User Guide for Suppliers


The University of Chicago is a private, not for profit institution of higher learning and research. It includes the undergraduate college divisions, six graduate professional schools, the library, the Center for Continuing Studies and the University of Chicago Press.

Procurement Services strives to assimilate knowledge and experience, both within and outside of the University, on the materials or equipment to be purchased and the sources from which they may be obtained. It is our goal to conduct all activities in the best interest of the University, while simultaneously creating and maintaining quality relationships with our suppliers. Providing these services, in accordance with sound business and procurement practices, Procurement Services seeks to realize for the University the maximum value for every dollar expended. To achieve this objective, Procurement Services has the following responsibilities:

  • Procuring goods and services for the academic and nonacademic departments and divisions of the University;
  • Assisting user departments in every step of the direct procurement process, especially in providing pricing, product and vendor information;
  • Evaluating market developments and University buying trends;
  • Securing competitive bids, when appropriate;
  • Developing information regarding sources of supply to ensure that user departments have an adequate number of vendors from which to obtain supplies, equipment, and services;
  • Developing long-term buyer/seller relationships; and
  • Encourage and develop W/MBE participation at all levels of procurement.

Non Solicitation Policy of the University of Chicago

Any solicitation of contributions, donations, gifts, gratuities, revenue or value commitments to the University shall be made and managed by the University Office of Development and Alumni Relations. No employee is to engage in or negotiate for such solicitations without the specific authority of the Board of Trustees, the President, the Provost and the CFO. No employee of the University shall allow for contributions, donations, gifts, gratuities, favors, tangible benefits, revenue or any other commitments of significant value to the University or to any employee personally to influence any business transaction decision in information gathering, recommendation to procure or engage services, or support, by favorable or unfavorable recommendation, the products or services of any supplier.

Code of Conduct

The University of Chicago policy, prohibits employees from accepting commissions, rebates, gifts, entertainment or other nonmonetary favors which could influence business decisions. No employee shall be financially interested, or have any beneficial personal interest, directly or indirectly, in any firm furnishing products to the University.

We endorse and subscribe to the principles and codes of ethics advocated by the National Association of Educational Buyers (NAEB) and National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM).

What You May Expect From Us

To be honest and ethical with you at all times.
To keep competition fair.
To receive a prompt and courteous interview.
To listen with an open mind.
To provide information which may assist you in developing mutually advantageous alternatives.
To request special or rush services only when absolutely essential.

What We Expect of Our Suppliers

To deal fairly and honestly with The University of Chicago.
To offer suggestions of alternatives which may improve or reduce the cost of goods and services being purchased.
To inform us of changes in economic or market conditions that might affect our purchasing decisions.
To quote your best price on your first quotation and stand on that basis unless there is evidence of error.
To deliver material only under contract, purchase order, University procurement card from Procurement Services, or other designated procurement centers as referenced by this guide.
To fulfill the terms and conditions of a contract.
To responsively provide delivery only as specified.
Only designated procurement centers initiate, conduct, and conclude negotiations for purchases, prices, terms, and delivery of goods and services for the operation of The University of Chicago. Competitive quotations are sought on items costing more than $10,000.00. Prices on an item or service are requested from a minimum of two bidders.

Vendor Database

Procurement Services maintains a list of prospective suppliers interested in competing for various types of business opportunities. Suppliers are encouraged to visit our office and provide information or share expertise about their products.

Removal From the Vendor Database

A supplier may be removed from the database list if the supplier fails to respond to a Request for Quotation or other solicitation on consecutive procurements of similar items. When a supplier desires not to respond, the Request for Quotation should be returned indicating “No Bid” and a brief statement as to why the supplier is unable to respond. This brief statement provides the mechanism for the buyer to determine if the proper supplier was selected and to maintain suppliers on the appropriate bid list.

Additionally, suppliers may be removed from the bidder’s list for failure to perform in accordance with Purchase Order contract provisions.

Unauthorized Sales or Deliveries

Suppliers are cautioned not to accept orders for goods and services, and not to deliver products without a Purchase Order.

The University’s policy concerning financial commitments provides that no individual shall enter into purchases, or in any way obligate the University of Chicago to a procurement indebtedness, unless specifically authorized to do so by an authorized agent of Procurement Services, Local Business Centers or Procurement Centers. Any such obligations are considered unauthorized purchases.

Suggestions Welcome

The University welcomes suggestions on an improved product, technology, or application.

Invoice and Payments

Render invoices for each purchase order. All items on the invoice must match with item numbers shown on the purchase order. Terms, F.O.B. point, and purchase order number must be referenced on the invoice. If the name of supplier on the invoice will be other than that shown on the face of the purchase order, both names must be indicated on the invoice. Failure to do this can result in return of invoice to supplier.

Mail invoice(s) and statements to:
The University of Chicago
P.O. Box 1017
South Bend, IN 46624

Tax Status
The University of Chicago is exempt from state and federal taxes.

Business Hours
Business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday except holidays. Appointments are required.