Purchasing

The Purchasing Office exists to insure informed purchasing decisions are made and to improve procurement effectiveness by providing purchasing expertise and advice to University departments.

The office is organized and administered as a centralized purchasing function reporting to the Vice President for Accounting and Treasury Management.

Centralized purchasing is a system of purchasing in which the authority, responsibility and control of purchasing activities is concentrated in one administrative unit.

As a private institution, the University is governed by the laws and regulations that pertain to purchasing in higher education as established by the University President and the University's Board of Trustees.

Centralized purchasing provides the checks and balances that are necessary to ensure that goods and services are purchased within such laws and regulations, from responsible sources and at the best possible prices.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Purchasing Department accomplishes its mission by carrying out its duties and responsibilities through:

  • Obtaining bids to realize maximum value from the expenditure of University funds in the purchase of materials and services.
  • Coordinating the purchase of materials and services for all functions of the University.
  • Providing value added services to the University by constantly striving to find new and better products, sources of supply, and better ways of meeting the needs of the using departments.
  • Maintaining liaisons with the vendors that service the University.
  • Developing University purchasing standards based upon value analysis, economies of scale, total acquisition costs, and budget limitations.
  • Assisting University departments in locating substitute materials in cases of emergencies, material shortages, strikes, or other external circumstances.
  • Protecting the University against unfair or unethical trade practices and unrealistic or exorbitant price increases.
  • Expediting, when requested and warranted, the delivery of goods and services.
  • Maintaining the master vendor and commodity list.
  • Directing the accounting, transfer, trade, and/or sale of University property assets.
  • To support the academic, administrative, and operational activities of the University by locating competitive sources of quality goods and services which meet the University's high standards.
  • To negotiate favorable terms, conditions and pricing, and to arrange for delivery when and where needed.
  • To monitor supplier compliance with purchase order contracts and resolve discrepancies.
  • To contribute to the financial wellness of the University by practicing careful and diligent management of purchases and assets through the active participation in planning and implementation of sound financial and ethical decisions.

Welcome to the Roger Williams University Procurement Card (“P-Card”) program provided to us by US Bank. The P-Card provides an extremely efficient and effective method of purchasing goods and paying for legitimate business-related expenses incurred by University faculty and staff

The P-Card is a purchasing tool that offers an alternative to the existing procurement processes and is primarily designed to replace purchase orders and check requests for expenses with a value of $2,500 or less. The P-Card concept is designed to delegate authority and to give users the capability to quickly and conveniently purchase approved commodities directly from vendors that accept Visa. However, the program is not intended to avoid or bypass the appropriate procurement or payment procedures in place.  Rather, the program complements the existing processes available.

To obtain a P-card, please complete the request form and forward it to Kathy Kanterman, Director of Purchasing. The application must be submitted by the applicant's manager to indicate their approval to issue the P-card.

P-card Policy
P-card Request Form
US Bank P-card Cycle Calendar
P-card Missing Receipt Form

The use of official University, school and departmental stationery communicates your message in a professional manner and helps to promote the image of the University. This stationery is produced through an outside vendor and should be ordered well before you run out. Typical delivery time is a week to 10 days.

If you have any questions or problems placing an order, please contact Kathryn Kanterman at kkanterman@rwu.edu.

To place an order for Stationary, Envelopes, and / or Business Cards – Please log into your WB Mason account online, click the link that say “PRINTING” in the upper right-hand corner, and follow the prompts.  If you require assistance, please contact Emily Seelig at emily.seelig@wbmason.com

Please note: Names and personal contact information are no longer being printed on stationery. Only school or departmental information should be submitted.

The University's suppliers are a valuable resource of information on products and services.

Although the Purchasing Office should be your first resource, there will be times when it is recommended that departments speak directly with selected supplier representatives. They can often help clarify what products or services will best meet the needs of the end user.

To help end users in dealing with supplier representatives, the Purchasing Office suggests the following guidelines:

  • Advise the Purchasing Office in advance. The purchasing staff can help by providing information on qualified suppliers.
  • Contact more than one qualified supplier whenever possible.
  • Give equal information to all suppliers, so each has an equal opportunity to make acceptable recommendations. Never give a supplier any information on budget allocations, or any information provided by a competing supplier.
  • Discuss all aspects of the need. Use a life cycle approach, i.e. what happens after the department owns the goods? Using departments should consider installation, maintenance, supplies, training, repairs, etc.
  • Guard against overreaction to a supplier created crisis. For instance, "The price is going up after the first of the month"; "This is the last one in stock and I can't guarantee it won't be sold" or, "I need a purchase order to insure we schedule production".
  • Do not appear to agree to prices and terms. The purchasing staff needs an opportunity to negotiate a fair price.
  • Do not appear to commit the University by telling a salesperson that they have the order. Only a signed purchase order can commit the University.

Never accept payments or gifts from suppliers.

Offers tendered by unsolicited telephone calls should never be considered. Such items have been found to be overpriced and of poor quality.

Contact

Purchasing Office
Fax: (401) 254-3468

Staff

Kanterman, Kathryn
Director of Purchasing
Ext. 3531
kkanterman@rwu.edu

Gagliardi, Christina
Purchasing Assistant
Ext: 3734
cgagliardi@rwu.edu