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UTSA Purchasing: At the HUB of Community Relations  


UTSA’s Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Office provides the maximum opportunity for HUBs and small businesses to compete for contracts and purchases. It targets minority-, women-, and disabled veteran-owned businesses. The HUB Office wants to increase the number and value of contracts awarded to HUBs and small business firms, create a fair and open competitive market, provide key business development trainings and improve community awareness of our HUB program.

Long ranked in the top 25 of Texas universities’ HUB programs, UTSA’s Purchasing Department upped its game in 2016. Bruce Williams joined Purchasing in February 2016 as HUB Manager and hit the ground running. He quickly conducted an assessment of our HUB Office, including an analysis of our compliance with legislation.  Among his projects, he identified vendors who could become certified as HUBs. Bruce considers it both his job and his passion to develop these organizations. “It’s not enough to give them business,” he explained. “We want them to be sustainable…to be a part of this university for years to come.” 

He points to UTSA’s Strategic Goal #3 and discusses the important role we have of enriching the communities we serve. His team has worked with UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development, which has helped nearly 5,000 businesses strengthen their processes. Bruce has conducted trainings and presented to a number of current and prospective HUBs. In 2016, Bruce delivered more than 35 presentations. “This is more than a job for me,” he said. “You have to have a heart, a passion for this…for giving back to the community.” 

Leveling the playing field

UTSA is now ranked ninth among all state agencies, exceeding our goal of spending 30% with HUBs. The team’s focused efforts resulted UTSA spending 36.32% of our purchasing and contracting with HUB vendors. We are ranked third among all “Higher Education Agencies” in the State of Texas and number one in the UT System. And those numbers may continue to grow, as HUB spending will be facilitated by the new online purchasing platform—The Rowdy Exchange—due to launch in July 2017. 

Bruce and a few other UTSA colleagues served on the committee that helped organize the SMWVBO Bexar County Business Conference on Dec 7, 2016 at the Freeman Expo Hall in San Antonio. The largest of its kind nationally, the conference reached more than 5,000 attendees representing small, minority, women, and veteran business owners in South Texas and beyond. Bruce had a table in the exhibit hall where he showcased the good work being done at UTSA and met prospective new vendors to bring into our system. He was on the planning committee who brought in top speakers to educate SMWVBO attendees about marketing, employment, labor laws, and other subjects critical to the success of these businesses.

Tip of the hat to Bruce and the Purchasing Department for living Business Affairs’ Guiding Principles and helping UTSA achieve Tier One status.   

Strategic Goal 3:  We will enrich the quality of life and economic prosperity of the communities we serve. 



Bruce Williams, UTSA HUB Manager, greets guest at SMWVBO Bexar County Business Conference in December 2016.