Don't Forget Supplier Diversity

Supplier diversity programs are in place in many campus procurement departments at both large and small, public and private institutions, in order to encourage buying from a wide variety of suppliers, including small suppliers and businesses owned by people from demographic groups that have been historically discriminated against.

At the City University of New York (CUNY), for example, the university has an overall 30 percent MWBE (minority- and women-owned business enterprises) participation goal and 6 percent SDVOB (service-disabled veteran owned businesses) participation goal. Every CUNY campus (senior colleges, community colleges, honors and professional schools) is required to make a good faith effort to achieve the university’s MWBE and SDVOB goal.

At the University of Washington in Seattle, Purchasing Services is committed to ensuring that minority-owned, women-owned, small, disadvantaged, HUB Zone (historically underutilized business zones), veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran owned businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in purchasing and contracting at the university of Washington.

Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH, states a long-term objective to attain 15 percent of its annual volume in Tier I minority- and woman-owned spend.

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, is known as one of the premier supplier diversity programs in higher education in the U.S. The university has received numerous awards for its work to develop a diverse supplier base and to increase the contracts awarded to Indiana women and minority businesses. Information on Purdue’s commitment and processes can be explored at www.purdue.edu/supplierdiversity.

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of College Planning & Management.

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