The Awards, Incentive & Recognition (AIR) Program is designed to recognize University departments, as well as individual staff persons that demonstrate exemplary efforts in supporting and doing business with Targeted Businesses (women/minority/disabled owned business enterprises - WMDBEs).
Through this program departments can receive financial rewards based on their efforts to purchase goods and services from Targeted Business while individual staff will also be recognized and rewarded for their work in assisting and creating business opportunities for Targeted Businesses.
- Provide financial incentives to departments doing business with Targeted Businesses
- Increase spending with Targeted Businesses on non-competitive bidding contracts
- Recognize individual staff efforts for increasing opportunities for Targeted Businesses
- Increase expenditures with Targeted Businesses to 10% of all University purchases
This program is managed the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business & Community Economic Development.
AIR Award Guidelines
Department & College Awards
In FY2015 the University will allocate $50,000 to fund the AIR Program. Financial awards will be made based on using a four tier category award system.
- Tier 1 = $10,000: Awarded to the area with an expenditure budget of $1M + and having the highest percentage amount spent with Targeted Businesses.
- Tier 2 = $10,000: Awarded to the area with an expenditure budget of $500K - $ 999k having the highest percentage amount spent with Targeted Businesses.
- Tier 3 = $10,000: Awarded to the area with an expenditure budget of $200k to $499K and having the highest percentage amount spent with Targeted Businesses.
- Tier 4 = $10,000: Awarded to the area with an expenditure budget of $25k to $199K and having the highest percentage amount spent with Targeted Businesses.*
*Tier 4 award amount cannot be greater the 25% of the actual dollars spent with Targeted Businesses in that fiscal year
Competing departments will be selected based on a percentage of their total purchasing/spending activity with Targeted Businesses for a (12) month period. These award funds are unrestricted and may be used by the department/unit for any purpose they deem appropriate (staff retreat, business travel, budget supplement, etc).
The "Fitz Award" recognizes University staff persons (buyers, end users, department heads, deans, etc.), that demonstrate outstanding commitment to supporting and creating opportunities for Targeted Businesses. Individuals receiving special recognition will be selected through a formal nominations process. Awards will be handed out at a special Awards Recognition luncheon each year by a senior level Officer of the University.
Department’s participating in the AIR program must submit online or return enrollment form to the Office for Business and Community Economic Development. Please fax to: 612-625-9056