2.11—Approvals for Purchases

Effective: 02/19/2015
Senate Proposal: No
Responsible University Officer: Treasurer
Responsible Office: Purchasing Department

Policy Statement

All purchase requisitions must be approved by the appropriate financial manager. Only those persons assigned as the financial manager for a particular index are authorized to issue and approve purchase requisitions. Additional approvals are required in certain instances (refer to Policy Requirements (see below) and Board of Trustees Bylaws and Policies 11.9 Policy Regarding Capital Additions).

Policy Requirements

Additional approvals are required for:

  • Requests less than $5,000, except for blanket orders - must be approved by the financial manager of the index number shown on the requisition.
  • Requests for blanket orders - must be approved by the department head regardless of value.
  • Requests for $5,000 or more - must be approved by director/department head/department chair, associate dean or dean.
  • Non-Capital purchases of $50,000 or more - must be approved by an Executive Team member.

Requests for capital additions of $50,000 or more, require the following electronic approvals in addition to the above:

  • The Accounting and Purchasing Departments may process purchase requisitions for capital additions of less than $50,000 without additional approval.
  • Purchase Requisitions for capital additions of $50,000 to $250,000 must have the approval of the treasurer.
  • Purchase Requisitions for capital additions of $250,000 to $3,000,000 must have the approval of the president.
  • Requests for capital additions in excess of $3,000,000 must first be approved by the treasurer, then be submitted by the president, upon approval, to the Board of Trustees for approval. The requestor will be informed of the Board of Trustees's decision.

Refer to Board of Trustees Bylaws and Policies 11.9 Policy Regarding Capital Additions for the capital additions policy in its entirety.

Requests for advertisements require additional approval:

  • Vacancy positions, except faculty - must be approved by Human Resources. See the MTU Operating Procedures, section 22.4.2. Advertisements for the entire procedure for purchasing an advertisement.
  • Faculty vacancy positions - must be approved by Affirmative Action. See the MTU Operating Procedures, section 22.4.2. Advertisements for the entire procedure for purchasing an advertisement.

Requests for all services, except recognized establishments - must be approved by Human Resources. See the MTU Operating Procedures, section 22.5.3. Professional Services Contracting for the entire procedure for requesting professional services.

Reason for Policy

This policy ensures compliance with Board of Trustees policy and to maintain control over expending University funds. By enforcing controls over the approval to make commitments to spend University funds demonstrates fiscal controls and fiduciary responsibilities.

Related Policy Information

Processing of requisitions requiring additional approvals may be delayed while additional approvals are being obtained.


Emergency Override

In the event of a campus emergency where the Incident Management operations have been activated, the purchasing manager, or designee, is authorized to make any and all purchases requested by the Incident Commander without further approval. Purchases requested under these conditions are deemed to have an immediate health and safety priority and to delay such purchases in order to comply with normal purchasing approval restrictions may have detrimental consequences.


Office/Unit Name Telephone Number
Purchasing Department 906-487-2510


Approvals for Purchases — The authorization, by the appropriate index financial manager, to charge the acquired items and/or services against the index number indicated on the purchase requisition or check request.

Capital Additions — Purchases which include but are not limited to: maintenance, remodeling, additions, land acquisition, utility, landscaping, equipment, telecommunications, roads and parking with a unit cost of $25,000.00 or more and a useful life of two or more years; items comprising a system are capitalized upon initial purchase; and items which add value to an equipment item.

Financial Manager — The department employee who is appointed to operate and maintain a particular index, also known as the account custodian. The financial manager is responsible for all expenditures to that index.

Incident Commander — The individual appointed to be physically located in the field at the Incident Command Post where primary functions are performed and manages all incident operations at the incident site.

Incident Management — The broad spectrum of activities and organizations providing effective and efficient operations, coordination, and support applied at all levels of government, utilizing both governmental and nongovernmental resources to plan for, respond to, and recover from an incident, regardless of cause, size, or complexity.


Accounting Services or Research Accounting — Electronically reviews the index for sufficient fund balance (budget checking) and electronically forwards to Purchasing for further processing.

Dean/Department Chair/Director or Higher in Supervisory Chain-of-Command — Ensures compliance with University practices, policies, and procedures protecting University resources and reviews periodic (weekly, monthly) reports of purchases $5,000 or more to be fiscally responsible.

Financial Manager — Reviews the purchase requisition/check request and ensures the funds are available in the index number listed for the purchase, and signs the form if funds are available. If the funds are not available, contacts the department to make other arrangement for payment.

Incident Commander — Manages all incident operations at the incident site which includes: developing strategies and tactics and the ordering and the release of resources.

Requisitioning Department — Completes the appropriate form for the purchase, ensures the appropriate approval depending on amount of purchase and index being charged, and forwards to Accounting for review.

Forms and Instructions

In support of this policy, the following forms/instructions are included:

Purchase Requisition found at: https://www.mtu.edu/fso/financial/purchasing/order-requisitions/.

Adoption Date

06/30/2000 Adoption Date


04/10/2017 Transfer of policy page from HTML to CMS. Business and Finance numbers renamed from "2.2000" to "2. Business and Finance". Specifically from "2.2011—Approvals for Purchases" to "2.11—Approvals for Purchases".
06/29/2016 To reflect the additional required approval of the Executive Team for non-capital purchases of $50,000 or more.
06/04/2015 To reflect current titles, "Board of Control" is now "Board of Trustees".
02/19/2015 The responsible university officer was changed from the chief financial officer to treasurer. The Board of Control increased the approval authority amounts of capital addition requests from $25,000 to $50,000, $100,000 to $250,000, and $500,000 to $3,000,000.
05/03/2011 Converted policy from the Operating Procedures Manual 22.1.3. Approvals for Purchases and included the exclusion for Emergency Override.
05/31/2007 Included associate dean in approval of requests for $5,000 for more.
07/01/2006 Increased capital additions cost to $5,000 from $2,500.
08/04/2005 The Board increased the capital additions amount to $500,000 requiring Board of Control approval.
03/16/2005 Removed "interim" from CFO title