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Program Development Guide

Working with Vendors and Business Services

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Program Development Guide

Center for International Programs
West Chester University
320 Mitchell Hall
675 S. Church Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-3515
Fax: 610-436-3426

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

International Student Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.

Study Abroad Advising:
Make an appointment.
Limited availability for walk-ins.

Working with Vendors and Business Services

This section deals with working with vendors and service contracts. Those working directly with a university in an academic partnership should visit the Contracting (MOA's) tab on the left. In most cases, when an MOA is required, a service purchase contract will also be necessary in order to execute payments.

WCU has contracts in place with the following vendors. You may either collect payments at WCU, or set it up so that students may pay the vendor directly. Each of these vendors either has a department dedicated to customized faculty-led programming, or the staffing and resources to set up a program.

The Center for International Programs will assist with the management of cost centers. Please

e-mail Peter Loedel

  to set one up, or have questions regarding the use of an existing cost center. If all student payments are going directly to a vendor or affiliate program provider, a cost center is not required.

Planning with Finance and Business Services

As a public entity and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) certain bidding requirements are either mandated or have been adopted by West Chester University as good business practice. The Commonwealth Procurement Code commonly known as ACT 57, requires that bids be solicited for all purchases exceeding $18,500 with a few specific exceptions. Any exception to the competitive bidding requirement must be approved in advance by Business Services. All procurements must be authorized in advance by Business Services.Any tangible object is considered to be a commodity and acquired with a Purchase Order (PO). Services are considered to be an intangible product and are procured through a Service Purchase Contract (SPC). Services include but are not limited to services provided by speakers, conference/workshop site providers, repairs to equipment, etc.

If you are working with any of the vendors listed above, you are permitted to go over the $18,500 limit because there is a contract already in place that has been approved through a bidding process.

Purchase Orders: Generally Purchase Orders will be processed within 5 -7 business days of receipt of the requisition by Purchasing. If the item requested needs to be bid please allow 2 – 3 weeks to process the Purchase Order

Service Purchase Contracts: Generally Service Purchase Contract require a minimum of 3-4 weeks to be completed by Purchasing. This is due to the requirements for signatures from the vendor, University and Legal Counsel.

Memorandum of Understanding (Moa) Vs. Service Purchase Contract: Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) is the document used to memorialize the collaboration between West Chester University and the international institution with respect to a study abroad opportunity. The MOA will include why and how the parties came together, description of the collaboration, financial obligations, if any, dates for the collaboration, key contacts and a detailed description of the roles and responsibilities for each party.

The MOA doesn’t take the place of other procurement contracts such as a Service Purchase Contract (SPC). The SPC is a contract used by West Chester University to procure services. These services can include but are not limited to housing, transportation and other related items for students while traveling and travel agencies used for certain counties to assist with ”in-country” travel arrangements.

For more information, please see the Procurement Policy links at the following website or call the Purchasing Manger at 610-436-1019 or the Director of Business Services at 610-436-2705:

WCU’s Purchasing Policy can be found here.

Wire Payments and Foreign Bank Transfers

Avoid wire transfer of funds

Although payments can be made by wire, Finance and Business Services discourages this practice. Sending wires to a foreign bank is difficult because 1) proper account and routing numbers are required, 2) those numbers can be difficult to obtain for foreign banks, and 3) a wire sent to the incorrect account number or bank can be difficult and time consuming to retrieve in order to recover funds. If a wire is to be sent, it is vital that we obtain and provide the correct banking information.

Wire transfers are a form of payment, and they require adherence to all standard procurement laws, policies and procedures.

Purchase Cards, Travel Cards, Cash Advances, and Vouchers

Use a Travel Card for funding travel in advance; cash advance is another option

Submit travel expenses along with all receipts within two weeks of return

The travel card program option provides a method of charging individual employee travel expenses incurred during official business travel on behalf of WCU. Contact Finance and Business Services (ext. 5654 or 2223) for details concerning card usage. Faculty and staff will receive a bill for all travel card purchases and are required to submit a Travel Expense Voucher for all qualifying expenses in order to be reimbursed.

All receipts must be converted to U.S. dollars and submitted with the travel card bill no later than two weeks after the return date. The processing time of applications for travel cards is approximately four weeks. Cash advances for travel are available.

A request for an advance should be made 30 days in advance of travel. A request for cash advance includes the requirement that the University President has approved the international travel on the Advance Travel Authorization form.

Travel advance checks are issued approximately one week prior to departure. Within 14 days of the completion of travel, a Travel Expense Voucher must be submitted detailing and supporting all expenses with original detailed receipts.

While cash advances are available, the travel card is the preferred method of funding travel in advance. Cash advance and Travel Expense Voucher forms are online

Purchasing Airfare

Faculty or students should not buy airline tickets until they receive program approval, including all signatures.

Faculty may not purchase student airfare. Students must purchase their own tickets through a travel agency or directly through the airline. Please contact CIP for recommendation of travel agents that specialize in student travel.

All questions regarding any of the above should be referred to Finance and Business Services (ext. 5654 or 2223).

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