February 18, 2011 — The University of Virginia community has long known the office that buys things for the University as "Procurement Services." The department recently changed its name to "Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services" to reflect its intensified efforts in promoting supplier diversity.
Over the past five to six years, the University has made tremendous strides in the amount of business conducted with minority- and women-owned businesses, said Eric Denby, director of Procurement Services.
Under the leadership of Bill Cooper, who this month joins the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond as deputy director for diversity and inclusion, the share of U.Va.'s spending going to minority-owned businesses totaled just under $14 million, or 6.2 percent, while women-owned businesses were paid $13.3 million, or 6 percent. Much of this gain have been in the area of construction.
"We must keep it up and not lose sight of this important mission of the University," Denby said.