Diverse Supplier Guidelines

Supplier Diversity Services

The Department of Supplier Diversity Services works in tandem with Procurement Services to provide maximum procurement opportunities for Diverse Suppliers. The Department of Supplier Diversity Services is also a resource to academic and research units that have federally or state funded sponsored projects and need to develop goals to use Diverse Suppliers for research and service proposals (read below).

USC’s Goal to Procure with Diverse Suppliers

The university aspires to have 15% of all procurements made through Diverse Suppliers, regardless of source of funds. For the purposes of contributing to the university’s 15% overall goal, ‘Diverse Suppliers’ are defined as those that self-classify themselves on the Procurement Services’ Supplier Application Form as being one of the classifications that contributes to USC’s 15% Diverse Supplier usage goal.

A list of the self-certified classifications that contribute to USC’s 15% Diverse Supplier usage goal can be found here.

USC’s Goal to Procure with Small, Local Suppliers

Use of small suppliers who are located within the 26 ZIP codes surrounding the University Park, Health Sciences, Alhambra and Marina del Rey campuses also contribute to the university’s Diverse Supplier goal of 15%. This small and local business classification is regardless of owner ethnicity or gender.

A list of the ZIP codes that contribute to USC’s 15% Diverse Supplier usage goal can be found here.

Federally Sponsored Project Account Goals

In order for the university’s federally-sponsored contracts to receive credit for using a Diverse Supplier, the supplier must qualify as one of the ownership classifications found at https://businessservices.usc.edu/for-suppliers/supplier-diversity/. The more stringently classified businesses also contribute to the university’s 15% goal (but not vice versa).

State Sponsored Project Account Goals

The only Diverse Supplier classification that contributes to state-funded, sponsored project goals is the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (CDVBE) classification. In order for the university’s state-funded sponsored accounts to receive credit for using a CDVBE, the business must provide a certificate from the state of California to Supplier Diversity Services.


Any person who misrepresents a firm’s status in order to obtain a contract at the university may be punished by imposition of fine, imprisonment, or both, subject to administrative remedies, including suspension and debarment, and be ineligible for future contracts.

Research Proposals and Contracts

Supplier Diversity Services assists academic and research units in developing Diverse Supplier goals for federal, state, and local funded research and service contracts at or above $500,000. Specifically, Supplier Diversity Services is responsible for developing Diverse Supplier government subcontract plans in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FARs) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFARs). Once a contract has been awarded, Supplier Diversity Services is responsible for monitoring and reporting contract compliance of Diverse Supplier goals, preparing “Good Faith Effort” proposals, and submitting quarterly and semi-annual reports on the status of Diverse Supplier goal compliance to appropriate government agencies.

Responsible Office

Purchasing Services

(213) 740-2281

Issued by

Dennis F. Dougherty, Senior Vice President, Finance
University of Southern California