9.73 Purchasing for Personal Gain


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on the use of the University purchasing system when items purchased will result in personal gain. 

Policy Statement

University employees shall not use the purchasing system (procurement cards, requisitions, purchase orders, requests for payment, travel expense vouchers, miscellaneous reimbursements, request for proposals, bids, etc.) to achieve personal gain.


Direct Purchase - an item that is purchased and paid for directly by an employee.

Indirect Benefit - is a benefit that may be received as a result of a direct purchase. It is not a rare or infrequent benefit whose value is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or administratively impracticable.

  • An example would be a purchase at a retail store which receives an 11% rebate. The rebate would belong to the University.


Items should not be purchased for personal use, either directly or indirectly, except when related to the performance of assigned or extended duties and responsibilities.

Examples of unallowable expenses would include:

    • Any item that is purchased directly for the benefit and personal use of an employee.
    • An employee selects company A to purchase electric light poles for university use. As part of the agreement the employee receives credits with each light pole purchase. These credits can be redeemed, by the employee, for free appliances (TV’s, Dishwashers, HVAC systems etc.) delivered and used at their personal residence.
    • An employee regularly uses their personal credit card to pay for travel expenses so that they can earn cash back bonuses, travel miles and similar perks.

A few examples of expenses that might be allowable would be:

    • An employee travels internationally for a period of longer than two weeks. The employee submits university procurement card expense for laundry
    • The University purchases shoes or clothing for an employee for safety, marketing or other reason.

In some cases, an employee might not have a university procurement card and the benefit might be unavoidable (some credit cards pay a rebate with each purchase). However, if an employee is expected to make frequent purchases a university procurement card should be obtained.

Requisitions, procurement card reconciliations, and payment requests that involve personal items, similar to situations described above, should include a brief explanation. Questions should be directed to the Manager of Procurement Services.

See also Employment Policies.

Procurement Services, Office of Business Operation, approved September 18, 2018
University Council, approved November 12, 2018
President and Executive Management Team, approved December 10, 2018