Negotiation process for the University Libraries

Information, requirements, and expectations for vendors and publishers.

Fiscal year

Our Fiscal Year is July - June, and we currently consider large, one-time purchases between March and May. Offers based on the calendar year or other fiscal cycles typically cannot be considered.

Conference attendance

We typically attend the following conferences: Charleston, ER&L, ALA, ACRL, and Medical Library Association (MLA). These are opportune times to arrange in person meetings as our schedule permits.


Any products or services under consideration by the University Libraries must meet our stated values.


To ensure timely, clear and accountable communication, we require:

  • All proposals must be in writing. Any offers made via phone, web-conference, or in-person must be followed up in writing.
  • We strongly prefer all contact be via email, not phone.
  • All communication must be shared with all designated point-of-contact negotiation members
  • Responses to correspondence must be timely and professional.


In accordance with the University of Minnesota Regents' Sustainability & Energy Efficiency Policy and as signers of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment we are committed to reducing unnecessary travel.

  • Virtual meetings are strongly preferred as they preserve valuable time, money, and resources for both parties.
  • In-person meetings should be reserved for contract negotiations or discussing concerns, upon mutual agreement of both parties. In-person meetings should not be used to discuss new products, offers or usage.
  • An agenda must be provided one week in advance of any meeting, regardless of format.
  • All documents must be provided digitally one week in advance of any meeting.


  • Contract must meet our legal and business needs.
  • We require agreements to be signed by both parties.
  • For negotiation purposes, initial contracts must be provided in editable, Word format.
  • We do not currently use DocuSign or any other electronic signature mechanism.

Conflicts of interest

University of Minnesota policy prohibits employees who directly or indirectly influence a University purchase decision or contract from accepting gifts exceeding the “nominal gift” value of $5 (see Individual Conflicts of Interest and Standards Governing Relationships with Business Entities). “A gift is any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, services, training, transportation, lodging, meals, or other item that constitutes a personal benefit to the recipient.”

University policy prohibits employees from endorsing a product or service (see Prohibited Activities with Business Entities).