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Purchasing Guidelines

The CEE support staff is available to all faculty, research staff, and students to assist in the purchasing of materials for academic use. The University is moving away from reimbursements of out-of-pocket expenses; all supplies and travel accommodations should be ordered through the department. In order to facilitate quick and efficient processing of all of your purchasing needs, we ask that you review and abide by the following instructions:

When you need to buy something, complete a Request to Buy Form and submit to Melinda or Dan.  You will need the following information: 

  1. The Project/Grant to be used for the purchase.

  2. A description of the item/service to be purchased, along with an explanation of the purpose of the purchase (How the item/service will be used for the relevant project/class, etc.).

  3. The faculty member authorizing the purchase. 

  4. The vendor's contact information.

  5. The quantity, Item/Catalog numbers, Part numbers (if relevant), and price of each item/service to be purchased.

If you ever have any questions concerning the form or how to fill it out correctly, do not hesitate to consult Melinda Matlack (8-4655, in E404.

Methods of Purchasing

The department uses different methods of purchasing depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding the order.

First, the University has special contractual agreements with a select group of vendors from whom we get discounts and favorable pricing. Because we get better prices from these vendors, the University (and this department) asks you to check to see whether the materials you need are available from these vendors before submitting your order request. These vendors include:


Otherwise, Melinda will process the order via a Purchase Order*. Submit your Request to Buy Form to her, and she will e-mail you when the order has been sent to the vendor. After you receive your package and confirm that it contains all of the items in your order, let Melinda know by sending her a detailed email indicating that you have opened the package and confirmed that everything in the order has been received, or drop off the packing slip at her desk in E404. This will allow her to make sure that the vendor gets paid. If anything is missing from your order, please let Melinda know ASAP.

If the vendor only accepts credit cards, you should submit your form in exchange for the credit card.  Please note that there are two department credit cards: One is for travel-related expenses only, which include airfare, hotel reservations, conference registrations, and any form of ground transportation. The other is for the purchase of anything not travel-related.

Again, please note that a completed Request to Buy Form is required for each and every use of either of the department credit cards. If you have any questions about the form, see Melinda or Jane Soohoo at

* A purchase order , created using University software, electronically transmits your shopping list to the vendor to fulfill.  Anything you need to tell the vendor needs to be on the Request to Buy form.

Updated: October 17, 2013