Board of Trustees approves contract to increase UI use of minority business vendors

By Samantha Jones Toal

Under the approved purchasing initiative, 28 minority- and female-owned companies will receive three-year contracts to provide information technology services on the University’s three campuses.

The contracts goes into effect July 1, 2016.

“I am proud of our leadership on this important issue and the opportunities we are providing for minority and female-owned companies to grow and prosper through their new relationships with the University and additional contracts that their track record of success will foster,” President Timothy Killeen said in a University news release.

The “sheltered market” initiative allows certain state contracts to be set aside specifically for businesses owned by minorities, females and people with disabilities.

It was established after an Illinois Business Enterprise Program Council disparity study found that sectors of the IT and telecommunications industry were being unfairly excluded from state business.

According to the release, the companies will collectively be paid up to $30 million per year over the course of the three-year contracts.

The board also approved the construction of the first-ever student union on the Springfield campus. The new building will cost $21.7 million and is scheduled for completion by January 2018.

“This project required a lot of creativity and good, old-fashioned hard work,” Killeen said in the release. “I am deeply grateful to Chancellor Koch, our students and our donors for coming together to give UIS a new centerpiece that will serve students and the community for generations to come.”fm

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