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Procurement & Finance Policies

Lesley University requires all departments to use competitive bidding in all instances where they’re purchasing goods or services from external vendors, in amounts that exceed set cost limits.

University faculty, staff, and students don’t have the authority to act unilaterally on behalf of the University to make procurement agreements or contracts with outside suppliers for materials or services when the cost of the purchase is $2,500 or more.

All purchases of $2,500 or more must follow the policy for competitive bidding.

Purchases of less than $2,500, while not requiring the written approval of Finance’s Procurement Office, must comply with all of Lesley’s Procurement policies.

As a Lesley employee, we encourage you to contact Procurement when you need information on products, vendors or best pricing.

  • Authorized Signers

    Department heads work with Lesley’s Controller to establish authorized signers and spending limits for the payment of invoices for goods and services. Authorized signature records for university accounts are kept in Lesley’s Accounts Payable Department.

    A purchase requisition or check request must have the proper approval before it can be processed.

    Review our Signature Authorization Policy.

    Blanket Purchase Orders

    All blanket purchase orders greater than $2,500 must have the approval of Lesley’s Procurement Office before Accounts Payable can process them.


    Lesley has a full-service catering function staffed by Lesley Hospitality to serve University catering requirements. Departments should contact Lesley Hospitality for menus, service options, schedules, and pricing.

    If you aren’t working with Lesley Hospitality, contact the Procurement Office to find out if there’s negotiated pricing with your alternate supplier.

  • Competitive Bidding Procedure

    Lesley requires that departments use competitive bidding for all major purchases. The Procurement Office is responsible for managing the bidding process for all major purchases ($2,500 or greater) of externally supplied goods and services required by the University.

    Procurement staff approve the qualification of potential bidders, the solicitation and analysis of bids, negotiations, and the awarding of business to suppliers. It’s important to communicate your plans for major purchases to Procurement as early as possible to ensure there is enough time to accomplish the bidding procedure.

    Purchases above $2,500 but less than $5,000:

    1. Contact Procurement: The purchaser must contact Procurement (ext. 8593 or ext. 8179) prior to ordering from a supplier.
    2. Clarify Needs: Procurement helps clarify needs and offers advice about potential suppliers.
    3. Consultation & Approval: After consultation, Procurement issues an email approval for the purchase that must accompany a requisition or check request. Accounts Payable won’t process payments without this approval.

    Purchases between $5,000 and $10,000:

    1. Contact Procurement: The purchaser must contact Procurement (ext. 8593 or ext. 8179) prior to ordering from a supplier.
    2. Identify Suppliers: Procurement works with the purchaser to identify the best pool of qualified suppliers.
    3. Get Bids: The purchaser gets bids from at least 3 suppliers and submits documentation to Procurement prior to creating a requisition or ordering from a supplier.
    4. Review Bids & Approval: After reviewing the 3 bids, Procurement issues an email approval that, along with the bid documentation, must accompany a requisition or check request. Accounts Payable won’t process payments without this approval.

    Purchases exceeding $10,000:

    1. Contact Procurement: The purchaser must contact Procurement (ext. 8593 or ext. 8179) prior to purchase, to develop a requisition for proposal (RFP) that the purchaser will submit to the supplier community.
    2. Identify Suppliers: Procurement works with the purchaser to develop a supplier pool and evaluate bid responses.
    3. Get References: For a purchase exceeding $10,000, the bid evaluation must include 3 client references, at least 1 reference from higher education, obtained from the most competitive vendor. Departments must follow up with these references and receive confirmation of the vendor’s successful performance.
    4. Once the supplier has been chosen, Procurement issues an email approval. The department must receive email confirmation from Procurement that the procedures for competitive bidding and reference checks were followed before submitting a requisition or check request to Accounts Payable. Accounts Payable won’t process payments without this approval.
    5. Get a Contract: Contracts are required when the total cost of a purchase exceeds $10,000.

    Travel Arrangements

    Travel arrangements are exempt from the above competitive bidding process, but must be made using the services of Lesley's travel management agency, Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

    University credit cards cannot be used to process payments for major purchases. Such use will result in suspension of credit card privileges.

  • Conflicts of Interest

    All purchases of goods and services (or other procurement transactions) must be made in the best interests of the University and in accordance with the requirements set forth in the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy.

  • Furniture

    Furniture requests usually fall under the central university budget. If you have specific furniture requests, provide detailed information to the Director of Facilities & Operations via email by January in order to have your request included in the capital budget review process that takes place in the spring. If your request is approved, your furniture will be ordered in the subsequent fiscal year.

    All university furniture must adhere to stringent fire coding regulations. Furniture purchased via the internet most assuredly will not pass fire code standards.

    In the event of an unforeseen need, contact Director of Facilities & Operations (Kevin Murphy, )for purchases that will be paid from the central university budget.

    For purchases that will be paid from departmental budgets, email

    Include the following with the specifications of your request:

    • Name of person request is for
    • Department
    • Delivery address
    • Type and quantity of furniture required
  • Legal Contracts with External Parties

    A contract must be created between the supplier and Lesley University whenever the total cost of a purchase will exceed $10,000.

    Review the Signature Authority Policy before signing any contract on behalf of the University.

    • Memberships

      Individual memberships to warehouse stores (BJ's, Costco, Sam's Club, etc.) and Amazon Prime are not reimbursable expenses.

    • Sales Tax Exemption

      Lesley University is a non-profit higher education institution and a tax-exempt organization. Use Lesley's tax exemption when purchasing goods in another state that will be shipped and used in Massachusetts.

      Lesley's tax exemption certificates for the state of Massachusetts:

      For tax exemption questions for goods and services purchased and used outside of Massachusetts contact the Procurement Office.

      Lesley will not reimburse for sales tax paid on purchases greater than $500.

    • Technology Purchases

      Departments should contact Lesley’s Information Technology (IT) Department on all technology requests, email Procurement works in conjunction with IT to facilitate technology purchases.

      In addition, review our Desktop Printer Policy.

    • Travel

      Our travel policy provides guidelines and procedures for employees and faculty traveling on University business.

      Review our Travel Policy.

    • Vendor Gift Policy 

      To avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest, at no time should a University employee solicit or accept personal gifts from current or potential vendors, contractors or their agents, local businesses, University departments, or others with whom there is a potential or ongoing business or professional relationship.

      Review our Vendor Gift Policy.

    Email Procurement with any questions.