Managing rogue spending at a small institution

Rogue spending—buying outside a purchasing contract—can be an issue at colleges large and small. Here’s how the small college pros rein it in.

Help spenders put a face to your name. This is easier at smaller colleges, says Karen Khattari, director of general services and procurement at Cedar Crest College. “Everybody knows me, and I know them.” That leads to more control and better accountability.

Ask vendors to help. At Swarthmore College, Contracts and Purchasing Manager Cynthia Urick is working with vendors to require people to use the e-procurement system when they make their own purchases. For example, the school’s office supply vendor will no longer take orders from the college by phone, fax or the internet.

Link to main story: Buying strong at small colleges

Demonstrate the value of purchasing contracts. Jill Davenport, manager of purchasing and central services at Augsburg College, does this with education and training. “Everyone here is fiscally conscious and responsible,” she says, “so it’s my job to help them see how buying within our contracts helps get them more for their money.”

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