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Best Practices & Frequently Asked Questions

Alcohol Purchases

Purchasing Beer
Beer should only be purchased from Springfield Beer Distributor. You can contact Jessica Plaza at 215-546-7301

Purchasing Wine and Spirits (instructions in this link)
Small wine or spirits purchases made in person at a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) store for entertaining purposes only can be purchased using the University issued Bank of America Travel Card and expensed via Concur.

The University's Purchasing Card is NOT to be used for wine or spirit purchases. However, the meeting card can be used for this. Please contact Ken Zeferes or Sherri King for emergency situations.

Bookstore and Computer Connection Purchases

The University Purchasing Card is an allowable method of procurement at the University Bookstore and Computer Connection.

However, the Purchasing card should not be used for office supply purchases at the Bookstore. These purchases should be ordered through Telrose (Office Depot) or AmazonBusiness, wherever the cost is the most economical.

We also can provide staff and faculty (with valid Penn IDs) a requisition form to be used at either location. This will allow Penn to directly bill your department or program budget without using a credit card or cash.

TIP: Did you know? By showing your Penn ID at the Bookstore, you get a 10% discount on most items.

Penn GSE Swag/Merchandise Purchasing

To order Penn GSE merchandize, you must use a University-approved swag vendor. Frequently used approved PO vendors for creating merchandise include: 

  • Club Colors
  • 4Imprint
  • The Barash Group LCC
  • Custom Ink, LLC

Penn Preferred Travel Vendors

Please visit the preferred vendor website to ensure you are following procedure and the best methods for booking/reserving and procuring travel/lodging services.


For all airline reservations (Penn Staff, Faculty and Students, along with non-affiliates/guests), please use World Travel, Penn’s sole Travel Management Company. Contact information and directions for the Travel Portal in Concur are available through this link. Penn policy states that the most economical fare be purchases, however, with prior approval from your direct supervisor and Jason Presley or Greg Tausz, you may be given approval for higher cost fares. Fares booked outside policy require a statement of business justification.


For hotel reservations (local, domestic and international), visit the Hotel Reservations page to ensure you are partaking in Penn’s negotiated rates.

For information on campus reservations, you can book nights at the Sheraton and Inn at Penn. Internal authorization forms are required to reserve stays and for billing purposes.


Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and SEPTA rail tickets and passes are an acceptable mode of transportation for Penn-related business. A University Purchasing card or the BOA Travel Card can be used for this type of travel. Please be sure to book the most economical fare/level of service on Amtrak.

First class ACELA Express travel is not permissible.

Car Rental

Penn-mandated requirement before renting: successful completion of the Fundamental's of Driver Safety course available on Workday Learning (must take every 3 years).  Sign on to Workday Learning, using your PennKey and password. Search for "driver safety" and two course names will appear (Fundamentals of Driver Safety, and Driver Safety Training for Van Drivers). Once your training is complete, renting a Car on behalf of Penn-related business is an acceptable form of travel. Please be sure to visit our Ground Transportation page, so that you can take advantage of our negotiated rates with Enterprise, National, Avis and Budget. All four include insurance (LDW/CDW) as part of our negotiated rates for business related rentals. Therefore, always decline insurance coverage on domestic rentals with the four preferred vendors listed, however, when renting a car internationally insurance purchases are acceptable. We also ask you to carry your driver’s license, Penn ID and credit card used to book the reservation with you during the rental period.  

TIP: Did you know? Penn Staff and Faculty can use Travel Services (World Travel) for personal use; just pay with your personal credit card over the phone! Also, you can opt to use the Penn rate reservation program for rental cars. Learn more about rental cars.

Other Methods of Ground Transportation

Information on Airport Parking, Bus Services, Car Sharing, Sedan/Limo Services, and Uber/Lyft can also we found on the navigation pane of the Ground Transportation page.

If you are interested in setting up an Uber Event, where you can supply students, staff and/or faculty “coupon codes” to enjoy free rides with Uber for your event versus reimbursing individuals for cab fares or supplying petty cash, please email Ken Zeferes.

Business Office Perks


The Business Office has forever stamps available for purchase for your department and one-off mailings. This printable e-stamp program keeps the cost at $0.47/stamp which will save you in the long run versus going to the Post Office.

VIP Parking Passes

We also have VIP Parking Passes available for $16 each for guests, students and visitors. These passes can be picked up from the Business Office and are good for one “in” and one “out” in the covered garages at 38th and Walnut Streets as well as 34th and Chestnut Streets.

Commodity Matrix

The Penn Commodity Matrix was developed to help University faculty and staff determine the appropriate buying method and budget object code for purchases of most commonly ordered equipment, supplies, and services from external suppliers. For a limited number of product and service categories, a Purchase Order and Purchasing Card use are both listed as approved buying methods for transactions less than $1,000.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Should I sign up for frequency programs with the Airlines, Rental Car Agencies and Hotels?
YES! If you travel for business or pleasure, any frequency points you gain are yours to use as you wish. There is no cost to join a frequency program and often you receive special benefits just by being a member of the program. Most programs keep points active for at least two years and some points never expire.

Best Practice: Load all of your frequency program numbers into your Concur Profile. They will automatically show on any reservation/booking made on the Concur on-line booking tool or with a World Travel agent.

Help! My frequency points are not showing in my account?
While it can take up to two months for frequency points to show on a frequency account, you still have an option if they haven’t posted.

If you booked with World Travel directly, email the details to They will contact the specific program on your behalf.

If no, contact the frequency program directly. They will require proof such as your confirmation number or hotel bill.

Additional Resources

Tax Exemption Certificate

The University of Pennsylvania is exempt from Pennsylvania sales tax for most purchases directly related to the education and research mission of the University. The University's Pennsylvania sales tax number is 75-532-357.

Purchases not directly related to this mission are subject to Pennsylvania sales tax. It is the obligation of the supplier to collect sales tax. Please make requests for a Pennsylvania Tax Exemption Certificate by working with the Business Office to complete the Purchasing Online Request Form using our online form. The Pennsylvania Tax Exemption Certificate will be sent directly to the supplier and you will be notified of the receipt.

Contact the Penn GSE Business Office
Submission of forms, invoices and requests to compensate or reimburse individuals or companies not on-boarded as PO supplier, and journal transfers and general payment questions.
Submission of forms, invoices and requests to compensate or reimburse individuals or companies who are on-boarded as PO suppliers, and general Purchase Order questions.
Submission of forms and contracts as they pertain to on-boarding new non-affiliates to Penn. 

Unrestricted Accounts

Gregory Tausz
Senior Director of Finance and Facility Management
3700 Walnut, Room 221

Ken Zeferes
Assistant Director of Fiscal Operations
3440 Market, Room 382


Sherri King
Financial Administrator
3440 Market, Room 390

Responsible for:
 SMHC, School Leadership, ISTR, Catalyst@Penn, Educational Entrepreneurship, MedEd and CLO Programs, HED, Exec Doc HEM, Mid-Career, PLN, UTR, Support Services

Miriam Harris
Financial Administrator
3440 Market, Room 388

Responsible for:
 Dean’s Office, Development, Business Office, IT, Communications, School Partners (PAS and Lea Schools), APHD

Eric Blanchet
Financial Administrator
3440 Market, Room 389

Responsible for:
 ECS, IEDP, TLL, Ed Policy, QM, ELX, RWL and Student Activities, UTAP


Coral Haas
Business Administrator, Payroll
3440 Market Street, Room 377

Responsible for:
Catalyst, Center for Professional Learning, Center for School Study Councils, Coalition for Educational Equity, Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Educational Linguistics, GSE Registrar, GSE Student Services, Higher Education/AHEAD/Higher Education Management, Education Policy, Human Development & Quantitative Methods, Literacy, Culture and International Education

Anna Reed
Associate Director of Payroll
3440 Market Street, Room 375

Responsible for:
GSE Admissions, GSE Associate Dean/Faculty Affairs, GSE Career and Professional Development, GSE Communications, GSE Dean's Office, GSE Development and Alumni Relations, GSE Development, GSE Films, GSE HR, GSE IT, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Education Entrepreneurship, Independent School Teaching Residency, Med Ed & Chief Learning Officer, Mid-Career, School Leadership Program, School Mental Health Counseling, Teacher Education, Urban Teaching Residency

Grant Accounts (Sponsored Programs)

Helen Mitchell Sears
Director of Sponsored Programs
3440 Market, Room 384

Joyce Cook
Assistant Director Grants & Student Financial Aid
3700 Walnut, Room 219

Frank Graham
Pre-Award Grants Manager (Proposal Development)
3440 Market, Room 385

Mike Kelly
Post-Award Grants Manager (Financial Reporting)
3440 Market, Room 381