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FPD Supplier Diversity

Supplier Diversity Overview

The University of Missouri System’s supplier diversity effort provides a direct way for the institution to generate economic development particularly for minority, women, veteran, service disabled veterans, and disadvantaged owned businesses in Missouri.  The goal is to ensure supplier diversity is part of both the pool of suppliers and part of the supply chain in all areas of the university's sourcing activities in our procurement and design and construction groups.


What is Supplier Diversity at the University of Missouri?

Supplier Diversity Eligibility

Businesses recognized as diverse suppliers come from Federal Public Law 95-507.  These firms should have certification from a recognized certification agency.  They are at least 51% owned, controlled and operated by a United States Citizen(s) who is:

  • African-American
  • Asian-Indian
  • Asian-Pacific
  • Hispanic
  • Native-American
  • Service Disabled Veteran Enterprises (SDVE)
  • Veteran-owned businesses
  • Woman-owned businesses

The University also recognizes Small Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (SDB/DBE) who are certified by the Federal Government (SBA).  Those firms certified based on net-worth requirements of the firms versus race and/or gender.

The supplier diversity effort is NOT a set-aside or preference program. Its design is to provide every opportunity for minority and women-owned businesses to participate in sourcing opportunities at the University of Missouri, system-wide.  These firms must be qualified and cost competitive just like any other firm. 

Sources of Identification and Recruitment of Supplier Diversity

There are several ways the university will identify potential suppliers for our projects.  There is a full page of organizations with their links in the resource section of this website.  A few of the resources we may use include:

  • Minority Business Councils in Kansas City and St. Louis
  • Minority Contractor Associations in St. Louis and Kansas City
  • Business Expos in Missouri
  • Business Journals and M/WBE directories
  • External interaction with other supplier diversity leaders at other companies in Missouri
  • SBA Central Contractor Registry
  • St. Louis Airport Database
  • State of Missouri Database
  • City of Kansas City Database


Service Disabled Veteran Owned Enterprises (SDVE)

The University of Missouri has a 3% Service Disabled Veteran Enterprise goal on all bids/proposals and grants a three (3) point bonus preference to a Missouri based, certified Service Disabled Veteran Enterprise (SDVE) bidder/proposer.  A  Service Disabled Veteran Enterprise shall mean  a business certified by the State of Missouri Office of Administration as a Service Disabled Veteran Enterprise, which is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one (1) or more Serviced Disabled Veterans or, in the case of any publicly-owned business, in which at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned by one (1) or more Service Disabled Veterans, and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one (1) or more Serviced Disabled Veterans.  

Preference for Missouri Products and Firms

In keeping with the policy of the state of Missouri as declared in statutory law, the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri has adopted the following policy:

Preference shall be given in respect to the products of the mines, forests and quarries of the state of Missouri and all materials, commodities, products supplies, provisions and all other articles produced, manufactured, mined or grown within the State of Missouri, provided that:

  • They are of a quality suitable and are fit for the purpose intended.
  • They can be secured without additional cost over products sourced from the outside of Missouri.
  • They are found in marketable quantities in the state.

Preference is also given to firms, corporations or individuals doing business as Missouri firms.


Process for Design and Construction

Design Consultants

Design Consultants for University of Missouri Design and Construction projects are selected based on experience with similar projects and professional qualifications. The university maintains a design consultant database to identify potential consultants for university projects. Although inclusion in the database is not mandatory to be considered for university work and inclusion in the database does not assure consultants will be selected for projects, consultants are strongly encouraged to participate in the database.

Design Consulting Firms, and firms offering related services such as surveying, geotechnical investigations, lighting, acoustical engineering, etc. interested in consideration for University of Missouri projects should use the link below to gain access to the database.  An e-mail will be sent to you providing a UserID and Password for access to the database with instructions on how to input your information.  Information may be accessed and updated at any time by the consultant.

Please contact Facilities Planning and Development at consultant database for access to the consultant database.

Construction Contractors and Suppliers

All University construction projects over $100,000 are posted on the campus’s website.  If you would like to subscribe to obtain bid announcements for all university construction projects over $100,000, please go to bid announcements

The following link provides access to the to the campus’s construction bid advertisements contractor bid info.

In some cases, the university will provide information directly to supplier diversity related organizations, especially in St. Louis and Kansas City. Information related to construction projects may be sent to contractor associations throughout Missouri, posted on the Internet and made available in various other ways. The key message here is: Check the university website on a regular basis for opportunities.

If you have questions about working with the University of Missouri Design & Construction, please reach out to the director for Facilities Planning and Development.


Process for UM System Supply Chain

UM System Supply Chain is responsible for the organization and administration of consistent, fair and effective procurement activities for all University departments and MU Healthcare. Our goal is to meet department needs while obtaining the maximum value for every dollar spent. In doing so, we are bound to comply with the policies set by the Board of Curators and University Administration.

Competitive Bids or Proposals are required for purchased services and items exceeding $10,000, unless already on contract with the University. Purchases exceeding $25,000 require formal bidding processes. We invite suppliers to view a listing of our open proposals at:

The University utilizes an electronic system, uBID, for responding to bid solicitations.  In order to participate in uBID solicitations, you must first register. Instructions on how to register as well as how to view events and place bids are available in the uBID supplier portal.

If you have questions about working with the University of Missouri Supply Chain office, please contact Teresa Vest, Director Supplier Accountability and Outreach at or call 573-882-7171.



Does the University of Missouri have a supplier diversity program?

Yes, the University of Missouri is committed to and supports supplier diversity because it is essential to the University’s mission and core values.

How do diverse firms participate on University of Missouri contracts?

Diverse firms may participate as prime contractors or subcontractors.  Diverse firms may also participate as joint ventures with majority owned firms or with other diverse firms.

Does the University of Missouri guarantee work for diverse businesses?

No, University of Missouri does not guarantee work to any supplier, but we are committed to working with diverse suppliers in the University’s procurement and design and construction processes.

Does the University of Missouri and its campuses require suppliers to be certified?

Yes. We require all diverse suppliers who do business with us to be certified by an appropriate state, regional, local and/or national agency.  For questions about acceptable certifying agencies for Design & Construction, please reach out to the director for Facilities Planning and Development; and for Supply Chain, contact Teresa Vest, Director Supplier Accountability and Outreach at or call 573-882-7171.

Is the University of Missouri Supplier Diversity program a set-aside program?

No. Missouri State Law does not permit the university to show preference or discriminate in the awarding of contracts based on the ethnicity or gender of business owners. While we may not establish set-asides for the use of minority and women-owned business, the university maintains a commitment to providing maximum practicable opportunity to participate in all procurement and contracting by the University. Supplier Diversity is part of the overall value equation we use in supplier selection.

How do diverse business learn about current and upcoming opportunities to do business with the University of Missouri?

Construction suppliers that wish to be on a bid notification list can register at this link . For architects and engineers, there is a database in which to register, click this link for more detail.   

For suppliers of goods and purchased services, you should register on the university's U-Bid site found at link

How would a firm introduce themselves to the supply chain and design and construction groups?

  • Provide us with information about your company. You can either e-mail or write with a letter of introduction and any other marketing material about your firm. Tell us how you believe you can help UM System’s overall business goals as a supplier to the university.
  • If there is a need for your product and/or services, we may schedule some time to learn more about your firm. We will want to learn more about your overall capabilities.
  • Once an established relationship is made, it is good to stay in contact and provide updates as needed. Understand that if an opportunity presents itself at this point, you will more likely be invited to bid.
  • It is important to check the supply chain and design and construction websites frequently for updated information.

Reviewed 2023-12-05