Technology Procurement Process

There are several aspects to procurement: refresh, budget, and projects.

Refresh Policy


All computer updates are governed by the Refresh Policy. This policy states that if the university is financially able, it will replace each desktop computer every four (4) years and each laptop computer every three (3) years. The CIO will provide the vice presidents and deans with the refresh list in March/April of each year. IT staff will then work with the deans and executive directors where these computers are located, to determine the best time to replace the computers. Laptop computers will be replaced starting at the beginning of the school year, with all laptops being replaced by October 15.

Other Factors

There are classroom, lab, and faculty/staff computers that may need an update before they become 4 years old. When a refresh has been approved by the University Information Management Committee, the computer currently in use (not yet 4 years old) is moved to a station that has a 4-year-old computer and does not require a new one. IT will strive to keep this move within the same work group/department whenever possible. When a refresh occurs, each computer purchased entails a minimum of two computer relocations.

When a work group/department wants to change platforms (e.g., from Macs to PCs), this change is included in the refresh. In the case of a Mac-to-PC switch, the Macs need to reach the 4-year limit. At times the switch can occur when only half of the computers have been in use for 4 years; this type of refresh can occur when the computers can be utilized in another department, and are more up to date than that department’s computers. The IT staff will work with the department chairs for the best timing and placement. At times training must be included.

Other Items to Keep in Mind

When a department is assigned a new position, that new position is entitled to a computer, which may or may not be a new one. The department chair can decide whether another user, or the employee in the new position, would better utilize the new unit. Replacing the oldest third of computers often means that only a few computers will be replaced in a work group. When a platform switch is made, it is very important to keep the whole work group on the same platform.

Overall Technology Procurement Process

The university has two processes that give departments an opportunity to ask for changes:

Budget Process

All purchases of information-system-based hardware, software, and services will be requested through the IT Support Center. Hardware, software, and service needs will be routed primarily through the refresh process. Requests that are outside of the purview of the refresh will be placed into the IT Project Management Process, where each request is analyzed and reviewed. If the requesting department does not have the budget to procure the requested hardware, software, or service, the department must take its request to the Stewardship Committee for approval. Funds for such projects come from the current year’s operations surplus.

Project Process (Outside of the Budget Process)

When special needs arise, requests can be made by contacting the IT Support Center. Each request is individually reviewed by IT. The university attempts to process most requests through the normal budgeting process in order to provide greater accountability and planning. Very limited funds, however, are used for emergency requests concerning needs for which long-range planning was not possible.

Appendix A: Policy Routing

Status: Approved (approved on November 1, 2000)

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