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In order to facilitate approvals required in the COVID-19 Campus Procurement Guidelines released March 19, 2020, effective immediately, units must complete an approval form for all purchases greater than $50,000 and general procurement items which meet the criteria below. Keep this page bookmarked for future updates on any processes.

Items That Need Review and Approval

  • A purchase greater than $50,000.
  • Contracts where the University would be required to advance or spend more than $50,000 over the life of the contract.
  • Capital improvement payments greater than $50,000
  • P-Card expenditures exceeding existing individual purchase limits.
  • Consulting agreements.
  • Cash advances greater than, or cumulatively exceeding $5,000.
  • Vehicle leases or purchases.
  • Furniture purchases.
  • Unit renovations (Non-Capital Improvements).
  • Meetings or entertainment expenses greater than $1,000.

Routing

Forms must be approved and signed by the Campus Unit Finance Lead and then routed for approval to the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Operations, Nate Knuffman or Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Budget, Steve Agostini.

Purchase Approval Form

The form has been designed to identify the urgency of the request and allow units to provide a justification of need.  We also ask units to confirm that there is someone available to accept delivery of goods and services.

Once completed, email the form to your Campus Unit Finance Lead for approval, who will then route the request form to specialpurchaseapproval@unc.edu for approval and payment. Once you receive an approval this MUST be attached in ConnectCarolina to the requisition or voucher, as applicable.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Procurement at purchasing_team@unc.edu.

(PDF version of this chart)

Purchasing Guidance Chart
Category Item All Departments
Allowable Unallowable SPA Form Exceptions/Notes
Travel / Conferences / Events Travel X N Minor exceptions via Provost approval process
Conference Registration (in person or remote) X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Continuing Education (e.g. CPE) X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Outside Events X
Conference Materials (T-Shirts, Swag, etc.) X
Conferences We Host (self-supporting) X Y MCU Finance Lead Approval
Dues Licenses & Dues X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Society Dues X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Meetings & Amenities Office meetings, holiday events X
Retirement parties / Celebrations X
Meals X
Home Delivery (e.g. food and beverages X
Gifts for retiring people X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Gifts for deaths / births / etc. in family X
Supplies Office Supplies X Essential items only, closely monitored
Non-essential equipment purchases X
Furniture purchases (non-capital projects X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Computers / iPads / Cell Phones / Tablets X Only to replace broken / damaged unit, or for research
Apparel Purchases (e.g. lab coats, white coats, scrubs) X MCU Finance Lead Approval
CPE non-clinical X Centrally purchased
Plexiglass X Y Must have facilities approval
PPE/Clinical Supplies (over $5K) X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Marketing & Advertising Marketing and Advertising X Exception for new hires and patient recruitment
Web Development X MCU Finance Lead Approval
Logo / promotional items X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Consulting Consulting Engagements X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Third Party Service Contracts Existing X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Third Party Service Contracts New X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Honorariums* X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Other Research Expenditures (covered by grant) X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Research Expenditures (not covered by grant) X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Purchases above $50K Any purchase of any kind (capital or expense) X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Renovations Any unit renovations of any dollar amount X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Cash Advance Greater than or cumulatively exceeding $5K X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
Vehicle Lease or Purchase Any mechanized vehicle (golf cart, truck, gator, tractor) X Y Must go through MCU process and SPA process
SPA
Special Purchase Approval Form – It requires submission to central finance for approval after signed approval from MCU Lead
*Honorariums for Speakers less than $5,000 do not need to go through the approvals process. Please see Updated! IC Speaker Form Page for details.

Related Communications

Please be aware that a more recent communication may update the instructions in a former memo.  Use the most recent information available: