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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Hosting First Public Procurement and Contract Management Symposium

Old Dominion University's Graduate Certificate in Public Procurement and Contract Management (GCPPCM) program is one of the first in the country created specifically to teach skills to students and professionals in the complex areas of purchasing and contracting for public organizations.

Started in 2011, the program has presented certificates to more than 20 graduate students, often as part of their Master of Public Administration program. These students have gone on to procurement and purchasing jobs with public entities around the region and beyond.

On April 25, the GCPPCM will sponsor ODU's first Public Procurement and Contract Management Symposium. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Webb University Center.

The symposium will address key challenges and opportunities facing federal, state and local government procurement programs. Speakers and panelists, including some of the leaders in the field, will appear at the symposium. To register, or for details, visit the symposium website: http://www.edc-odu.com/content/symposium/.

The event is $40 for representatives of qualifying organizations, and free to ODU faculty, staff, students and alumni. Email PublicProcurement@odu.edu to register.

Stephen Gordon, a faculty member in the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration of ODU's College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA), will chair the symposium. Gordon joined the university in 2011 after more than 35 years as one of the country's leading experts in public procurement.

"Federal, state and local government agencies spend $3 trillion a year to acquire goods, services, solutions, systems and infrastructure," Gordon said. "The quality of public procurement and contract management affects all of us who are served by government and pay taxes to government."

Gordon said the seminar covers much more than procurement rules and methods for contract management professionals, which fits with the model of what ODU has attempted to do with its GCPPCM, the second of its kind in the United States when it was introduced.

In a time of ever-tightening budgets for business, government and the military, cost savings are being sought in every aspect of operations. The field of procurement, or purchasing and contracting for goods, services and construction, represents an area where organizations will be tested to find efficiencies in a difficult financial climate.

Gordon said the program has been designed for anyone, with any role, in any organization, "whether in the public sector, the private or for-profit sector, or the nonprofit sector, if they have a stake in public procurement and contract management. "

Admission to the certificate program is open to anyone who has completed a bachelor's or master's degree at an accredited institution. Applicants enroll as non-degree graduate students through ODU's Office of Graduate Admissions. Those who plan to earn the certificate as part of their M.P.A. program must apply and be admitted to the M.P.A. program. For more information about the program, see: http://bpa.odu.edu/uspa/academics/procurement.shtml.