The University of South Florida’s strategic initiative to increase spending with businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans has resulted in significant gains, according to new data compiled from USF’s most recent fiscal year.
In 2018-19, USF spent nearly $35 million with diverse suppliers, an increase of nearly $8 million from the previous year and almost double the amount from 2016-17 ($18 million). Overall, 8.7 percent of the university’s competitively sourced purchases last year were made with diverse suppliers.
The improvements continue a pattern of consistent growth since early 2017 when USF implemented a university-wide emphasis on working more closely with businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans to provide ample opportunities to compete for providing USF with goods and supplies, construction services and professional services. Over that time, USF has spent more than $80 million dollars with diverse-owned suppliers.
“The University of South Florida is deeply committed to supporting diversity and inclusion, including with the Tampa Bay region’s business community,” said Terrie Daniel, assistant vice president of supplier diversity, who joined USF in April 2017. “Our results can be attributed to the hard work of many dedicated people and our university leadership, including new USF President Steve Currall, who has expressed his support for continuing this important initiative.”
Daniel and her team continue to focus on outreach efforts and expanding programming opportunities for businesses to learn more about the university’s procurement processes and how they might be able to work with a large organization like USF. The office of supplier diversity also educates USF staff and faculty on best practices for considering minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses when making purchases.
USF will hold its third annual supplier diversity day on Friday, Oct. 4. The all-day event brings together the Tampa Bay region’s business community with key purchasers from USF, aiming to strengthen relationships, further educate vendors about the university’s procurement process and offer guidance for successfully competing for future business opportunities at USF. More information on supplier diversity day, and the university’s initiative, is available here.