CAS Computer Purchase Guidelines

In order to utilize its funding for technology in the best possible manner, the University establishes standard procedures for the purchase of computer equipment. The purpose of the standards is to:
  • Ensure the lowest possible life-cycle cost to the University as a whole;
  • Ensure compatibility across the University’s computer, network and software systems;
  • Facilitate obtaining the best value, most functionality and greatest reliability for equipment operation, support, warranty work, and maintenance;
  • Facilitate collaboration and training by increasing the level of standardization.

1. Purchasing Authority

Willamette Integrated Technology Services (WITS) is the entity responsible for managing the acquisition, configuration, installation, maintenance and distribution of the University’s computing technologies on campus.

1.1. All computing equipment and software purchased using University funds, including grant funds, must be approved by WITS prior to placing the order.

1.2. WITS User Services Consultants will work with faculty and staff to configure and price the appropriate machines and select software.

1.3. WITS may require that certain software, e.g. University approved anti-virus software, be purchased and installed on University systems.

1.4. WITS may require that systems are maintained and used in such a way as to meet institutional security standards.

1.5. WITS will purchase, configure and install the equipment.

1.6. Equipment purchased with University funds but without WITS approval will not be supported by WITS and may not be permitted to connect to the University’s network.

2. Purchasing Priorities

Judgments of the need for the purchase of computers shall be done according to the following ordered set of priorities:

2.1.1. Computers that are outdated and clearly no longer adequate to perform required tasks.

2.1.2. Computers that are used for the delivery of the academic program.

2.1.3. Computers that are needed for completion of required job functions, including scholarly research.

2.1.4. Computers that are routinely used by more than one person.

2.1.5. Computers that are needed to support official events.

2.1.6. Computers that are used by guests or other occasional users.

2.1.7. Computers that are greater than 5 years in age.

3. Purchasing Process

In order to achieve volume discounts and reduce shipping costs, requests for computing technology will be aggregated and bulk orders will be placed approximately on May 1, July 1 and November 15 of each year.

3.1. WITS will send lists of each department’s computing equipment with recommendations for replacement, based on the priorities stated in Item (2) in September, February and May. Departments will be given approximately 6-weeks to respond to these requests. Department chairs should discuss any questions regarding these recommendations with the appropriate WITS User Services Consultant during this period.

3.2. Faculty and staff interested in acquiring new, non-replacement computer equipment should confer with their department heads to determine the need and the priority to be placed on requests.

3.3. Once the lists of requests (for both replacement and new equipment) have been created, department heads should contact the appropriate WITS User Services Consultant (USC) to work with the individual requestors to develop detailed specifications, including cost estimates, for the equipment required. The USC will return the detailed lists to department heads and may also include additional recommendations based on such factors as the age of particular machines in the department, the version of the operating system a computer can run or the capability of a machine for the use required by an individual.After again conferring with the requestors, department heads will authorize the list of requests and forward to the appropriate WITS USC.

3.4. All requests for computing equipment will be forwarded to WITS management for compilation.

3.5. WITS will review the complied list of departmental requests with the Dean of CAS or appropriate representatives designated by the Dean who will approve the purchases.

3.6. Once the purchases are approved, WITS will be responsible for organizing them, negotiating with vendors, placing the orders, and receiving the equipment.

3.7. Exceptions to purchasing according to the established schedule must be approved by the Dean of CAS.

4. Property

All computing equipment and software purchased using University funds, including start-up and grant monies, becomes the property of Willamette University. The machines are not owned and licenses are not held by schools, departments, or individuals.

5. Usage

Computing equipment and software purchased and supported by the University are for the conduct of University business.

6. Equipment Standards

For general office use, the University will typically provide one computer for each faculty or staff person whose job requires a computing device.

6.1. This device may be one capable of running either an Apple Macintosh operating system or a Microsoft Windows operating system purchased from vendors authorized by WITS (currently Apple and Dell).

6.2. This device may be a desktop/tower, portable or virtualized system.

6.3. In order to contain costs and simplify support, WITS will develop and maintain a set of standard machine configurations designed to meet most needs and update those configurations as necessary to reflect current technologies.Equipment meeting these standards will typically be recommended.

6.4. WITS recognizes that some faculty and staff may have specialized computing requirements. Within the limits of available funding, WITS will attempt to configure systems to meet those needs.

7. Equipment Categories

7.1. Faculty/Staff/Departmental Equipment – Computing equipment and peripherals assigned to individual faculty and staff members or to departments for shared usage or their student workers

7.1.1. Funding for this class of equipment comes from the CAS computing equipment account.

7.1.2. Equipment designated primarily for use by student workers may be provided from the pool of recently replaced computers, although the availability of such equipment cannot be guaranteed.

7.2. Classroom/Lab/Student Equipment – Computing equipment and peripherals installed in classrooms, public computer labs, departmental computer labs, and other spaces designed primarily for student usage.

7.2.1. WITS staff will track the equipment needs for classrooms, computer labs, and other machines primarily for use by students and the public. Based on available funding, WITS will purchase the necessary equipment.

7.2.2. Departments requesting new technology-equipped classrooms or labs must consult with WITS staff in order to determine if such expansion is feasible and to develop specifications and budgetary figures for the equipment.

7.3. Server/Network/Telecommunication/Loan Equipment – Equipment required to provide computing, network, and telecommunications services to the University as a whole.

7.3.1. Decisions to purchase, replace, or upgrade equipment in this category will be made by WITS staff.

7.3.2. This equipment is funded by WITS or through the capital budget.

7.4. Grant and Gift Funded Equipment – Computing equipment purchased using internal or external grant funds or monies acquired through restricted gifts.

7.4.1. When writing a grant proposal that includes requests for computing or network equipment, WITS staff must be consulted in order to develop specifications and a budgetary quotation for the equipment being requested.

7.4.2. Prior to submitting the proposal, grant writers should determine whether the University is able to commit funding for the support and replacement of the equipment beyond the conclusion of the proposed project.

7.4.3. Purchases of grant and gift funded computing equipment will be included in the periodic institutional orders whenever the project’s schedule permits in order to take advantage of any volume discounts. However, if necessary to meet the requirements of the project, computing equipment may be purchased outside the normal cycle.

7.4.4. Equipment purchased with grant funds will be used for the purposes of the grant project. At the conclusion of the project, the principal investigator will be responsible for informing WITS of any further need for the equipment in order to maintain the project. If there is no further project need for the equipment, the computing equipment will be returned to the University’s inventory.

7.5. Special Purpose Equipment – Computing equipment designated for a special purpose, e.g. controlling a piece of scientific equipment.

7.5.1. Specification of devices in this category will be the responsibility of the faculty or staff member who is responsible for the equipment or system being controlled. However, WITS staff should be consulted so that the computing equipment's compatibility with Willamette's environment can be assured.

7.5.2. Funding for this class of equipment comes from the CAS computing equipment account.

7.6. Startup Equipment – Computing equipment promised to new faculty as part of their initial offers of employment.

7.6.1. The determination of whether to include computing equipment as part of a hiring package is the responsibility of the Dean of the CAS.

7.6.2. Funding will come from the Dean’s budget.

7.6.3. Prior to making an offer of a specific amount or of particular equipment, the Dean or department chair should contact WITS in order to obtain specifications for and an estimate of the cost of the requested equipment. This information will immediately be conveyed back to the Dean and/or department chair.

7.6.4. Once an offer has been accepted, the Dean should inform WITS. WITS staff will then contact the new hire to determine the specifics of what needs to be purchased and when the equipment must be installed.

7.7. Damaged/Lost/Stolen Equipment – The University is liable for its computing equipment that is lost, stolen or damaged beyond repair by accident, vandalism, fire, flood, earthquake or other natural causes while located in Willamette facilities, or while being used at an off-campus location, or being transported for the conduct of University business.

7.7.1. Damaged, lost, or stolen equipment should be reported to WITS as soon as possible. Lost, stolen, or vandalized equipment should also be reported to Campus Safety.

7.7.2. For equipment valued less than $1000, the department will be asked to pay all repair or replacement costs. For equipment valued in excess of $1000 that is lost, stolen, or damaged by accident, vandalism, fire, flood, or other natural causes, the department must cover the first $1000. The University's insurance fund will cover any amount in excess of $1000.

7.7.3. Repair or replacement of University equipment or software damaged by unauthorized use or use by unauthorized individuals is the financial responsibility of the individual faculty or staff member.

7.7.4. If University-owned computing equipment located in the residence or personal automobile of a faculty or staff member is stolen, vandalized or damaged by fire or other natural causes, faculty or staff members will be asked to pursue recovery of damages through their homeowners or renters insurance and to turn over any compensation they received expressly for the equipment to the University. As per 7.7.2, the University will be responsible for all remaining costs for repair or replacement.

7.7.5. WITS will attempt to replace damaged, lost, or stolen equipment as quickly as possible.

8. Replacement Schedule

Depending on available funding, the University will attempt to replace computers on a regular cycle, typically no more frequently than every 5 years for desktop computers and every 4 years for notebook computers unless there are extenuating circumstances that require earlier replacement.

8.1. When a computer is purchased as a replacement, the machine being replaced will be returned to the general inventory for reassignment or disposal.

8.2. WITS will maintain a list of requests for reassigned computers. This list will be reviewed on a periodic basis and computers will be reassigned accordingly.

9. Software

9.1. Funding for standard software packages that are broadly used, e.g. the Microsoft Office suite, anti-virus software, or Adobe PDF editing software will be done through the CAS computing equipment account or provided by a University-wide license.

9.2. Funding for specialized software used by a single department or by a single faculty or staff member must come from departmental funds.

9.3. WITS will the fund software for the equipment located in computer labs, classrooms, and public areas. WITS will also fund the software for equipment that is available for loan to members of the campus community.

9.4. Software purchased with University funds, including start-up and grant funds, is owned or licensed by the University.

9.5. Software purchased by the University is for installation on University-owned equipment.

9.6. Only software authorized by WITS may be installed on University-owned equipment.

9.7. The University must hold current legal licenses for all software installed on University-owned equipment. The University will not install software on any machine in violation of license agreements and may remove software if a corresponding license cannot be documented.

9.8. The University will not purchase software for installation on personally-owned equipment.

9.9. Commercial software not purchased by and licensed to the University may not be installed on University-owned equipment.

9.10. The University may at its discretion allow faculty and staff to install software purchased by the University on personally-owned machines if the software license explicitly permits such installations and if other factors, e.g. the need to enter new license codes annually, do not militate against it. The ability of WITS to support such installations is limited.

9.11. All software, other than the operating system, owned by the University must be removed from a system if that computer is sold or donated.

10. Home Use

The University will typically not purchase computing equipment to be located primarily in a faculty or staff member’s residence.The University recognizes that portable computers supplied to a faculty or staff member will very likely be used in the home.

10.1. When a University-owned computer is in a faculty or staff member’s residence, it is to be used primarily for the conduct of University business.

10.2. Unauthorized users, typically individuals other than the faculty or staff member, are not permitted to utilize University-owned equipment. Individuals other than the faculty or staff member should not be given accounts on University-owned computers.

10.3. WITS staff will assist the individual with the use of personally-owned machines only to the extent that they require help connecting to University resources or using supported software for business purposes. Additional services may be provided by Help Desk student assistants.

11. Employment Termination

In the event that a faculty or staff member’s employment by the University terminates, the employee will be responsible for returning any University-owned equipment and software in the former employee’s possession, regardless of its location, and for removing all University-licensed software from personally-owned computers no later than the final date of employment.

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