Supplier Diversity Wordmark

USDP Core Values

About Us

USDP Mission

To expand enrollment and participation of small/minority businesses on University contracts, by facilitating the opportunity for said businesses to provide valuable, quality, timely goods and services, while building mutually beneficial, respectful, lasting business relationships with the University community.

USDP Policy Statement

The University of Connecticut is committed to providing a professionally inclusive environment within which small/minority businesses are encouraged to participate in the procurement experience, as they are afforded equal access to the bid process that transfers goods and services to the campus communities.

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SMBE Connect

Supplier Diversity Symposium in Higher Education

Second Annual Supplier Diversity Symposium in Higher Education | Inclusive Entrepreneurship ( – July 2023

“Training for Higher Education P-Card Holders” (Slide 7) is an idea that “garnered a great deal of interest” at this Symposium, according to The Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship’s, it’s host and just one institution with whom the University of Connecticut Supplier Diversity Program (USDP) has shared its success story.  UConn’s story can also be found in the Spring 2023 Edition of the NAEP Procurement Journal.  The USDP contracted with LightSpeed Edu, a minority-owned company to develop and launch their Supplier Diversity E-Learning course on October 1, 2019, entitled, “Embracing Supplier Diversity at UConn”. Continue reading

UConn Supplier Diversity Website Highlighted

How Supplier Diversity Webpages Can Open the Window to Opportunity | Inclusive Entrepreneurship ( – June 3, 2023

This article was published following The Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship’s Webinar held on April 11, 2023, entitled, “Benchmarking Higher Education Procurement Websites”, in which the University of Connecticut was one of two participating higher education institutions.

Supplier Diversity Best Practices

Proposed Strategic Plan for Supplier Diversity

UConn’s Supplier Diversity Program (USDP) was recently mentioned in the initial draft of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill’s “Proposed Strategic Plan for the UNC System to Increase Utilization of Historically Underutilized Businesses”.  This proposal highlighted UNC’S research results taken from interviews of different institutions, with the following key elements being attributed to UConn and others as examples of best practices:

  • Provide explicit, enthusiastic, and evergreen top-down support
  • Dedicate staffing and resources to supplier diversity
  • Empower university purchasers as economic changemakers
  • Celebrate successes

Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

In a recent review of 114 New England higher education institutions (HEI) websites, Northeastern Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship discovered that only 12 had dedicated supplier diversity websites.  Of the 12 they noted three (3) examples of websites that “do an excellent job of incorporating and organizing information for diverse suppliers. These sites make a point of welcoming DSBs into their procurement system”:  University of Connecticut, Drexel University, and University of South Florida.  The full  report can be accessed here.

Following the release of the report, a webinar was held to discuss the results, featuring Drexel University and the University of Connecticut as panelists on April 11, 2023.

2023 Annual Meeting National Assoc. of Educational Procurement

On Tuesday, May 02, 2023, Veronica F. Cook, Executive Program Director proudly represented the UConn Supplier Diversity Program (USDP) in Orlando, FL, at the 2023 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP). The University of Connecticut was part of a co-facilitated (with Grand Valley State University) session entitled “Supplier Diversity Member Mind Exchange”; and in accordance with its name, it resulted in an active exchange of ideas and experience focused key issues pertinent to supplier diversity. Cook and Rhodes-Sorrelle served on both the NAEP DEI Committee and the Supplier Diversity Sub-Committee during the period 2020-2023.

NAEP 2023 SD Member Mind Exchange - Orlando FL