Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.93
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Iowa State University
OP-T2-24: Historically Underutilized Businesses

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Nancy Brooks
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution seek to support historically underutilized businesses, minority-owned businesses, and women owned-businesses?:

A brief description of how the institution meets the criteria:

Iowa State University has a Vendor Diversity Initiative, which supports the University’s commitment to diversity being applied to purchasing decisions with the objective of achieving and fostering greater minority-owned and women-owned business participation. This initiative is carried out by the Iowa State Purchasing Department, which strives to:

• Increase departmental awareness of the Vendor Diversity Initiative objectives and opportunities;
• Educate vendors regarding how to conduct business with the University;
• Give every reasonable business opportunity to businesses owned by minorities, women and persons with disabilities to participate as direct suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors at Iowa State University.

The Iowa State Purchasing Department directs and supports the University’s ongoing commitment to encouraging business opportunities and diversity among its vendors.
Iowa State also follows The Targeted Small Business Program (TSB), created by the State of Iowa. This promotes the growth, development, and diversification of small Iowa businesses owned by women, minorities, or disabled persons. Board of Regents policy and the Code of Iowa requires the University to establish TSB goals for each year, which are higher than the expenditures in the previous year. To assist the University in attaining this goal, the Purchasing Department maintains and distributes a condensed listing of Certified Iowa Targeted Small Businesses. The Purchasing Department will include TSBs in bid solicitations, whenever a TSB exists that offers the product or service being bid. Departments making purchases through delegated procurement authority (such as Purchasing Cards and Professional Service Agreements) are encouraged to utilize TSB vendors.

In addition, Iowa State follows Federal guidelines for inclusion of minority-owned and women-owned businesses, which are set forth in Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110, Section .44 Procurement procedures, paragraph b as follows:
Positive efforts shall be made by recipients to utilize small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises, whenever possible. Recipients of Federal awards shall take all of the following steps to further this goal.

1. Ensure that small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises are used to the fullest extent practicable.

2. Make information on forthcoming opportunities available and arrange time frames for purchases and contracts to encourage and facilitate participation by small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises.
3. Consider in the contract process whether firms competing for larger contracts intend to subcontract with small businesses, minority-owned firms, and women’s business enterprises.
4. Encourage contracting with consortiums of small businesses, minority-owned firms and women’s business enterprises when a contract is too large for one of these firms to handle individually.

Finally, the ISU Purchasing Department has several sections of its Procurement Procedure Manual that deal with supporting historically underutilized businesses, which all purchasing agents follow. As part of the Iowa State University Small Business Program, Purchasing has created several initiatives, including:

• Providing monthly training to small businesses on how to do business with the University;
• Circulating small-and-disadvantaged-company brochures;
• Attending small and disadvantaged-business fairs, trade shows, and seminars

As part of the program’s goals, the university seeks to maximize opportunities for departments to procure goods and services from women-owned small businesses, historically black colleges/universities and minority institutions. Utilization of small and disadvantaged businesses is a component of the purchasing agents' annual performance evaluations and salary setting. In addition, Iowa State has hired a Small Business Program Coordinator to develop subcontracting plans for federal contracts and manage the Small Business Program.

+ Date Revised: June 26, 2014

The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:

The Procurement Procedure Manual is available at:


Section 14 specifically describes the Iowa State Small Business Program.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.