University announces changes in Purchasing and Contracting Services

The following message was sent this morning to Purchasing and Contracting Services contacts and people with contract signature authority from Andre Le Duc, associate vice president for safety and risk services/administrative services and chief resilience officer:

I would like to share some upcoming organizational changes related to the University of Oregon Purchasing and Contracting Services (PCS) department.

Cathey Susman, director of PCS, has resigned, effective June 10, to take on a new role as Assistant Legal Counsel with the Oregon Judicial Department. Also effective June 10, PCS associate director Allie O’Connor will leave the UO to explore other career options.

Cathey and Allie have led PCS through important achievements such as creating the UO Purchasing Portal, the Reverse Vendor Fair, and progressive policies for engaging minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small businesses. Thanks to PCS, the UO was recently awarded Public Employer of the Year by the Oregon Rehabilitation Association for the university’s contracting activities with entities that employ workers with disabilities. We thank both of them for their professionalism and dedication through their years of service to the university and wish them the best.

Effective immediately, Purchasing and Contracting Services will be moving into the portfolio of Kevin Reed, Vice President and General Counsel.  With this transition, Craig Ashford will serve as interim director. We will be moving forward very quickly to refill the critical leadership positions within the department. With this organizational change, PCS will benefit from having a closer working and organizational relationship with the General Counsel’s office.

The PCS work group we established in winter term—with representation from the Business Affairs Office, Office of the General Counsel, Information Services, and Risk Management—will continue to review and update policies and procedures, and advance initiatives to improve workflow and efficiency for contracting and purchasing on campus.  With this plan we intend to ensure that PCS staff and campus clients have the support they need to continue their critical work through the transitional period. If you have questions/comments please feel free to email them to