Lafayette College purchases a wide range of goods and services in pursuit of its mission.

In order to provide the greatest benefit to the College community, we recognize our suppliers play a role in our success in providing goods and services that support the College in delivering a positive experience for our students, staff, and campus visitors.  It is important that a supplier be familiar with our expectations and Lafayette encourages all businesses interested in working with the College to become familiar with its purchasing procedures and PO Terms and Conditions, which are outlined here.  Some other helpful information is below.

Authorized College purchases of  $5,000 or more are made via a formal purchase order issued by the College’s procurement department. The College has NOT authorized a purchase of $5,000 or more until a purchase order is issued to a vendor; all vendors may contact the procurement dept. at prior to filling an order or providing the service if a written purchase order has not been received. The College reserves the right to not honor any unauthorized purchases.

The Procurement Department follows prudent business practices in its purchasing and contracting activities which maximize the value of supplies and services received in return for dollars expended.

Purchasing procedures are designed to focus centralized procurement efforts in areas where the greatest value may be achieved in terms of total cost and quality, or the purchase involves unique or complex specifications or other important requirements while utilizing decentralized procurement methods for smaller dollar items.

Purchasing practices also recognize the benefits of balancing efficient and effective procurement at the lowest possible cost while considering other factors such as useful life, functionality, associated hidden costs, and the time sensitivity of certain purchases.

Methods of Procurement

The College utilizes several methods of procurement.   Most procurements are placed via written purchase order or using a college credit card.

Blanket Purchase Orders: Issued for multiple purchases from one vendor throughout the fiscal year. The vendor should invoice each time an order is placed against this blanket order and reference the Blanket Purchase Order Number on all invoices.

Construction Contracts: Used for construction projects (i.e. new construction, renovations, and improvements to buildings). Used in conjunction with a Purchase Order.

Procurement Card: Credit cards are provided to authorized employees to make small-dollar purchases, based on their need to purchase business-related goods and services.

Service Agreements:  Used in conjunction with larger dollar service projects, or multi-year agreements for ongoing services.  Purchase orders are also required for these types of services.

Purchase Orders: This is the basic purchasing document for procurement of supplies, services, and equipment, and usually issued for a one-time purchase of  $5,000 or more.

Other information

Typically, the purchase of contracted services and the lease of equipment are made through College purchase orders, with the approval of the Procurement Director.

Businesses with any questions regarding the procurement of goods and services should contact the Procurement Director at

In addition to the procurement director’s approval, the purchase of goods and services also can be approved by the college’s Vice President of Finance and Administration or designee of the Vice President of Finance and Administration who has been duly authorized for such purpose.

All individuals or merchants doing business with the College are required to adhere to the College’s purchasing policies, which include providing a completed Form W-9 prior to any transaction with the College. Form W-9 is available from the Internal Revenue Service’s website.  Completed forms should be faxed to (610) 330-5745 or email prior to fulfilling any purchase orders.

Lafayette College is a tax-exempt organization and a non-profit educational institution, and the purchase of products and services related to its mission are usually exempt from most sales and federal excise taxes (PA Exemption No. 75-08039-4). The vendor is ultimately responsible for determining if sales tax is applicable to a particular purchase.

Supplier Diversity and Sustainability Efforts

The College has articulated an institutional commitment to diversity.  The College, therefore, encourages its suppliers to place business with firms that are representative of its diversity goals in terms of ownership and management. The College encourages participation of suppliers that are Minority, Woman, Veteran, Service Disabled Veteran, LGBTQ, and Disability-Owned business enterprises, and encourages its suppliers to utilize such businesses.  The College has also traditionally placed an emphasis on doing business with local firms, recognizing the interdependence between the College and the community and region.

Reflecting the College’s institutional commitment to comprehensive environmental stewardship, the College also encourages its suppliers to practice excellent environmental stewardship, and to source from responsible businesses whose products and services further our environmental stewardship goals, and /or provide energy efficiency, long term sustainability, and contribute to and support other institutional sustainability goals.

Suppliers are strongly encouraged to follow the highest level of sustainable building practices for any services involving construction, installation, renovation, or demolition. This includes recycling construction and demolition debris to reduce the environmental impacts of renovation and new construction.

Supplying Goods and Services

All goods, supplies, and equipment, unless otherwise specified on the Purchase Order, are to be NEW and UNUSED, and satisfactory for the specified use.  The College’s Purchase Order number must appear on all invoices, packing slips, shipping documents, and labels.

Deliveries: All deliveries shall be made to the destination stated in the Purchase Order and must be made between 8:45 A.M. and 3:30 P.M., Monday through Friday, legal and College holidays excluded, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by College. The Supplier is responsible for confirming delivery details with the end-user contact named on the purchase order for delivery appointments, required equipment at the delivery site, and/or other delivery clarifications.

Packing: Supplier assumes full responsibility for packing, crating, marking, transportation, proper documentation, storage, and liability for loss and/or damage even if College has agreed to pay freight, express or other transportation charges. Packing slips with PO number must accompany all goods deliveries.

Invoicing and Purchase Order Number – A supplier must submit an invoice for payment to be made.  The College’s Purchase Order number must appear on all invoices, packing slips, shipping documents, and labels. Failure to provide the PO number may delay payment.

Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

Suppliers should avoid excessive or frequent gift giving to any and all College employees; specifically, suppliers should ensure that any gift(s) to any College employee will not be perceived as a bribe, payoff, or any other attempt to gain an advantage in any sourcing or other purchasing decision. College employees cannot accept gifts of more than nominal value, and should not be soliciting gifts.

In supplying goods or services to the College, Supplier should avoid all perceptions of a conflict of interest, and represents that, to its knowledge, no College trustee, officer, employee or any other person affiliated with College and having involvement with this Agreement (1) is affiliated with Supplier, and (2) that, to its knowledge, no College trustee, officer, employee or any other person affiliated with College and having involvement with this Agreement has asked for, received, was promised, or will receive, anything of value from Supplier in connection with this Agreement or performance contemplated hereunder.  When ethical concerns arise, report concerns to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the College’s General Counsel, or through the College’s Ethics and Compliance Hotline at 1-800-539-6085.


Thank you for your interest in working with Lafayette College