Two universities in southwest Indiana have developed a partnership to pool their resources to save money and increase diversity in their suppliers and contractors. The University of Southern Indiana and Vincennes University say they share mutual challenges due to geography and the size of their orders for goods and materials for their schools.

The institutions say they will start pooling their resources for cost savings and sharing best practices when hiring outside help.

“Both USI and VU are state-supported institutions operating primarily in the largely rural southwest corner of the state. Because of our location and the relatively smaller scale of our projects, VU and USI often don’t attract attention from contractors east of I-65 or north of I-70,” said VU President Chuck Johnson.

Johnson and USI President Ronald Rochon say both universities have undertaken efforts to increase diversity to help meet benchmarks set by Governor Eric Holcomb’s Commission for Supplier Diversity. The commission set goals for the percentage of state budgets spent with certified “Minority-Owned Enterprises”, “Women-Owned Enterprises”, and “Veteran-Owned Enterprises.”

The universities say the alliance begins immediately and will include sharing certified supplier and contractor lists, coordinating bid processes, and working collaboratively to identify potentially qualified suppliers and contractors.

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