General Policies

Purchasing Manual

Purchasing Manual Policies 

Allowed vs. Non-Allowed Purchases

A detailed list of common miscellaneous items that are and are not allowed to be purchased at the College's expense (whether by purchasing card, reimbursement, or any other method) can be found here. Issues pertaining specifically to meals and entertainment can be found here. If you have any questions about allowed purchases, please contact the Purchasing Office at PRIOR to making the purchase. Non-allowed purchases will ultimately be at the employee's expense, so it is wisest to ask first.

Campus Contracts: MHEC and E&I, Inc.

Hampshire College is a member of the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium and the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service. Information regarding these contracts is available from the purchasing department. No additional price checking is required when using either of these sources.

Campus Copier Contract

All offices are on a cost-per-copy program with Ricoh USA, Inc.. All requests for copier paper are placed through the Duplication Center by calling 413.559.5512 or by emailing Please indicate which general ledger account number should be charged when placing an order. Print jobs are submitted to the Duplication Center via the TRAC system. Toner and maintenance for Ricoh multi-function devices (MFD's) are requested via the My Ricoh website. Toner and maintenance for supported HP printers are requested via the email address on the Ricoh sticker on the machine. Remember to include the ID number of the machine needing service when contacting Ricoh.

Other Service Contracts

Significant contracts (costly, multi-year, and/or with campus-wide impact) must be pre-approved by the Senior Director of Budgets and Planning. General information about entering into contracts can be found here.

State or Federal Grants and Contracts

Expenditures made under state or federal grants and contracts must comply with all requirements of the grant or contract agency. Federal grants and contracts require compliance with Attachment O, OMB circular A-110. Prior to making purchases, the principal investigators must familiarize themselves with these requirements. 

Items purchased under grants and contracts become the property of Hampshire College. The College delegates responsibility for the care and operation of the property to the principal investigator.

Procurements made using federal grants and contracts must comply with 2 CFR 200.317 through 2 CFR 200.318. Prior to making purchases, the principal investigators must familiarize themselves with these requirements.

Conflict of Interest Policy

No employee, officer, or agent of the College may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by a Federal award if they have a real or apparent conflict of interest. Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of their immediate family, their partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract. The officers, employees, and agents of the College may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subcontracts. Failure to comply with this policy by officers, employees or agents of the College may cause financial harm to the College, and may require the College to return Federal awards. As a result, violations of this policy will result in a disciplinary review and may lead to termination.

Credit Applications

The purchasing office will process all credit applications from vendors that require this information in order for a department to establish a credit relationship. All pertinent files will be housed in the purchasing office.

Credit Card Purchases

College-issued purchasing credit cards should be used for College purchases under $1000. Read the purchasing card user guide.

Minority and Women-owned Business Policy

Hampshire College is committed to supporting minority and women-owned businesses. In recognition of the value of diversity in our society, we aggressively promote and seek out minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

Non-beverage Potable Alcohol

Purchasing of non-beverage potable alcohol requires a permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. All such requests must be placed through the Campus Safety and Wellbeing, and any requisition must have the approval of the director of public safety.

Office/Classroom/Student Furniture

All furniture purchases must have the approval of the purchasing office as well as the Treasurer. No invoices will be paid without the approval of the purchasing office; fire-retardant materials may be required.

Paper Purchasing

Effective July 1, 2003, Hampshire College began purchasing 100% post-consumer content, 100% chlorine-free, recycled paper. This paper will be used campus-wide in all copiers and office printers whenever possible. When not possible, paper that is 30% or higher post-consumer waste and 100% chlorine-free will be purchased.  .

Certain formal items, such as printed stationery and documents of the board of trustees, will continue to be printed on the paper the College has used historically in order to preserve consistency in the College's external identity.

Recycled Materials and Green Procurement

Hampshire College is committed to the purchase of products that enhance the preservation of our environment; however, in cases in which the price is significantly higher for "green" products or services, the cost difference will serve as a mitigating factor.

Individual departments will make the decision regarding the purchase of products made from recycled materials. Learn more about recycling at Hampshire.

Tax-exemption certificates

Hampshire College has a Commonwealth of Massachusetts tax exemption certificate number. Hampshire College is exempt from the payment of most federal, Massachusetts state, and local taxes. Please inquire about tax exempt status prior to purchasing any goods and services. Copies of the tax-exempt certificates can be found here.


Travel Policy

Read the travel expense and reimbursement policy.

Window Treatments

The purchase of all window treatments, blinds, shades, draperies, etc. must be approved through the purchasing office. Fire-retardant criteria must be followed in conjunction with these purchases.