LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 22, 2023) — With over 60 employees, University of Kentucky's Purchasing Division handles around $1.4 billion worth of transactions for the entire university community. Barry Swanson, UK’s chief procurement officer, says that number grows as the university grows, and he expects it to surpass $2 billion in just a few more years.
The mission of the Purchasing Division, which includes Central Purchasing, Hospital Purchasing, Construction Purchasing, UK Supply Center and Surplus Property, is to provide service and support, in a legal and professional manner, to purchase quality goods and services at the best value to the university community.
To that end, the university is also committed to serve as an advocate for diverse businesses in their efforts to conduct day-to-day operations, transactions and interactions with UK. Marilyn Clark is UK’s supply diversity manager, and oversees the Diverse Business Enterprises efforts of the department, which consists of businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by people in the categories of minority, women, disabled, veteran and disabled veteran.
On this episode of "Behind the Blue," Swanson and Clark discuss their roles and responsibilities, the diversity goals they’ve set for a positive community impact, the importance of relationship building and partnerships with small businesses around the state, and more.
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