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Policies and Procedures

Allowable and Non-Allowable Expenses

Many employees are permitted to expend University funds.  Employees initiating the expenditure of University funds are referred to as Fiscal Initiators. All Fiscal Initiators are responsible for following related University policies, for using University funds prudently and only for a legitimate business purpose. For examples of allowable and non-allowable expenses, please see the lists below.

Allowable Expenses (Travel, Meals, and Entertainment) Guide

Non-Allowable Expenses Guide


Business Meals and Entertainment

The purpose of the Business Meals and Entertainment policy is to provide guidance to individuals who are entertaining or incurring meal expenses on behalf of the University and to ensure the appropriate use of University resources to further the University’s mission of teaching, research, scholarship and service.  Additionally, the policy is designed to ensure the University’s compliance with Federal tax law and third party sponsoring agency regulations, as applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

No University employee shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract or transaction if a real or apparent conflict of interest is involved. Such conflict is present when an employee, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her domestic partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated above, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for the award.

Every University employee must report to his or her supervisor any real or potential conflict of interest between his or her personal and professional relationships. This includes any relationship with only the appearance of a conflict. Such conflicts may arise when an individual could receive personal benefits (financial or otherwise) as a result of his/her position at the University.

Each employee is expected to follow the Conflict of Interest Policy.

Contract Management Policy

The purpose of the Contract Management Policy is to ensure that the University of Richmond manages the risk associated with legal agreements and safeguards its assets by providing clear direction to the University Community.

Delegation of Contract Approval and Signature Authority Policy

The purpose of the Delegation of Contract Approval and Signature Authority Policy is to provide guidance for the purchase of goods and services and to ensure the appropriate use of University resources to further the University’s mission of teaching, research, scholarship, and service.

Employee Reimbursement Guidelines

All reimbursements and refunds are processed through the Chrome River travel and expense management system.  Instructions for using the Chrome River system are provided on the Chrome River webpage.

Code of Ethics
  • To give first consideration to the objectives and policies of the University of Richmond.
  • To strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • To decline personal gifts or gratuities.
  • To grant all competitive suppliers equal consideration insofar as institutional policy permits.
  • To conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentation.
  • To demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
  • To receive consent of the originator of proprietary ideas and designs before using them for competitive purposes.
  • To make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with a supplier.
  • To accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions.
  • To cooperate with trade, industrial, and professional associations, and with governmental and private agencies for the purposes of promoting and developing sound business methods.
  • To foster fair, ethical, and legal trade practices.
  • To counsel and cooperate with National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) members and promote a spirit of unity and a keen interest in professional growth among them.
Gifts and Gratuities from Vendors

The purpose of the Gifts and Gratuities Policy is to direct University employees as to how to respond when presented with a gift or gratuity from a Vendor.

Gifts, Prizes and Awards

The purpose of the Gifts, Prizes, and Awards policy is to provide guidance to individuals who wish to provide gifts, prizes, or awards utilizing funds administered by the University of Richmond. The policy assures the appropriate and compliant use of University resources to further the University’s mission of teaching, research, scholarship, and service.

Grant-funded Purchasing

All federal, state, and private grant proposals are processed through the Office of Foundations, Corporate and Government Relations.

For special needs such as utilities/ modifications (plumbing, electricity, etc.) please contact University Facilities.

If you need a Purchasing Card for your grant, contact the Purchasing Card staff.

If you plan to request the purchase of equipment, furnishings or major supplies when applying for a grant, please contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing (PSS). This should be done as part of the application stage.

When equipment or other goods and services are requested on grant proposals, all University procurement guidelines must be followed in specification, price solicitation, vendor selection, and procurement. In addition, the federal government mandates that we follow the Procurement Standards in OMB Circular A‐110 for goods and services purchased with federal funds: See sections 40 - 48.

The University will be taking the approved delay, 12/26/2014 thru 12/25/2017, on implementing the 2CFR 200 federal procurement guidelines. During this time, we will continue to follow the University’s procurement guidelines.

  • Note that purchases of single items costing $5,000- $24,999 require three quotes or a Sole Source Provider justification document approved by PSS. Single items costing $25,000 or more must have at least three bids or an approved sole source document.
  • For grant equipment purchases of $5,000 and above, the sole source justification form (if used) and the requisition form must be signed by the grant P.I. and the Grants Accounting Manager before submitting them to Strategic Sourcing and Payments to process a purchase order.
Green Purchasing

In 2007, University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, affirming the University's longstanding history of innovative sustainability efforts and the commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. Green purchasing is one way each of us in the University community can support this commitment and become better environmental stewards.

Green Purchasing is defined as buying goods and services that are Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP).

EPPs are products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. EPPs take into consideration:

  • Performance
  • Durability
  • The ability to be repaired
  • Natural resource use and waste reduction
  • Recyclability and recycled content, biodegradability
  • Toxicity
  • Labels and instructions for use

Our goal is to follow the Cradle to Cradle concept of buying products that are sustainably produced and can be easily recycled, reused and re-purposed. Cradle to Cradle Certification provides a company with a means to tangibly, credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design, and helps customers purchase and specify products that are pursuing a broader definition of quality. This means:

  • Using environmentally safe and healthy materials
  • Using design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting;
  • The use of renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • Efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production;
  • Instituting strategies for social responsibility.

If a candidate product achieves the necessary criteria, it is certified as a silver, gold or platinum product or as a technical/biological nutrient (available for homogeneous materials or less complex products), and can be branded as Cradle to Cradle.

Sustainability Certifications

The University of Richmond is committed to purchasing products that have earned industry approved sustainability certifications.

Examples of such programs and applicable products include but are not limited to:

Personal and Professional Services

When specialized skills, knowledge, resources, and experience that cannot be provided reasonably by existing staff or University service departments are needed, such services may be obtained from firms or individuals outside the University on a fee-for-service or personal/professional services contract. Selections must be based on impartiality, competitiveness, and ability to fulfill needs. Contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing for assistance with the formulation of RFB's or RFP's for these services.

Contracts must be reviewed by the University's general counsel and signed by the vice president for business and finance.

Examples of Personal/Professional Services Contracts include:

  • Appraisals
  • Architectural and engineering services
  • Auditing, accounting, and financial services
  • Consulting Services
  • Research
  • Surveys and studies
Procurement Policy

The purpose of the Procurement Policy is to provide guidance for the purchase of goods and services and to ensure the appropriate use of University resources to further the University’s mission of teaching, research, scholarship, and service.

Provision of Financial Resources to Students Reporting

Provision of Financial Resources to Students Reporting

The purpose of the Provision of Financial Resources to Students Reporting policy is to ensure that the University of Richmond can support students in need of financial assistance while at the same time ensuring appropriate stewardship of University resources and compliance with federal limits on aid to students and applicable laws and policies. 


Record Retention

The University Record Retention Policy specifies University documents that must be maintained for specific time periods. This includes purchasing records. Procurement and Strategic Sourcing maintains all pertinent records associated with purchase orders. Accounts Payable maintains records of invoices and credit memos. All departments who order and receive goods by means other than purchase orders are responsible for maintaining the corresponding purchasing documents for the required retention period.                                                      

Purchasing Records
  • Invoices: 5 years
  • Packing slips: 5 years or product warranty period, whichever is longer
  • Purchasing agreements: term or delivery date plus 5 years
  • Purchase orders: 5 years
  • Purchase requisitions: 5 years
  • Receiving report: 5 years
Purchasing Report
  • Returned Goods Credit: 5 Years
  • Sales Tax: 6 Years After End of Tax Year
Reporting and Investigating Suspected Financial Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

The purpose of the Reporting and Investigating Suspected Financial Fraud, Waste, and Abuse policy is to establish the overall roles and responsibilities of the University of Richmond’s (the “University”) employees and its affiliates for identifying, reporting, and investigating financial fraud, waste, and abuse (collectively, “misconduct”).

Sales Tax Exemption

Sales to the University are normally exempt from state sales taxes. The University's sales and use tax exemption registration number is SE540505965F10272026. State sales and use tax certificate of exemption form ST-12 will be issued upon request.

All tax exempt purchases must be made with a University check, purchase order, or P-Card. Purchases made with cash or personal credit cards are not eligible for tax exempt status.

The sales and use tax certificate of exemption for the University reads as follows:

University of Richmond may purchase tangible personal property for its use or consumption as a college or other institution of learning. This exemption also applies to food purchased for free distribution at the facilities of the college or other institution of learning. The exemption does not apply to sales, unless such sales are within the occasional sale exemption. Likewise, the exemption is not applicable to the purchase of taxable services, such as lodging or meals that are consumed or distributed outside the facilities of the college or institution of learning.

Tangible personal property is defined as durable goods such as furniture, office supplies or unprepared food items like canned soda. Service items include prepared foods, such as deli trays and lodging. The University is exempt from lodging tax in Florida, Tennessee, Maryland and the City of New York (not New York State). 

Email the Procurement Department if you need a tax-exempt form for University business travel.


The Travel Policy is to provide guidance to individuals who are traveling on behalf of the University and to ensure the appropriate use of University resources to further the University’s mission of teaching, research, scholarship and service.

Use of University Funds and Financial Responsibilities

The purpose of the Use of University Funds and Financial Responsibilities policy is to is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the University community when expending University funds.  The policy explains the University community’s responsibility to exercise good judgement and prudence when spending these funds.  Examples of allowable and non-allowable expenses are provided in the Allowable and Non-Allowable section on this policy page.

Procurement Procedures
Purchase Orders

A purchase order (PO) is a written agreement between the University and a vendor for goods or services. Purchase orders are assigned a specific number to assist in tracking the order throughout the transaction process. A PO encumbers funds in the Banner index and account code assigned to the purchase order. The encumbrance is liquidated when the invoice is paid, and the payment is then reflected in the Banner index and account code.

Blanket Purchase Orders

A Blanket Purchase Order (BPO)  is processed for multiple purchases from one vendor within a certain time frame, usually within one fiscal year. Examples of goods purchased on BPO(s) include: fuel oil, gasoline, or theatre supplies. Funds are not encumbered within Banner when a BPO is issued. Funds will be paid out each time an order is placed against a BPO and when the corresponding invoice is paid by Accounts Payable. The payment is then reflected in the designated Banner index and account code.


Each purchase order has three copies that will be distributed as follows:

  • The Vendor copy is forwarded to the vendor.
  • The Receiving copy is forwarded to the person or department receiving the order. When the order is delivered, the receiver verifies that the order has been received by signing and dating the receiving copy and forwarding the receiving copy to the payment approver. (The payment approver is noted on the PO header. Example: Information Services/Jane Smith).
  • The Payment copy is forwarded to the person funding the order. When the signed receiving copy is received, the payment authorizer signs and dates the payment copy and forwards the payment copy to Accounts Payable.
Purchase Requisitions

A purchase requisition is used to request the purchase of goods and services through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. Purchase Requisition are processed through Bannerweb.  For approval to process requsitions training and access please contact Procurement and Strategic Sourcing at

Surplus Property

University property considered surplus, excess, or unwanted is disposed of in the following order.

Repurposed, Reused or Recycle

Good, reusable products are repurposed on campus as possible.

  • Furniture – If you have surplus furniture, please complete a Facilities work order to have the item(s) removed. Facilities and Support Services personnel will evaluate the furniture and determine whether it can be repurposed on campus.
  • Office supplies – The University's Rethink Waste office hosts the University of Richmond Spider Exchange program. If you have surplus office supplies, please contact David Donaldson for drop-off hours. 
  • Computer equipment – All surplus computer equipment is managed through the Information Services department.
Sold or Donated

Reusable property that does not meet campus standards may be sold or donated to charities, local school districts, and non-profit organizations. Please contact David Donaldson in the Rethink Waste office to coordinate pickup.

Landfill Disposal

As the last resort, unrecyclable product is sent to the landfill.

Small, Women- and Minority-Owned (SWaM) Vendors

The University community is encouraged to consider using these vendors when placing orders:

If you need assistance in locating vendors that provide specific products or services, contact Wendy Burchard.

Vehicle Purchasing

All Vehicle purchases are made solely through the office of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. Please contact Wendy Burchard to pursue your purchase.

The University is committed to achieving climate neutrality per the Climate Action Plan. Please review your needs carefully to determine if a replacement or additional vehicle is necessary. If you decide a vehicle must be replaced or added, and the department head approves, the requesting department representative should consult with Procurement and Strategic Sourcing  and the fleet manager  to investigate alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles that would meet the specific needs of the department. If these options are unavailable, the most efficient conventional vehicle available will be specified that meets the specific service needs.

Unregistered vehicles (golf carts, Segways, etc.) must be purchased through Procurement and Strategic Sourcing. University Facilities is responsible for maintaining all UR vehicles and operates the largest number of service vehicles on campus. Using the fleet manager's experience with various cart and vehicles alternatives, he and Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will collaborate with the requesting department to specify the vehicle best suited for the specific tasks, being mindful of efficiency, durability, and sustainability.