Nevada system of Higher education

Doing Business With The Nevada System of Higher Education

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), the agency responsible for all public institutions of higher learning and research within the state, spends in excess of $130 million annually for goods and services with over 30, 000 vendors. NSHE's Board of Regents has delegated responsibility for overseeing this activity to two purchasing offices located in Business Centers, North and South. The Business Center North (BCN) Purchasing Department is responsible for purchases of supplies, equipment, services and construction for the Desert Research Institute, Great Basin College, Truckee Meadows Community College, University of Nevada, Reno, Western Nevada College, and System offices.

Code of Ethics

Purchasing activities are conducted in strict adherence to ethical purchasing practices as advocated by the National Association of Educational Buyers, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, and the Institute for Supply Management. All NSHE employees are prohibited from receiving any gift, gratuity or premium in connection with any purchasing or contracting activity.

Purchasing Procedures

As in most organizations, the purchase process begins with a purchase request or requisition. These are usually generated by end users who need a product or service. Such requisitions are approved by the requisitioner's department, funded for the expense, and then forwarded to Purchasing for issuance of a purchase order.

a. For small dollar purchases at the University of Nevada, Reno (currently under $5, 000), departments use Request For Payment (RFP) and the Purchasing Card (MasterCard). Vendors should accept RFP's or the Purchasing Card and fulfill the orders as indicated.

b. At all other institutions (with the exception of the University of Nevada, Reno) small dollar purchases are also (currently under $2000) using Departmental Purchase Orders (DPO). Vendors should accept DPO's and fulfill the orders as indicated.

All business dealings with NSHE should be conducted in a competitive and open manner. Purchases are made to responsible and responsive vendors on the basis of price, quality, availability, service, conformance to specifications, capability of the vendor to perform, and in the overall best interests of NSHE.

Whenever possible, competitive bids or quotations are obtained for purchases. Purchases amounting to certain dollar value thresholds are mandated to be awarded based on formal bidding or quotations.


Purchasing solicits formal bids for the purchase of goods and services when the aggregate total of a purchase is $50, 000 and over. For construction related projects, the threshold is $100, 000. Below these limits Purchasing will solicit informal quotations.

Vendor Lists

Each Business Center maintains lists of persons and firms with whom NSHE does business. Bids are sent to likely, pertinent vendors and formal bids are announced in newspaper notices and on our website.

Each Business Center Purchasing Department maintains separate vendor lists. A separate application needs to be completed for each office. A vendor application can be found under the forms sections of our page and must be submtted with a W-9 or W-8 to be accepted.


Recognizing the need for vendors to contact the community and market their products, Purchasing does not restrict access. In fact, Purchasing views this process as a valuable service to our clients. It is to everyone's advantage that current, factual, accurate, product information supports every purchase request. It is good business practice to establish and maintain a professional relationship with the purchasing staff. This is especially true when a vendor is working on a potentially large or complex purchase.

Vendor Responsibilities

Vendors are viewed as partners. Every vendor is expected to provide the highest level of service and highest quality products; specifically:

  1. Compliance with the terms and conditions of the purchase order including delivery as indicated.
  2. Compliance with supplemental terms and conditions of purchase as required by federal funding
  3. Lowest possible pricing on quotes and bids.
  4. Open communications with all parties.

Small/Small Disadvantaged/Women-Owned Business Concerns

NSHE strives to identify and utilize the services and products of small, small disadvantaged and women-owned business concerns. All such businesses are encouraged to contact Purchasing for assistance in understanding the system's methods of doing business. In addition, every effort will be made to assist these businesses in submitting bidder applications, quotations and bids.

Whenever possible, Purchasing will endeavor to:

  1. Include small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned business concerns on its solicitations for bid.
  2. Assure small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned business concerns are solicited once they are identified.
  3. When allowable and practical, divide total requirements into smaller tasks to permit maximum participation by small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned business concerns
  4. When allowable and practical, establish delivery schedules that will encourage participation by small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned business concerns.
  5. Request that each party to a subgrant, subagreement, or contract award take the affirmative steps stated above.

Business Definitions

Small Business Concern: an independently owned and operated concern certified, or certifiable, as a small business by the Federal Small Business Administration and in accordance with the Standard Industrial Classification codes found in the 13 CFR 121 or the Federal Acquisition Regulations, Section 19.102.

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