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2018 September Purchasing Link

September 2018

A Note on the Purchasing Link

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the news that, after 15+ years of monthly publications, this will be the last issue of Purchasing Link. With the ever-changing media landscape, and new challenges and opportunities at hand, we have decided to let Purchasing Link retire into the sunset.  Please be sure to read Neil Markee’s farewell column below.


E&I and NAEP will continue to work collaboratively to bring you news and updates in higher education procurement, and the NAEP Pulse and E&I Report newsletters will continue.


We have sincerely enjoyed bringing you Purchasing Link over the years, and thank you for being a dedicated reader. As we continue to adapt to new and exciting media opportunities, don’t be surprised if you see us return one day reimagined! Until then, fair winds and following seas.


From the Editor:

Good Bye and Good Luck
By Neil Markee (retired)

An old saying suggests, “All good things come to an end.”  Just before Christmas 1963, not long after completing my hitch as a U.S. Naval Officer, I signed on with the E&I Co-op and took my seat on the first working day in 1964. I was to represent the Co-op in the Northeast.  Those member institutions from Presque Isle, Maine, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Delaware—excluding those around metro New York City—were “mine.”  My first Annual Meeting was at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans in the spring of 1964 and I was very much the new guy on the block. I have participated in every Annual Meeting since.

Seven good years later, I left the Co-op and moved a few yards down the hall to succeed Bert Ahrens as CEO of NAEB.  Bert had held the position for 37 years and was seen by many as the founder, although the organization had existed, at least informally, since before 1920.  Bert was a legend by the time I came onboard at the 1972 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. In Washington, D.C., at higher education association meetings, I was probably, on average, at least twenty years younger than my many Greatest Generation peers. Twenty-five years later, when I retired, I was close to the senior member of the fraternity. My wife Susan and I had been planning early retirement for some time. The Association hired me back part-time to ease the transition to my successor as CEO, Joan Fox, who had served as my Executive Assistant for nineteen years.

Soon afterwards, the Association again made a change in leadership, and I again retired. At the next (1981) Annual Meeting in San Diego, I signed a two-year contract as an advisor to Higher Markets, a San Francisco-based “dot Com” start-up. I stayed with them until my contract expired and they had been acquired by SciQuest.  I was employee number 7.  Shortly thereafter, Higher Markets launched its online publication titled Purchasing Link. Inspired, in part, by NAEB Past President Richard L. Mooney, it was jointly sponsored by the E&I Cooperative Services and the Association (then called NAEB)—with me as its Editor-in-Chief.  Twenty-two-plus years and more than 200 opinion articles later, just after Christmas last year, I learned that the leadership of NAEP had decided to take another tack—moving away from the OpEd-page format I had adopted to another format—and I again retired.

So, this is good bye.  With the exception of two years with HigherMarkets, I have been on the payroll of E&I and NAEB/P, or both, since January 1, 1964.  Orlando was my 55th consecutive Annual Meeting. I think I hold the record!  It’s been an amazingly rewarding time for me.  Thanks for the decades of support.

Good bye and Good luck!

Please feel free to stay in touch. Click here to email me directly.

The E&I Report

The E&I Report will continue to be published monthly.  E&I Members are automatically subscribed to receive each month’s issue, and current and archived issues are always available on the E&I website.


Check out the E&I Report to stay on top of the latest contract news and updates from E&I!

NAEP Pulse

NAEP recently launched a new digital communication vehicle called NAEP Pulse. As a member, you are automatically subscribed to this newsletter which is distributed on the last Thursday of each month. 

The Pulse will keep you up-to-date with news within higher education procurement. We'll also share relevant articles that discuss issues and topics that will affect our world. 

If you are not already receiving the NAEP Pulse, check your spam filter and allow the email domain to your safe sender list or address book. You may also click here to subscribe.


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