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Procurement of Goods and Services

Cornell University’s Board of Trustees delegates significant procurement authority for the acquisition of goods and services from external sources on the university’s behalf. This authority is ultimately delegated to designated purchasing agents and contracting officers. These stewards of university funds must base such purchases on sound business practice, best value, accountability, and compliance with donor, sponsor, and regulatory requirements. Further, the university expects individuals making purchases to follow the principles referenced in this policy, as well as the procedures described in the university's official Buying Manual.

 Note: This policy incorporates the following previous university policies: 3.5, Paying for Services (Independent Contractors/Consultants); 3.5.1, Service Provider Payments (Independent Contractors/Consultants)-Weill Cornell Medical College; and 3.12, Procurement Card. 

Policy details


Your local college or unit administrative office or Procurement and Payment Services (email).

Violations of Finance Policy

Violation of a financial policy should be reported to your supervisor, Human Resources representative, unit manager, and/or the office responsible for the policy. Where these resources are inadequate, you may choose to make an anonymous report through the Cornell University Hotline.

Revision History:

4/15/2020: Removed references to the old personal liability corporate card; referred to Buying Manual for bid limits.

12/04/2019: Updated Travel and Meal Card guidance, Purchases with Special Requirements, and Appendix C: Payment Methods. Added new section regarding university travel and meal credit card program to define program eligibility and cardholder responsibilities.