Doing Business with the University of Minnesota

We rely on small and large suppliers--the University of Minnesota needs a diverse set of suppliers. Purchasing Services is here to help all those interested in or already doing business with the University of Minnesota system (learn more about the five campuses that make up our system). Our university is large and complex and we need a wide variety of products and services. If you can think of it, we probably buy it at some point during any given year.

Want information about bid opportunities? Register in our bid information system, MBid.

Log in to Access MBid

Find opportunities (Requests for Proposal) to do business with the University of Minnesota.

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Doing Business with the University

Working with the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota has policies in place that guide our purchasing and business activity, available on our policy website. The University is a constitutional function of the State of Minnesota, so certain laws and regulations apply to our purchases that don’t apply to your “normal” customers. 


It is against University policy and Minnesota law for University of Minnesota employees to accept gratuities or gifts from suppliers.

Contact Information

Purchasing Services staff are available by appointment and can assist with any purchasing-related questions. Purchasing Services staff are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Refer to the Staff List & Organization Chart found on the bottom of this page for direct contact information. Cold calls (dropping in) without a prior appointment with Purchasing Services are not permitted.

Purchasing Services is located in the West Bank Office Building
1300 South Second Street, Suite 277
Minneapolis, MN 55454-1082
Phone: 612-624-2828
Email: [email protected]

Parking on Campus

For directions navigating campus and parking, visit the University of Minnesota Parking and Transportation Services website.

Smoke-and-Tobacco-Free Campus

Smoking or using tobacco products and electronic cigarettes is prohibited in all facilities and on all University property. All employees of suppliers and their subcontractors must adhere to this policy while working on campus. Information regarding the University’s Smoke-and-Tobacco-Free Campus policy can be found in the University's Policy Library.

Small/Targeted Businesses: Supplier Diversity and Sustainability

We strongly believe that the purchasing power of the University should enhance equal employment and business opportunities for BIPOC, women, and disabled persons. For additional resources on supplier diversity, please visit the University of Minnesota's Office for Supplier Diversity website.

Sign Up to View Bid Opportunities

Large purchases are subject to University policies which require an open and competitive bid (RFx) process to make sure the University obtains quality products and services at a fair and reasonable price. In all instances of competition, Purchasing Services will help ensure the University’s needs are met at the lowest possible cost under the most advantageous terms and conditions available.

Purchasing Services manages the RFx process on purchases that exceed the following dollar thresholds:

  • $50,000 for Goods and Standard/Professional Services
  • $100,000 for Design (Architecture & Engineering) Services
  • $250,000 for Construction Services

The University's current sourcing tool for issuing an RFx is called MBid. Suppliers can login (current users) or register to use (new users) MBid through the Purchasing Services MBid page.

Current and past RFx opportunities are available to access below:

If you cannot locate a particular RFx opportunity, email [email protected]. Be sure to include the RFx number and title in your request.

Supplier Forms Related to Requests for Proposal/Bid Responses

Construction & Design Supplier Forms

As part of the Request for Proposal/Bid (RFP/RFB) evaluation process, you may be required to submit safety information to be scored by the University Health and Safety Department. The resulting safety score is then used as part of the RFP/RFB selection process. To obtain a safety score, click on the link below for instructions on how to submit. Once the safety information has been processed, your firm's safety score will be added to the "Contractor Safety Scores" Google Sheet below.

Click on the appropriate link below to access the proper form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can our firm see your current bid opportunities?

All Request for Proposal / Bid opportunities can be viewed by logging into our MBid system.

How does our firm sign up to receive your bid notifications?

Register in our MBid system to receive our Goods & Standard/Professional Services bid notifications.

How can we find out which individuals from our firm are subscribed to receive your bid notifications?

To see which contacts from your firm are registered in MBid, first log in to our MBid system. Then select the "My Profile" tab along the top. Then click the "Users" tab to identify the contacts from your firm that are signed-up to receive our bid notifications.

How can our firm make changes to the individuals that are setup to receive your bid notifications?

To revise your contacts in MBid, first log in to our MBid system. Then select the "My Profile" tab along the top. Then click the "Users" tab. You can now add additional contacts by clicking the "New" link or change existing contacts by clicking the "Edit" link.

Each firm is allowed up to four contacts. 

Note, for Construction and Design firms, email [email protected] (for construction & design only related matters only) identifying:

  • the new contact information (which should include the contact name, title, phone, and email)
  • the contact name of the individual you'd like to remove (if applicable)

How can our firm get feedback on our Proposal?

Send an email to the Purchasing Representative noted in the RFP/RFB and they will respond and provide the necessary feedback.

What is my firm's Safety Code or Safety Score?

If you know your firm's Safety Code (starts with UMN followed by a number), there is a list where you can locate your firm's Safety Score. If you do not know your Safety Code, email [email protected] requesting the Safety Code for your firm.

How can our firm improve our Safety Score?

Email [email protected] with your firm's name and contact information requesting a review of your safety score. A University representative will contact you to review your score and discuss possibilities for improvement.

Where can I find a copy of the University's W9 Form?

You can access our W9 Form on the University's Tax Management Office website.

What can our firm do to make it easier for the University to do business with us?

The easiest thing for your firm to do is simply accept our Purchase Order and its Terms and Conditions as is. The University is a constitutional function of the State of Minnesota, so certain laws and regulations apply to our purchases that don’t apply to non-University customers. Therefore, our Terms and Conditions must be used except under extraordinary circumstances. Using our Terms and Conditions does not however present the same risk for firms using other customers’ terms. We cannot refuse to pay our just debts, hide assets, be bought by another company, flee the state, or even declare bankruptcy. Moreover, we are prohibited from being “arbitrary and capricious,” so we would not unreasonably sue or misinterpret a contract for commercial advantage.

The products and services we buy can be grouped into the categories listed in the table below. The Category Manager(s) for the area coordinate requests for information and bid opportunities for that category.

CategoryCategory Manager
Business ServicesDavid Krueger, [email protected]
ChemicalsAlicia Theisen, [email protected]
Computer SoftwareBrendan Wintroath, [email protected]
Construction and Design ServicesKevin Sullivan, [email protected]
DatabasesBrendan Wintroath, [email protected]
Equipment: AgriculturalJerry Taintor, [email protected]
Equipment: Athletic, Audio-Visual, Scientific, MedicalJan Kopczeski, [email protected]
Equipment: Computer Hardware, Office, SupercomputersBrendan Wintroath, [email protected]
Food and BeverageJerry Taintor, [email protected]
Furnishings and CarpetJerry Taintor, [email protected]
Lab SuppliesAlicia Theisen, [email protected]
Maintenance and Supplies for FacilitiesMarsha West, [email protected]
Networking and Telecommunications Equipment and ServicesDavid Krueger, [email protected]
Office SuppliesAlicia Theisen, [email protected]
PrintingJan Kopczeski, [email protected]
Professional ServicesJerry Taintor, [email protected]; Brendan Wintroath, [email protected]
Travel and Travel ServicesAlicia Theisen, [email protected]

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