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Contracting For Services


image of art student installing her sculpture on the quad



A professional services contract is an agreement into which the University enters for a variety of services, including marketing and media services as well as professional and artistic services. These services include but are not limited to copywriting, editing, video production, graphic design, public relations and media consulting, original artwork (such as sculpting and painting), and musical performance.

Contracts are handled by the Purchasing Division within the University's Office of Business & Financial Services. When contracting for services, it is important to keep the following in mind:

Get an estimate

Always obtain a written quote that includes scope of work, timetable, pricing, and any other pertinent information.

Get references

Always seek out personal references as you decide which firm or designer to hire. Creative Services can make recommendations and can assist you in crafting questions to ask potential contractors.

Check the contracted vendor list for professional and artistic services

The vendors represented in the contracted vendor list have been selected by the Purchasing Division through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Because they already have a professional services contract with the University, orders for up to $99,999 may be placed with these vendors without further approval.

Get a contract for projects over $4,999

If the cost of your project is over $4,999, you must have a professional services contract in addition to a purchase order (unless you use a preferred supplier). The Purchasing Divison provides direction on how to contract for professional and artistic services.

Get competitive bids for projects over $19,999

If the cost of your project is over $19,999, Illinois State law requires that it be competitively bid (unless you use a preferred supplier). You are required to send written specifications to Purchasing, along with a requisition. Purchasing will issue an RFP or bid for the services. Public Affairs can help you find appropriate vendors to bid on your specific project, based on your needs and the level of quality that is warranted. Remember, if you select a vendor from the prime and preferred supplier database and the job is under $100,000, you probably won't need to bid the project.

Don't sign anything

Never sign any document on behalf of the campus (for example: quotes and contracts). That is the role of the purchasing officers in Purchasing or representatives of the Office of Legal Counsel.If you've followed the rules for contracting for services and any disputes arise between the university and the supplier, Purchasing can act as a negotiator.

Don't proceed without a purchase order

Never allow a contractor to begin work without a purchase order. Without that authorization, you are putting the contractor at risk of not being paid for his or her work on your unit's behalf and yourself at risk of losing the “rights to data” for the work created for you.

Don't use your P-Card or invoice voucher

Campus policy prohibits use of the P-card or invoice voucher as payment vehicles for services. The proper procedure is to:

Purchasing will issue a purchase order and/or contract approving the supplier to begin work.