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The Tufts’ Purchasing Department is authorized to act on behalf of the University in all procurement matters.   Those individuals, who are authorized holders of a Tufts University Procurement Card or who are registered to use one of the University’s on-line ordering systems, hold such specifically defined job responsibilities in Operations, or are otherwise authorized by the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer to do so, may place orders for the University.   All other University employees are prohibited from committing University funds or acting as its agent in procurement matters.

The Tufts community should observe the following with regard to vendor relations:

  • Individuals who purchase goods or services on behalf of Tufts University must conduct business in a professional manner that is consistent with the goals of the University.
  • Qualified vendors must be given equal opportunity to compete for University business.
  • Individuals should strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • Demand honesty in sales representation, (whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of a product).
  • Make reasonable efforts to arrive at an equitable and mutually beneficial agreement that is in the best interests of the University when settling any controversy with a supplier. Procurement decisions must be made with integrity and objectively, free from any personal consideration or benefit.

* A vendor is any firm, corporation, company or individual with whom the University presently, formerly or potentially conducts business.


Questions & Answers

Question: A family friend is involved in the sale of an item that the University frequently purchases from another vendor. Could I ask the University to consider switching vendors?
 Answer: The Purchasing Department is always willing to consider adding vendors to its bid list.  You may feel free to submit this vendor’s name to the department for future consideration.  However, vendor selection and contract awards are the responsibility of the Purchasing Department.


A department has a need for a piece of equipment that is valued at $5,000 or more (capital equipment). Is it permissible to commit the University to purchasing the item from a certain company prior to obtaining the required bids?

 Answer: No.  Only the Purchasing Department is authorized to commit the University to the procurement of goods and services.  The University has set bid limits designed to keep the playing field fair and equitable, and the Purchasing Department is available to assist you in bidding and negotiating the best available terms and conditions to meet your needs and budget.


My department has an immediate need for some supplies that will enable research to continue. Should I place the order over the phone in order to expedite delivery?

 Answer: No.  Unless the order is placed using a valid purchase order number, P Card number, or one of the University’s on-line ordering systems, the University has no commitment to pay the bill, leaving the requisitioner potentially responsible for payment.  Contact the Purchasing Department to protect both the University and yourself.