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There are various methods to make purchases with university funds. General descriptions are below. If more detailed information is needed please visit the University website for the complete Purchasing and Payments Handbook.

  • Limited Purchase Order (LPO) - (must be issued BEFORE purchase is made) general use is for supplies, services, and materials for $500 or less.
    • Exceptions -
      • may be used without dollar limitation for conference or meeting registration fees, air travel tickets, classified advertising, and direct bill hotel/lodging/meeting rooms for official University functions.
    • Restrictions -
      • may not be used for equipment, furniture, furnishings, carpet, window treatments, telecommunications equipment and devices, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, items available in University stores or office supply room.
      • may not be used to hire consultants, speakers, contracting for temporary employment services, reimbursement to or purchases from University employees.
      • may not issue multiple LPOs for similar or related items to a single vendor over short periods of time to avoid the $500 per order limit.
      • splitting known requirements for items or services to be used over a period of time into individual LPOs less than $500 to avoid the need for competitive bidding and a standard purchase order, is expressly prohibited.


  • Direct Pays - to pay vendors for when an invoice has already been issued.
    • Examples -
      • Payment for services
      • Subscriptions to publications
      • Membership fees
      • Reimbursements to employees (other than travel expenses)


  • Requisitions requesting Purchase Orders - requests Purchasing to issue PO to a vendor for needed items or services. All purchases over $500, unless included in LPO exceptions listed above. Certain items and services are under contract by the university and require a PO even if the amount is under $500.
    • Examples requiring PO-
      • Equipment, including computers, printers
      • Furniture


  • Credit Cards - used for incidental purchases at local vendors where no other method is acceptable. The credit card limit is $1,000 per transaction.
    • Hosting- only at GFS, Krogers, Meijers.
    • May use at other locations where we do not have open accounts.
    • Telephone orders.
    • Internet orders must be placed by Business Office staff
    • Memberships, subscriptions, and registrations under $1,000.
    • Do not use at restaurants, caterers