Located on a 300-acre tree-lined campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is approximately 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is highly ranked for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
Departments and Areas are still responsible for identifying those goods and services that they require for daily business activity, but they now have additional tools to use to assist in making supplier selection and enabling transactions that conform to a set of standards. This is important as suppliers who have worked with Rice in the past will need to update their expectations and modify their relationships to accommodate these changes. Examples of the changes are order must be documented IN ADVANCE of a transaction using a purchase order or the end-user must use an official Rice University purchasing card to create a transaction. Suppliers that accept orders that are not issued out of the eProcurement system (official Rice Purchase Orders) or accept a credit card transaction are engaging in unauthorized transactions with individuals who are violating Rice policy. This has consequences for the supplier in that the University may not recognize the transactions and the individual creating it will be personally responsible for settling the obligation with the supplier.
Click on each of the topics below for more information.
- Methods of Purchasing
- Back Orders or Product Delays
- Terms & Conditions
- Compliance with procedures
- No Gifts or Gratuities
- Supplier's Code of Conduct at Rice University
Soliciting on Campus
Please remember: Rice University is private property. It is NOT an open campus for solicitations.
Due to the administrative burden resulting from the maintenance of a supplier master database, all unsolicited requests to become a registered, preferred, approved or any other classification as a supplier at Rice University without having the University first identifying a need for your goods or services, will be ignored. Repeated unsolicited requests to be registered as a supplier may result in debarment for a period not less than twelve (12) months.
Soliciting without prior appointments is not permitted at Rice University. Such activity distracts from the normal daily business and enhances the chance that an employee not authorized to make a commitment on behalf of Rice may inadvertently do so. Suppliers who engage in soliciting on campus without appointments will be warned for a first infraction by the Procure to Pay Office and subsequent instances may result in debarment and removal from all supplier systems for a period not less than six (6) months. Also, having one or more clients on the campus does not waive this limitation. Always schedule an appointment with a prospective client.
Telephone solicitation is never authorized for Rice University. Suppliers may call and request an appointment only. Suppliers engaging in telephone solicitation to any office other than the Procure to Pay Office may be barred from campus and all active supplier records (i.e the ability of that supplier to conduct business with Rice University) may be purged from the supplier master database. Suppliers who telephone the Procure to Pay Office may be directed to put their solicitation in writing and given an email address to submit it. The Procure to Pay Office will vet these solicitations against current opportunities.
Email solicitation to campus staff and faculty is discouraged. A recent study by a well-respected marketing firm showed that over 95% of email solicitations were classified as spam on campus and corporate email servers. Of those making it to the end user, virtually all are deleted or otherwise ignored. The most frequent complaint to the Procure to Pay Office about suppliers is regarding email and telephone solicitation. We ask all suppliers to refrain from email solicitation.
Rice University welcomes incentives to conduct business that are intended to benefit the University and its business relationship with a supplier. However, Rice University does not permit personal incentives of any kind to individuals intended to influence or "purchase" a business relationship. Gifts and gratuities are not permitted in business relationships and Rice staff and faculty are held to a set of standards that may be higher than other institutions. An easy rule to remember - no gifts or gratuities, please.
Financial references are available when establishing a documented supplier relationship with Rice University. These references will be provided at that time. Rice University employees are not permitted to complete credit applications on behalf of the University. The Procure to Pay Office can be contacted at email@example.com to request the necessary documentation.
Methods of Purchasing
There are two methods of conducting business with Rice University in the procurement of goods and services. Individuals may use a purchasing card (credit card) up to $3000 or issue a purchase order through the Rice Marketplace eProcurement system. suppliers receiving a purchase order from Rice University carries with it the obligation to supply the ordered goods or services at the agreed-upon price, at the promised time, and without the need for buyer's intervention, renegotiation, or continued expediting. Suppliers should never accept requests for goods or services from Rice University without a purchase order number or a Purchasing Card number. Doing so creates additional administrative burden and suppliers shall be on notice that if they choose to accept an order outside these two methods, they do so with the full understanding that Rice University does not recognize the transaction and is under no obligation to pay for the goods or services without a full and complete accounting, in advance, of the transaction by the individual who initiated it.
Rice University accepts invoices only for goods and/or services ordered in advance of the date of the invoice via a valid Rice University-issued purchase order. Invoices shall contain the accurate purchaser order number. Invoices that are mailed or hand-delivered to an address other than the Bill-To address marked on the purchase order or the Controller's Office (see directly below) immediately waive all payment penalties (late fees, etc.) and there is no guarantee Rice University can verify the invoice was received in a timely manner. Payment terms are standard Net-30 days.
Submit all invoices via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back Orders or Product Delays
Rice University Procure to Pay Office expects all suppliers to proactively contact the Procure to Pay Office at 713-348-6700 or via email at email@example.com regarding any and all delays in fulfillment, fabrication, or shipment resulting in back orders or other delays. Repeated failure to do so may result in a supplier review by the Procure to Pay Office which may lead to a suspension and debarment for a period of time as determined by the Director of Procure to Pay. Additionally, payment for back-ordered items may be delayed as well when considering the expiration of grant funds and other issued that result from the delay in fulfillment.
Pricing for all goods and services shall be agreed upon IN ADVANCE of the transaction. Acceptance of the Purchase Order issued by Rice University indicates agreement with the pricing contained on the document. Additional charges and fees like shipping and handling, dry ice charges or other ancillary fees are to be made known to the individual at the time of purchase or when the Purchase Order is received or they may be rejected at time of payment. At no time shall a supplier who lists catalog pricing in the University SciQuest eProcurement system reject a Purchase Order or invoice for pricing at a higher rate if the supplier has not updated their catalog and pricing. If pricing is not correct on a received purchase order, the supplier may contact the point of contact on the Purchase Order or email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm and update pricing.
Unless otherwise agreed to, in writing, prior to shipment of the product, Rice University does not accept substitutions.
All written communications shall reference the PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER in the subject line. Suppliers are directed to communicate via email as much as possible to preserve a record of the transaction history and communications. When phone calls occur, there should be a follow-up email. Suppliers can find the point of contact for any purchase order issued on the purchase order. Additionally, all suppliers can reach the Procure to Pay Office at email@example.com.
Purchase Order Terms and Conditions are a standard document that end users are not authorized to change, manipulate or otherwise void in total or any section within the document. Only the Procure to Pay Office, in consultation with the General Counsel's office may waive or alter the terms and conditions. Contact the Procure to Pay Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if your company has any issues with our standard terms and conditions. Click here to see Rice University's full Standard Terms & Conditions.
All Rice University suppliers honor official Rice University purchase orders, follow the terms and conditions contained within the purchase order document, follow written shipping instructions on the purchase order (if any), and deliver goods to specific buildings and locations (as stipulated on the purchaser order document) during normal business hours. Additionally, as previously stated, suppliers shall invoice per the Rice University instructions above. Failure to comply with written instructions waives all payment terms and may result in undue administrative delay of payment.
No Gifts or Gratuities
To avoid any conflict of interest, perceived or otherwise and in accordance with policy.rice.edu/838, The Procure to Pay Office advises all suppliers and Rice University employees to avoid giving or receiving any gift or gratuity OF ANY VALUE to avoid the appearance of a potential conflict of interest. While gifts of nominal value are sometimes permitted, it is best, especially for Rice University employees, to avoid, in every instance, an offered gift from a supplier, regardless of value.
Supplier's Code of Conduct for Rice University
Suppliers doing business with the University are expected to adhere to the following Supplier Code of Conduct: All purchases of goods and services from outside suppliers are to be preceded by the issuance of an official Purchase Order generated by Rice Marketplace that is then provided to the supplier. An official Purchase Order includes necessary approvals within Rice University.
Invoices shall be presented to Rice University with a valid Rice University Purchase Order number unless otherwise waived by the Procure to Pay Office.
Invoices shall not be sent until after the product has been shipped or the service has been performed.
The term Preferred Supplier at Rice University is reserved only for those suppliers that the Procure to Pay Office has established a formal contract or agreement with Rice University.
The appropriate way to conduct business with Rice University is to call and schedule an appointment prior to visiting a particular department or school. NO TELEPHONE SOLICITATIONS.
It is inappropriate for a supplier to make a donation of any sort to a department/school that may influence a future purchasing decision. In addition, Rice University students and student organizations have no authority to commit the University to the purchase of any product or service without the use of an authorized Rice University purchasing card.
The Procure to Pay Office reserves the right to request a detailed spend report from any supplier registered in the Rice University financial system. Requested reports must be provided in a timely manner.
The Procure to Pay Office reserves the right to utilize third party benchmarking services when analyzing proposals and quotes submitted by suppliers.
The Procure to Pay Office strongly discourages marketing efforts directed at departments and schools where a Preferred Supplier contract(s) already exists.
The University reserves the right to inactivate a supplier if they do not abide by the above.