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Purchasing Guidelines

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Purchasing Guidelines

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A purchase order contract is legal document governed by the Law of Contracts and the Uniform Commercial Code of Law (UCC). It is a contract between Kean University and a supplier for goods and services; therefore, it is the only method of acquiring goods and services for the University. University terms and conditions are also part of all contracts.


Some suppliers require prepayment with a purchase order; therefore, the exact price should be determined before prepayment is requested. Follow the steps below to process a prepayment order:
   1. Send all order forms and invoices that will accompany the prepayment to University Purchasing.
   2. Write the requisition number on the documentation being sent. (The requisition number is the number automatically assigned to a requisition through the online Distributed Financials purchasing system.) Examples of pre-payments are: theater tickets, subscriptions, lectures, honorariums, consultants and memberships. 


University Purchasing issues bid specifications that will permit fair and equitable consideration from qualified suppliers. Specifications should be written as openly as possible to avoid the exclusion of potential bidders.

The nature of certain goods and services may make it difficult to formulate specifications. In such cases, the user department may specify a brand name, model number, or item catalog number and should include the words “or equal” as part of item specifications.

Any alternates offered by the low bidder as “equal” should be reviewed for acceptability by the ordering department and University Purchasing. If alternates are not acceptable, the department must give written justification for each alternate rejected. This written justification is retained in the bid file and shall be open to the public for review, if requested.


It is the mission of University Purchasing to provide fair and equal treatment to all suppliers involved in the procurement process.  All contracts for the purchase or lease of goods and services are awarded through competitive bidding or negotiation processes established by University Purchasing.

Kean University, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Commerce & Economic Growth Commission in Trenton has established a Small, Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, also known as an SBE, MBE and WBE respectively, procurement program in the State of New Jersey. The goal of this program is aimed at stimulating the growth of SBE's, MBE’s and WBE’s by encouraging their participation in all phases of the procurement activities at Kean University. The targets are to award 25% of the dollar value of contracts to eligible small, minority and female-owned businesses.

University Purchasing attends conferences and trade shows supported by Small, Minority and Women-owned businesses in order to explain the University's bidding process. Ordering departments are also encouraged to be aware of this commitment by Kean University and they are encouraged to utilize these suppliers when available.


University Purchasing maintains a list of qualified suppliers in most commodity areas and is responsible for selecting suppliers. User departments also may recommend suppliers; however, University Purchasing has the final authority to select the supplier for any purchase.

Pre-bid conferences or mandatory site-inspections may be conducted when it is apparent that because of the complexity of the request for goods or services, additional clarification is needed by suppliers.


University Purchasing will determine when competitive bids for goods or services are required by estimating the value of the request and by reviewing the specifications and delivery requirements. The guidelines are as follows:


If a requisition is $500 or more, the ordering department must provide a written quote from the supplier.


The University Purchasing buyer may solicit written bids, obtain telephone quotes or place orders immediately, depending on the competitive nature of the goods or services and the needs of the user department. This $33,300 amount is cumulative for a supplier during the fiscal year. A supplier cannot be used by the University once the threshold amount is reached.


The University Purchasing Buyer will obtain three or more competitive sealed bids.  These bids are opened and read at a public bid opening which may be attended by bidders and university personnel.

When the normal thirty-day bidding process period is not acceptable, or the product or service is unique or, the dollar amount exceeds $33,300, the user department may request a bid waiver, in writing, indicating the circumstances for the waiver request. Please print out the form from the website: Request for Waiver of Public Advertising and Bidding, fill it out and send to University Purchasing.

The bid waiver request is issued to the Director of University Purchasing and the Executive Vice President of Operations, University Legal Counsel then submitted to the Board of Trustees for review and approval. 

Request for Bid Waiver Form


A. A manufacturer, producer, or dealer, or a bona fide manufacturer’s agent, regularly employed on a salary or commission basis by one or more manufacturers.

B. One who has demonstrated sound judgment and integrity; showing a record of satisfactory performance and a financial status that will not present a risk to the University in its contractual relations.

If the Director of University Purchasing concludes that a bidder lacks the ability to ensure adequate performance, their bid may be rejected even though it is the lowest bid.

Kean University retains the right to reject bids when costs are over budget, when bids do not meet specifications, or when it is in the best interest of the University to do so.


A.  The goal of University Purchasing is to award contracts to responsible bidders who meet all bid specifications.
B.  Unsatisfactory supplier performance must be described in writing and forwarded immediately to the director of University Purchasing.
C. Suppliers that fail to perform to an acceptable level will be removed from the bidder’s list.
D. The final authority for supplier removal from the University bidder’s list remains with the Associate Vice President for Administration and Finance.


Placing a purchase order with an outside supplier without General Accounting approval and a university purchase order constitutes an unauthorized purchase. Payment to the supplier may be refused for unauthorized confirming requisitions. Repeated violations involving unauthorized purchases by the same department will be referred to the director of University Purchasing for resolution.

Purchases made with personal funds on behalf of the university are against university policy. Reimbursement to the individual may be denied or in cases where the goods or services could be purchased at a lower price, reimbursement may be limited to the lesser amount. Kean University is a tax-exempt institution; therefore, sales tax paid with personal funds will not be reimbursed.

For further information on Purchasing Guidelines and Procedures click the following link: Purchasing Guidelines


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