Purchasing involves the procurement of goods and services that meet community needs at the lowest possible cost consistent with the quality needed for the proper operation of the various departments. In general, purchases should be handled in a manner that creates the greatest ultimate value per dollar expended.

The Purchasing Department is responsible for assisting with purchasing for the College by providing the community with “best procurement practice” guidelines; maintaining College procurement systems, and communicating the purchasing policies and procedures of the College. Operating within the guidelines described in this document, authorized department representatives may initiate purchases with funds available in their approved budgets.

1. Conduct all purchasing in accordance with College policy as outlined in this guide and the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Code of Ethics.

2. Stimulate competitive bidding and provide interested vendors with an opportunity to offer their products to the College.

3. Strive to maintain strong and enduring relationships with vendors of proven ability and desire to meet our needs. To accomplish this, our purchasing activities will be conducted so that vendors will value our business and make every effort to furnish our requirements on the basis of quality, service and price.

4. All bidders must be afforded equal opportunities to quote and are to compete on equal terms.

5. Employees must not become obligated to any supplier. No member of the staff of the Purchasing Department or College employee shall receive any benefit or profit from any contract or purchase made by the College.

6. The Purchasing Department shall not knowingly issue a purchase order when there is evidence of a conflict of interest.

7. There must be funds available in the departmental budget before considering any purchase.

8. Employees are not allowed to make purchases with College funds for personal use.

Methods of Procurement

  1. Carleton Purchasing Card (VISA) – employees authorized to purchase on behalf of the college are issued a Carleton Purchasing Card to create an efficient and convenient method of procurement and payment.  This is the primary method of procurement and payment.
  2. Supplier Invoice Request (SIR) – payment may be authorized directly from the vendor invoice for goods and/or services received.
  3. Create Requisition – used to obtain a purchase order through WorkDay.  Purchase orders should be used for the purchase of services that need contract terms and conditions that are attached to a purchase order.  Purchase orders are required for all construction contracts and large equipment (over $10,000).

Use preferred vendors whenever possible see Vendor Contracts for additional information.

Only individuals with purchasing authority may initiate purchases on behalf of the College.  Refer to the Purchasing Authorization Guide for details.

  1. Purchasing Card

    College employees may be granted the privilege of using a Carleton Purchasing Card to make business-related purchases.  Cardholders are required to retain original detailed receipts, reconcile transactions monthly, manage account codes, and provide the business purpose of each transaction.  New cardholders are required to complete the following forms:

    Purchasing Card Application
    Purchasing Card Agreement 

    Authorized cardholders must complete training and sign the cardholder agreement, abiding by the code of ethics, anti-kickback clause and conflict of interest statement. 

    Cardholder Responsibilities

    The cardholder agreement stipulates that the cardholder:

    • has attended the required purchasing card training
    • is aware of and understands card policies and procedures
    • is held accountable for all transactions made using his or her card(s), including those cards delegated to other employees or graduate students
    • is responsible for the timely reconcilement of his or her card(s)
    • is responsible for returning his or her card(s) upon termination, suspension or leave of absence
    • may not purchase any personal items with his or her card
    • may not transfer his or her physical card(s) or card responsibility to any other individual.
    • should use preferred suppliers if at all possible for negotiated purchases, using good judgment for purchases outside of the card process
    • is responsible for reporting lost or stolen cards immediately to Wells Fargo.                                           

    Overview of the Card Program

    Using a Carleton purchasing card closely resembles using one’s personal credit card, except that use is restricted to business-related purchases. Each cardholder is required to keep the card secure and is encouraged to use it for every possible college-related purchase.

    Each purchasing card has been set with spending limits, account distribution and account parameters. Transactions on each card default to a specified department number which can be modified upon request. Cardholders are responsible for assuring that their transactions are charged to the correct department and expense code.

    Cardholders may use the card to place an order in person at the supplier site, on a secure site on the internet, over the phone or by fax.

    Carleton College is a tax-exempt organization. The college’s Minnesota sales tax-exempt identification number has been labeled on each card. The cardholder must give this number to all suppliers at the time of any transaction to exempt payment for Minnesota state sales tax. In the event sales tax is billed to the cardholder’s account, it should be rectified directly with the supplier.  The cardholder is liable for sales tax they approve for which Carleton is exempt.  A copy of the Carleton ST3 exemption is always available on the Business Office’s webpage.

    Purchasing cards are not transferable. If someone’s card use is to be discontinued, their supervisor must contact the Business Office immediately to close their account. Immediately report name changes for a particular cardholder to the college card coordinator so files may be updated and an updated card issued.

    Using another employee’s purchasing card is not in accordance with the conditions set forth in this policy. 

    The following individuals are not permitted to have a card:

    • courtesy employees (who do not receive a college paycheck)
    • employees who have had a card previously revoked. (An employee may regain card use only at the request of their department card coordinator, following review by the Program Administrator.)
    • employees not authorized as cardholders by department administration
    • untrained employees or employees who have not signed and returned the cardholder agreement form, code of ethics and conflict of interest statement
    • employees on personal leave of absence or on sabbatical for more than six months. (Returning nine-month faculty members and those employees planning to return following sabbaticals of six months or less are permitted to retain and use their cards.)
    • non-employees, including consultants
    • suspended employees

    Card Delegation

    College cardholders, upon approval from the Program Administrator, may authorize use of their card to any other college employee. This is not a transfer. The card remains in the employee’s name, not that of the person delegated; any misuse of the card is the responsibility of the employee. However, the college reserves the right to initiate disciplinary action against a delegated cardholder in the case of misuse, as detailed in the section of this policy on Misuse of the Purchasing Card.

    Ultimately, the employee who delegates the card is always responsible for all transactions on his or her card and must sign the monthly cardholder statement.

    Card Security

    Only authorized cardholders (including delegated users) may use the card. It is the responsibility of every cardholder to safeguard cards and card numbers against use by unauthorized individuals within or outside the college.

    Lost/Stolen Cards

    Immediately upon discovering that a card has been lost or stolen, a cardholder must report this by phone directly to Wells Fargo (1-800-932-0036) and to the college primary program administrator (x5992). In an emergency, a card will be reissued within two days for a minimal fee to the department. Otherwise the card will be replaced within 5-7 days, at no cost.  The college’s liability per cardholder is limited to the established restrictions on that particular card. Any charge against the card before it has been reported lost or stolen are the responsibility of the cardholder’s department, which will be appropriately charged.


    The Fraud Department of Wells Fargo (800-289-3557) will contact the Business Office if they see any suspicious or unusual activity on your card.  The card will be placed on a temporary security hold and a Program Administrator will contact the cardholder to verify the validity of the charges.


    Within 60 days of the transaction date, a cardholder may dispute a charge that appears on his or her monthly purchasing card statement. If the cardholder does not recognize a charge or it appears to be incorrect, he or she should attempt to work directly with the supplier for resolution. In the event resolution is not made, the cardholder must dispute the charge through the Wells Fargo CCER site.

    When Wells Fargo has completed the investigation, the cardholder will be notified of the resolution. If the dispute is not settled in the cardholder’s favor, the account will be charged for the disputed transaction amount.

    To return an item, the cardholder should contact the supplier of the item for information on how to do a return. Following the supplier’s procedures, the item should be returned directly from the cardholder to the supplier and payment adjustment should be agreed upon at that time. Should a discrepancy in charges occur, the cardholder should note the charge as a discrepancy in the reconciliation process and follow the proper procedures for disputing a charge above.

    Misuse of the Purchasing Card

    Liabilities of the card remain with the college, rather than the cardholder, for all transactions made in compliance with this purchasing procedures and policy document.

    Using a purchasing card, the following transactions are currently prohibited:

    • personal purchases and use of Carleton earned frequent buyer points from group travel or student travel for personal purchases
    • computer equipment unless with the consent of ITS
    • purchases of furniture unless with the consent of Facilities
    • personal expressions of gratitude/sympathy in the form of flowers, gifts, birthday cakes, etc.
    • cell phones
    • gift cards and/or gift certificates
    • use of card to buy fuel for personal vehicle

    Individuals given purchasing card access by their departments are held accountable for all the transactions related to their card(s), including those transactions made with cards they have delegated to another. Consequences for misuse of the purchasing card are serious.

    Misuse of the card can be either personal or administrative. Personal misuse includes, but is not limited to: using the purchasing card for personal (i.e., non-college-related) purchases; use of the purchasing card by a suspended or terminated employee; allowing an unauthorized person to use the card (see the section on Card Delegation for the correct procedure to allow another employee to use your card).

    Administrative misuse includes, but is not limited to: lack of proper reconciliation of the cardholder account (see the section on Reconcilements below); card use in direct violation of the purchasing card policies and procedures contained in this document (e.g., neglecting to use the card for commodities available through preferred suppliers; neglecting to perform monthly reviews).

    When appropriate, supervisors should attempt informal resolution by bringing the misuse, and consequences of further misuse, to the employee’s attention.

    If informal resolution is inappropriate or ineffective, the supervisor must contact the Program Administrator.  The following consequences of misuse have been established. Not all consequences will be applied to every violation; there are situations that may lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or termination of employment, without following all these steps. The primary program administrator reserves the right to use discretion in applying these guidelines, depending on the type and severity of the specific violation being addressed.

    1. A formal warning will be delivered to the cardholder by the primary program administrator. The cardholder’s immediate supervisor and department card coordinator will also be notified of the violation. In some cases, written notification of misuse may be included in the employee’s central personnel file. The reprimand will include a warning for possible card revocation pending further misuse.
    2. If violations continue after notification of misuse, card use will be revoked. The cardholder’s immediate supervisor, the department card coordinator and, in the case of staff, the employee’s personnel file will be notified. The employee may regain use of a college card only at the request of the department card coordinator and following review by the primary program administrator.
    3. Based on the severity of the misuse, the college can decide to initiate disciplinary action, up to and including possible termination and/or legal action.

    In addition, in the case of personal purchases repayment of the purchase by the cardholder to the college is required following resolution of the discrepancy. Repayment may be made by cash or check. Payment for this misuse must be made within 10 days following resolution, or appropriate disciplinary measures will ensue. It is the responsibility of the cardholder to ensure that repayment is made for personal items charged to a delegated card.


    Cardholders are individually responsible for monthly reconcilements of their purchasing card transactions on CCER, the Wells Fargo website. This website details transactions occurring in the current month, including the transaction date, supplier name, and the amount of the transaction. Review this information for accuracy, correct accounting codes, and add notes to document the business purpose of the transaction.  Any exceptions must be resolved on the website.

    The cardholder is responsible for all charges on his or her monthly statement, including resolution of charges in error. After final review is completed by the cardholder, all necessary original receipts and packing slips are attached to the printed statement form and signed by the cardholder. The statement and receipts are then forwarded directly to the Approver for their review and initials and then on to the primary program administrator.

    Monthly Review and Reporting Timeline

    1st – 31st  Transactions available for review on the web
    1st – 8th     Individual cardholder review and changes online; send initialed statement and receipts on to the second review person.   
    9th-12th     Second review person to review charges online and initial statement and receipts to be sent to Business Office.
    15th          Transactions downloaded into the college financial system.

    Record Keeping

    The cardholder is responsible for keeping all credit card slips, order acknowledgements, cash register receipts, hotel meal receipts, packing slips and other sales records related to any purchase using the card until reconciliation is done. This original documentation is then forwarded with the monthly reconciliation unless the cardholder needs it to resolve a disputed charge. Ultimately, all original documentation must be forwarded to the primary program administrator in the Business Office. Longer term record retention is managed by the Business Office.

    Cost Allocation

    Each card is tied to one specific account number. Cardholders are responsible for allocation of transactions to the appropriate account numbers.  Continued improper designations and/or neglect of proper card transaction allocations are considered  administrative misuse of the card. As such, appropriate action will be taken as detailed in the Misusing the Purchasing Card section of this policy.

    The cardholder is responsible for ensuring receipt of materials and services and for resolving with the supplier any delivery problems, discrepancies and damaged goods.

    Any packing slips, receipts, net zero invoices, along with the credit card statement, must be kept for reconciliation purposes. For telephone or catalog orders, complete shipping instructions must be given along with cardholder name and the desired delivery location (specific building name, room number, etc.). The cardholder should inform the supplier to include the sales receipt (detailing the exemption of taxes) with the package. Save the credit card receipt and shipping documentation, including packing slips, which will be needed for reconciliation.

    Renewal cards are sent out automatically by Visa a month before the expiration month. 

    If, for any reason, a cardholder wishes to cancel their card, the Program Administrator must notified and the card must be cut in half and disposed.

    The suspension or termination of a cardholder must be reported directly to the Program Administrator upon official notification of termination. The card should be destroyed and use will be eliminated at the termination date. In the case of termination, the cardholder is responsible for returning the card and for final reconciliation prior to separation.

    Audits will be performed periodically to randomly review and audit cardholder activity for compliance with college policy and procedures. Cardholders found not in compliance with these policies and procedures will be subject to those actions contained in the section of this policy on Misusing the Purchasing Card.

    Questions concerning this policy or for cardholder assistance, please contact:

    Nick Sahli, Primary Program Administrator, x5509

    Wells Fargo CCER Log in information available at-

  2. Vendor Payments

    Budget Authorization
    Supervisor or Division Head authorization is required for payment requests reimbursed through department funds.  The Budget Authorization Grid provides guidance on budget authorizations for cash disbursements and purchase order requests.  Accounts Payable will review payment requests to ensure that the appropriate budget authorizations are in place before invoices are paid 

    Submit itemized original invoices and/or receipts to Accounts Payable for payment.

    • Invoices and/or receipts received for payment must include proper authorization, a valid Carleton general ledger account number, including a vendor expense code.
    • Employee reimbursement requests, not utilizing Faculty PDA funds, require Supervisor or Division Head approval.
    • If the business purpose of the transaction is not clearly evident, please include a brief explanation.

    New Vendor Set-up
    Accounts Payable requires all vendors to have an IRS W-9 on file with the College.  The IRS W-9 confirms the vendor’s legal company name and taxpayer identification number.  Vendor payment will not be made without a W-9 on file. Use the Pilot W-9 Request Form to initiate a secure transfer of the vendor’s tax document.

    Vendors may now receive payment through ACH Direct Deposit, eliminating the need for a paper check.  Vendors who would like to receive ACH payments must fill out the Vendor ACH Authorization Form (along with a voided check) and return it to the Carleton College Business Office.

    Carleton College
    Attn:  Accounts Payable
    One North College Street
    Northfield, MN 55057

    Note:  A W-9 is not required for current students and employees, and prospective students.

  3. Payment Requests

    Payment Requests
    The Business Office processes payments each week on Thursday. Please allow 7 business days for processing. The deadline to submit requests is 12:00pm Thursday to be included in the following Thursday’s check run. Payment will be delayed if Accounts Payable is required to seek additional information or returns a request which does not have adequate support or proper approval.

    Payment Request Forms

    • Payment Request Forms marked “dept. pick-up” are available for pick-up after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday at the Business Office. If a check has not been picked up within one week, the check will be mailed directly to the payee/vendor.
    • Payment Request Forms marked “E-Check” will be reimbursed through electronic deposit to the account on record. 
    • Payment Request Forms marked “US Mail” will be mailed directly to payee/vendor.
    1. Honorariums and Prizes

      The IRS requires that all payments for honorariums, prizes, and certain other payments be reported as income to the individual.

      An honorarium is a payment that is primarily intended to confer distinction or to symbolize respect, esteem or admiration.  Honorariums may be provided to individuals such as guest speakers or presenters who participate in educational events or projects.  The IRS classifies honorariums as income and they are subject to taxation.  A W-9 form must be on file with Accounts Payable prior to payment. Payment cannot be made prior to services rendered unless otherwise specified in the terms of the agreement.

      Guests who request that their honorarium payment be directed to Carleton College or to another charitable organization in lieu of compensation must elect this arrangement prior to providing the service. Contact the Business Office for assistance.

      A Prize recognizes performance as part of a judged competition, e.g. best design, highest score, academic achievement, etc. or winnings from a raffle or drawing.  Prizes are reportable as taxable income (IRS Form 1099-MISC).

      When processing a Payment Request for an honorarium, or prize, a Social Security or Federal ID# and home address must be on record.  Information about the event including dates, location and description of activity must also be provided.

      Note:  Performances for athletes or entertainers living outside Minnesota are subject to 2% State Entertainer Tax withholding.

      Payment of honorariums and/or prizes to Foreign Nationals are required to be reported, mandatory tax withholding may apply.  Tax withholding may be exempted by applicable tax treaty articles, providing the individual claims the exemption by completing the necessary forms.  Please contact Shari Mayer at for assistance.

    2. Employee Reimbursements

      This policy is intended to be used as a guide for college related entertainment and business expenditures.  It supports our belief that all business related expenses for the College should be undertaken in the most economical way consistent with achieving the objectives of the College.  

      In their regulations, the IRS states that ordinary and necessary business related expenses are deductible and reimbursable. The IRS defines ordinary as “common in your field of trade, business or profession”; and necessary as “helpful and appropriate for your business”.

      To the greatest extent possible, business expenses of the college should be charged directly to a Carleton College purchasing card or billed directly to the College following the guidance provided in the Purchasing and Travel Policies. 

      When an employee incurs out-of-pocket expenses in their work for the college, which comply with the Purchasing and Travel Policies, they should submit a Payment Request Form with all appropriate IRS documentation, including original receipts to the Business Office within 60 days of their return to campus. Alternatively, employees may utilize the Wells Fargo Out-of-Pocket (OOP) feature to request reimbursement for business expenditures.

      All employee reimbursements are processed as ACH payments to the employee bank account on record with Accounts Payable. 

    3. Payment for Services of an Independent Contractor or Consultant

      Periodically services are required for a limited or intermittent period of time through an independent contractor/consultant.  

      Please contact Human Resources before hiring an independent contractor.  If an independent contractor does not meet specific qualifications, they may need to be hired as an employee.

      All payments for services to independent contractors/consultants must be made directly from Carleton College to insure compliance with all IRS withholding and reporting requirements.

      Independent Contractor/Consultant Form

      IRS resource information to assist with the determination of Independent Contractor vs. Employee classification

  4. Purchase Orders

    Create Requisitions

    Create Requisitions is the initial step to procure supplies, services, or equipment within WorkDay.

    ALWAYS, check your budget to ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the expenditure.

    Requests for Quotations

    Price negotiations are always an important consideration, and comparing pricing between vendors is encouraged at any dollar amount. The College tries to match the procurement strategy closely with the specific item being purchased in order to minimize procurement costs while getting the best results. As a general rule, the higher the expenditure, the more care must be taken to plan and execute a careful procurement strategy.

    In order to identify environmentally sound products, ask vendors to provide evidence of the post-consumer recyclable waste content and the Energy State compliance information on the product(s) quoted.

    Criteria used to evaluate products and/or services include, but are not limited to:

    • Performance, specifically including efficiency
    • Availability
    • Durability
    • Reparability
    • Natural resource use and waste reduction, including recycled content, transportation and packaging reduction
    • Recyclability or biodegradability, including the cost of traditional disposal
    • Toxicity
    • Purchase Price

    The College participates in consortiums to secure preferred pricing.    If you are using an  E&I or  ACTC contracts, no additional price checking is required. If you are not using an E&I or ACTC contract,  the following guidelines apply.  Please attach your quotes in the Create Requisition process in WorkDay:

    • Under $1,000: Check one or more prices first
    • $1,000<$10,000: Compare two or more prices. Telephone or faxed quotes are acceptable.  Grant and FEMA funded contracts over $10,000 will require 2 bids.
    • Over $25,000: A formal Request for Proposal or Request for Quotation is required.
    • Over $50,000: Construction related work requires a formal Request for Proposal or Invitation for Bid.
    • Keep strictly confidential all information and quotations submitted by competing vendors until the purchase award has been made.

    The Purchasing & Risk Manager is available to departments who need additional support.

    Requirements for a contractor or consultant

    Prior to a contractor or consultant performing work or providing service, they must submit the following:

    • Insurance Requirements and Indemnification Agreement
    • Certificate of Insurance listing Carleton College, it’s trustees, officers, faculty, students, employees, and/or agents as additional insured.

    Please contact Randie Johnson at 222-4178 for assistance with this process.

    Bids and Quotations for Purchases.

    It is the policy of the College to obtain competitive bids and price quotations, whenever practical, on all purchase requests for material and equipment purchases. This is accomplished by negotiated pricing agreements, soliciting requests for proposal, and formal bidding procedures. Departments can obtain quotes on their own as part of their decision making process or the Purchasing Department can assist the departments.

    Note:  For equipment purchases over $10,000 involving Federal funds, completion of the Vendor Selection Form is required.

    All vendor bids and quotations are evaluated on the basis of product quality, technical compliance with specifications, total cost, and the vendor’s acceptance of the Colleges terms and conditions. Bids should be requested from at least two (2) vendors, whenever possible.

    The primary objective of this procedure is to obtain goods and services at the lowest overall cost commensurate with quality and service. As a result the College benefits when suppliers realize they are vying for the award of business and must be competitive in cost and service.

    The requirement for competitive quotations depends upon the total cost of goods or services to be procured during the term of the agreement; such cost may be incurred either at one time or over a period of time, as in the case of a lease or rental agreement.

    The requirement to obtain competitive quotations may be waived in certain situations such as the following:

    Procurement can be made under an existing agreement.
    An emergency situation exists.
    The price and terms are known to be substantially identical among all suppliers.
    The request is for an identical requirement that has been procured recently through the quotation procedure.
    The available supply is limited and procurement must be made immediately or an opportunity will be lost.
    The vendor is the only vendor in the world who sells the particular item requested.

    The decision to do so is in the best interests of the College.

    DESCRIPTION AND/OR STATEMENT/SCOPE OF WORK (SOW): The item description/statement/scope of work describes the quality and quantity of goods and services required by the College. Quality is determined by our needs. The purpose is to procure those items to suit the intended use at the lowest ultimate cost. Be as specific as possible; cite the specific performance, service, or deliverables that are required. Brand names may be used to establish a baseline comparison, but the words or equal must be included whenever possible and appropriate. A brand name may also be used when it is needed to match existing equipment or the item has been pre-approved as a standard by the College. In this instance “NO SUBSTITUTES” will be accepted.

    BID DEPOSITS: When deemed necessary by the Department, bid deposits and/or performance bonds and payment bonds may be required. Unsuccessful bidders will be entitled to return of the deposit after award of bid. Successful bidder’s deposit will be returned after satisfactory performance of the bid contract. It has been the policy of the College not to require bid deposits and performance bonds and payment bonds except when necessary. We believe this facilitates and encourages more competition with less cost to the bidders and the College. However bid deposits and performance bonds are required when it is in the best interest of the College such as in construction bids. Payment bonds ensure that our contractors pay their subcontractors.

    BID SUBMITTALS: All formal bids must be submitted in a sealed envelope and identified with the following information; BID TITLE, BIDDERS NAME AND ADDRESS, DATE AND TIME OF BID OPENING. Bids may be delivered personally or by mail. It is the sole responsibility of the bidder to have his bid in the office of the Using Department by the date and time designated.

    BID OPENINGS: Bids are opened privately by the Using Department after the designated bid opening time.

    REJECTION OF BIDS: Read the bids carefully. Any deviation, alteration, or omission in the bid document may disqualify your bid. Read the specifications carefully to ensure all requirements are met. Below is a list of the most common errors found in bid documents.

    1. Be sure you have properly signed and provided a seal on ALL required pages.

    2. NO ERASURES ARE PERMITTED. If a correction is necessary, draw a single line through the entered figure and enter the corrected figure above it. All corrections (manual, typewriter, or whiteout) MUST BE INITIALED BY THE PERSON SIGNING THE BID. Any illegible entries, pencil bids or corrections not initialed will not be tabulated and will result in disqualification.

    BID RECOMMENDATIONS: After all documentation is reviewed, a recommendation is made as to the lowest and best.

    AWARD: The Using Department reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any technicalities in bids received. A College purchase order or letter of intent is sent to the vendor awarded the bid. The College purchase order is a binding contract between the College and the Vendor and the bid is by reference made part and parcel of this contract.

    Insurance Certificates

    If a vendor will be performing any work or service on the Carleton campus, an insurance certificate must be obtained before they begin their work. Insurance is required to protect Carleton in the event of an accident. The vendor would contact their insurance carrier to provide a certificate which complies with current insurance requirements.

    Carleton College, it’s trustees, officers, faculty, students, employees, and/or agents must be listed as named insured on the certificate.

    Legal Contracts

    Legal contracts should be reviewed by the Risk Manager. Please refer to the Purchasing Authorizations grid for contract signing authority.

    Purchase Orders

    The Purchase order is a contract that legally obligates the College when accepted by the Vendor.  Purchase Order Terms & Conditions are detailed at

    Complete the Create Requisition process through WorkDay, including the description, quantity, unit price, estimated cost of each item, and the email where the Purchase Order should be sent.  After the approvals have been received the Purchase Order will be issued.

    Delivery of Large Purchases

    If the shipment is large enough to require a dock, Facilities Services must be notified at 222-4134; advise Facilities when to expect the goods and where to deliver them, and provide a contact person in the event of any problems or questions.

    FOB Terms

    FOB Origin means that the seller bears the risk until it loads the goods onto an appropriate carrier, after which the buyer assumes risk of loss and must claim against the carrier for damage or loss in-transit. Also, the buyer assumes the cost of freight.

    FOB Destination means that the seller bears the risk until the goods are transported to the buyer’s dock, after which the risk will pass to the buyer. Also, the seller bears the cost of freight.

    Damaged Goods

    When your order is received, compare the invoice or packing slip to the purchase order. Open cartons immediately to check for damage. The truck driver can wait until you do this. If you see obvious damage to the carton or goods upon delivery, either refuse the delivery or make note on the bill of lading that goods were damaged. If you accept the shipment and find hidden damage, save the unmarked carton that the product came in and report the damage to the vendor.

    Returned Goods Procedure

    Occasionally it becomes necessary to return materials ordered because the goods are no longer required, excess material were ordered, or the material, as received, is not acceptable. In order to document the return of goods, the following procedure will be used.

    The end user will contact the vendor, negotiate a return, get the returned goods authorization number and set up pick-up of the return materials. The following information may be required by the vendor:

    • Purchase Order number
    • Reason for return
    • Description of item
    • Action required (e.g., credit, replacement, or repair)
    • No notes written on the box as it must be in condition for re-sale.

    If the items will be returned and not replaced, use the Create Return option through WorkDay to document this return. 

    Recycled Products

    The College’s commitment to integrating social and environmental responsibility into the educational enterprise extends to all aspects of its affairs, including the purchasing function. As a vital part of this commitment, emphasis is placed on locating and promoting suppliers for products which promote waste reduction, either through the product’s recycled content, or through the product’s ability to be reused or recycled. Please consider product alternatives containing recycled content when the quality and price are comparable.

    As the primary source of paper used in copiers and printers on the Carleton College campus, Printing Services has adopted the policy and practice of filling such orders with uncoated white paper with a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content. Use of virgin paper is discouraged; however it will be available for customers who deem it necessary for their work.

    Local Vendors, Minority or Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) Vendors and Environmentally Committed Vendors

    Carleton College has traditionally supported doing business with local vendors, minority and women owned businesses and vendors who are environmentally committed. Many online ordering sites have icons which help you identify products from these types of vendors.  Carleton College encourages all internal departments to include these types of vendors and their products when looking to source a service or commodity.

    The use of products and services with less environmental impact will be considered when making purchasing decisions.  Factors to review in the life cycle cost analysis are: energy efficiency; shipping materials (returnable, reusable, or made from recycled content; and environmental performance of the supplier/producer (waste reduction, pollution prevention, clean air/water programs, and other initiatives.  Our goal is to use vendors that are within 200 miles of us for 27% of our non-travel related purchases.

    The College is running a campaign in Rice County to enact policies that will promote the growth of a sustainable and fair agricultural system in our region.  Together with members of Food Truth, local foods activists and sustainable farmers around Northfield, we are working to build grassroots pressure and lobby our county commissioners to pass the Local Foods Purchasing Policy and the Organics Conversion Policy.

    Green Purchasing Best Practices

    Carleton College faculty and staff can contribute to improving the environment by:

    Consolidate orders: By increasing the number of items ordered in a single order, you reduce the number of campus deliveries and packaging waste.  Our suppliers use fewer shipping cartons shipping cartons.

    By reducing the number of deliveries made to your office, you are reducing fuel use, carbon emissions, and traffic congestion.  To reduce natural resources consumed by packaging and delivery, please consolidate and coordinate office supply orders each month.

    Switch to On-line ordering: Eliminate the need for paper purchase orders, save time, energy, and money.

    Make use of electronic catalogs: Saves paper and eliminates the need to dispose of bulky catalogs every year.

    Buy items which contain recycled material: Many vendors will have an icon next to an item to indicate whether it is made from recycled materials.

    Choose renewable resources: Strive to use raw materials from sustainable and renewable sources.

    Opt for the non-hazardous alternative: By purchasing alcohol thermometers as opposed to ones filled with mercury you can lessen disposal costs while removing the potential for a hazardous chemical spill.  Likewise the purchase and use of non-toxic cleaning supplies, like those with the Green Seal certification, can improve worker safety by reducing exposure to noxious chemicals.

    Look for the most energy efficient model: The US EPA Energy Star program rates and certifies hundreds of energy efficient products.  Look for the ENERGY STAR label when you’re shopping for items like copy machines, computers, refrigerators, and washing machines.

    ENERGY STAR qualified products work just as well as standard products and will help Carleton reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

    Buy locally: It takes fuel to transport goods.  Proximity to production not only reduces the energy use required to bring the item to market, it also helps to support the local economy.

    Buy only what you need: While it may appear economical to purchase in quantity, the truth is that often the cost to dispose of unused supplies, especially chemicals, far exceeds the original price of purchase.

    Spread the word: Recommend your green buy successes to colleagues.

    Protective Clothing

    Employees who are required as part of their job to wear protective clothing such as safety shoes or boots, safety glasses, hard hats, and/or work gloves, will be reimbursed for the cost of the clothing based on the current limits set by the Facilities Department.

    All materials or equipment purchased by Carleton College for use by its employees must be in full compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act requirements and regulations.

    Surplus Property

    Items declared as surplus by any department must be offered or placed within the College to the extent feasible or may be used as a trade-in if economically feasible. Employees are not allowed to personally take surplus property. Surplus property may be contributed to other non-profit organizations with a Deed of Gift authorized by an officer of the College. Refer to the Property Disposal Policy more information.

    Prohibition of Firearms

    Carleton College prohibits contract employees, to the maximum extent permissible under Minnesota law, from carrying or possessing any firearms on campus. Contractors who fail to comply with this paragraph shall be determined to have a material breach of contract and shall entitle Carleton to terminate their Agreement immediately and without notice.

    Centralized Purchasing

    Computers: In order to secure and standardize computer hardware and peripherals, Carleton College requires all computer equipment purchases to be coordinated with Information Technologies Services.

    Furniture: In order to ensure buildings across campus are consistent in quality and the ambiance of the buildings is maintained, carpeting, furniture, and wall coverings are purchased through the Facilities Department. Please reference the Facilities Work Order and/or Facility Change Request.  Click HERE to view our recommended local furniture vendors.

    Paper: If copy paper is needed, use the online order form from Print Services.

    Door Signs: Door signs should be coordinated with Facilities. It is the desire of Carleton College to standardize these purchases. The department obtaining the purchase will be charged for the cost.

    Stationery – letterhead & business cards: Letterhead and business cards should be coordinated with Publications. It is the desire of Carleton College to standardize these purchases. The department obtaining the purchase will be charged for the cost.

    Telephones: Telephones can be acquired and installed by contacting Telecommunications. Any telephone request must be approved by the Department Head as there is a monthly charge assessed for each telephone used and each department is responsible for paying any long distance charges incurred. If a voluntary telephone move is requested, the department must pay for the charge.

    Compostables Store: Compostable dinnerware items are available for order through the Sustainability Office.

Last Revised: February 26, 2020

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: February 26, 2020

Maintained by: Business Office