website for guidance 
Information Technology arrow       If not available through BuySite, contact PPS ( for more information.
Computers/Software P      
Maintenance/Support P      
Industrial Suppliesarrow P      
Lab Supplies arrow P      
Legal Fees arrow P     Refer to Policy 1215 regarding Retention of Outside Legal Counsel
Mail Service arrow P      
Office Machines arrow      

Contact IT Services Support @ 4-TECH (773-834-8324) /

Office Supplies arrow P X    
Printing arrow P X    
Professional Development arrow       Refer to Policy 1209 regarding Membership Fees and Dues
License Fees   P X  
Conference Fees   P X  
Membership Fees   P X  
Promotional/Logo Items arrow P      
Relocation Expenses arrow       Refer to guidance on the Payroll website regarding Moving Expenses
Non Employee P X    
Employee   X P  
Rent/Lease Payments arrow     P Refer to Policy 1213 regarding the leasing of real estate. 
Repairs (Service/Maintenance) arrow P X    
Royalties arrow     P  
Scholarships / Fellowships / Stipends arrow     P  
Security / Alarms / Access Control arrow P      
Speakers / Honorariums arrow     P  
Taxes arrow     P  
Telecommunications arrow       Contact IT Services at links provided below 
Analog / VOIP      


Wireless Phones & Service Providers      


Transportation arrow        
Car Share   P   Enterprise CarShare
Charters / Shuttles P X    
Parking / Tolls   P    
Taxicabs / Limousines / Livery X P    Livery Rate Sheet
Travel arrow       News Flash-Breaking Travel News 
Airfare / Car Rental / Lodging   P    
Individual Travel Meals   P    
Passport and Visa Services   P    
Travel Agency   P    
Utilities arrow X X P