The University of South Florida is being honored on a national level for its commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion. Today the university was selected as a recipient of the Jesse L. Moore Supplier 2021 Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and only print diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.
The award honors colleges and universities that take proactive steps to support and engage with minority-owned businesses through supplier diversity offices, unique programs and leading initiatives. Recipients were selected based on their efforts to engage and retain suppliers from underrepresented groups.
“The University of South Florida is proud to be recognized for our strong commitment to supplier diversity,” said USF President Steve Currall. “Supporting diverse and minority-owned businesses in our community is not just good for equity, it’s good for the business climate in the Tampa Bay region. Having a diversity of contracts increases both the value and quality of the university’s purchasing decisions.”
Since USF launched its strategic initiative to enhance supplier diversity in early 2017, the university has spent more than $120 million with businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans. The amount represents nearly eight percent of the university’s competitively sourced purchases. Prior to the new initiative, USF spent approximately $18 million per year with diverse suppliers and that amount has grown to as high as $34 million in recent years.
Another important part of USF’s efforts is to engage the community, including the establishment of USF’s Supplier Diversity Day, which brings together and educates hundreds of local diverse suppliers interested in doing business with USF, and the creation of the USF Supplier Diversity Champion Awards, which recognize USF employees, suppliers and community advocates who contribute to the success of the university’s supplier diversity program.
“We are so honored to receive this award. As the inaugural appointee to lead the USF supplier diversity program, I have had the pleasure, along with my amazing team, of building this initiative from the ground up. The support of our senior leadership has been a catalyst for the program growth that we are experiencing,” said Terrie Daniel, USF Office of Supplier Diversity assistant vice president. “This recognition validates that USF is moving in the right direction and we know this is just the beginning of our commitment to grow opportunities for diverse suppliers across the Tampa Bay region.”
USF previously earned statewide recognition for its supplier diversity and community engagement efforts by receiving the 2020 “Doing Well While Doing Good Humanitarian Award” from the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council.
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. 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.