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

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

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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.

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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.

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NAEP Educational Procurement Journal Spring 2023

NAEP Spring 2023 Journal

UConn’s Supplier Diversity Program has once again been featured in the NAEP Educational Procurement Journal (Spring 2023), for co-authoring an article entitled “Campus Procurement Helps to Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”, in collaboration with 3 other institutions:  Penn Sate University, Grand Valley State University, and University of San Diego. Click here to read the article and learn about the thoughtful supplier diversity work being done on our respective campuses.

NAEP Volunteer of the Year Award

UConn’s Supplier Diversity Program (V. Cook – middle) has been an active planner and participant in NAEP Supplier Diversity Institutes since 2007. Volunteerism includes representing UConn on the NAEP DEI Committee for 4 years (co-chairing its 2nd year) and the Supplier Diversity Sub-Committee (co-chairing); participating in an interview in one article and co-authoring another (Spring 2023) for NAEP’s Procurement Journal; and serving as a subject matter expert on panels for Fusion Sessions during covid years when sessions could not be held in person, as well as being a panelist and co-facilitating, respectively, during the first two years back in person at NAEP’s Annual Meetings.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond in service of NAEP and our members. This year’s awardees not only meet that definition, but also have done so when the demand in their offices has been at an all-time high. Their dedication to serving others is exceptional.

Veronica Cook Recipient of the NAEP Volunteer of the Year Award
Veronica Cook Recipient
NAEP Summer 2023 Journal
NAEP Group Awardees

NAEP Summer 2023 Journal Cover