Finance Division

Procurement In A Nutshell

Clemson University is a State Agency and must comply with the SC Procurement Code, utilize established State contracts when available, and allow for transparency on all purchases.

Where do I start?

If you are using 100% Clemson Foundation funds, State Procurement rules (and the information below) may not apply.  Contact your business office for specific processes.

If you are using any funds that are NOT Clemson Foundation, including grant funding, self-generated funds, etc..., then the following rules apply.

What is buyWays?

buyWays is Clemson's online catalog and ordering solution. This electronic requisitioning tool helps you to quickly locate best pricing with our preferred suppliers, find an item available through Clemson and state contracts, compare products across suppliers and much more.

All Clemson employees should have access to buyWays to shop and search contracts.  For more information on buyWays, gaining access, and how to get started in buyWays, click here

What's on Contract?

Some major commodities on State or CU Contracts (aka: Agency Contracts) are:

Office supplies, paper, computers, furniture, lab equipment/supplies, printers, software, vehicles, video conferencing equipment, etc. These MUST be purchased from our established contracts.

To start your search for contract items or what you may need, go to buyWays and use the search function to search for goods, services, vendors or contracts specifically.  Note, contracts are searchable in buyWays by keyword.  If you don't find what you are looking for on first attempt, try using alternate descriptions.  If your item is very unique, chances are there may not be a contract for it.

Procurement dollar amount limits:

≤$2,500 - No bids are necessary. Department can make purchase. While a PO is not required, if possible, you should utilize a PO so your purchase is backed up by Clemson Terms and conditions.  An alternative is to use a p-card or a Direct Payment form.  The following process flow diagram may assist you with selecting the best way to purchase.

$2,501 - $1,000,000 - PO is required. A requisition must be processed through buyWays and an order placed with a vendor (unless an exemption below applies).

$1,000,000/$1,500,000 and above - A requisition must be sent to the State of SC ITMO or MMO Office respectively to process an order for either IT or non-IT goods and services.  Begin this process by entering a requisition in buyWays.


Certain purchases are exempt from following the State Procurement Code and associated dollar limits and processes.  Exempt purchases that may exceed the limits above include utility bills, registration fees, research animals, purchase for resale, etc...  For a complete list of exemptions, click here.  To order using one of these exemptions, you may utilize a p-card (based on your p-card transaction limit), issue a PO (by selecting the appropriate exemption on the requisition) or by completing a direct payment form in buyWays.

Other items that may not have to adhere to the limits and bidding requirements include Sole Source procurement, Emergency procurements,(add links for both of these to the appropriate policy) and Grant Specified Procurement  (see Procurement Certification form in buyWays for details).  In addition, for purchases off already existing contracts (that were already competed by Clemson or the State) you need only to simply choose the appropriate contract number in your buyWays purchase requisition.

2 Ways to Pay for Purchase

  • Purchase order (including the Direct Payment which is a purchase order NOT sent to a vendor) in buyWays, or
  • Procurement Card, ≤$2,500, unless a higher limit card is approved.

Unauthorized Procurement

An act obligating Clemson University in a contract by any person not authorized to do so in accordance with Clemson University procurement policies and procedures. Must write letter to Procurement Director and President of the University must ratify the purchase. Examples are non-exempt purchases > $2,500 and multiple planned purchases that exceed $2,500.