Purchasing agents are in charge buying for the University. Their job is to balance quality with cost to ensure that the best purchases are made. Buying an item, material, or service whose quality is too high for its intended use is a waste of University funds. Each purchasing agent is assigned specific commodities for which they help departments purchase goods and services. This spreadsheet contains the current list and their assignments. 

Purchasing Agent by Category Code Listing

Purchasing

John E. Watkins(319) 384-1340 Director of Strategic Sourcing

Commodity Team

Strategic Sourcing

Key job duties and responsibilities of a purchasing agent

  • Administer University's procurement process including the evaluation and processing of requisitions and issuing purchasing orders for a large group of commodities requiring technical and product expertise resulting in major, complex, multi-year acquisitions.
  • Determines method of procurement, such as direct purchase or bid.
  • Develop written technical bid specifications for competitive Request for Quotations.
  • Reviews bid proposals and negotiates contracts within budgetary limitations and scope of authority.
  • Negotiate complex and campus wide contracts.
  • Analyze vendor performance, negotiate and resolve disputes.
  • Knowledge of contract administration, researches and analyzes specific commodities to maximize cost savings.