Technology Purchasing and Replacement Process

Computers are essential equipment for the University. The purpose of this document is to outline the process by which University personnel acquire IT equipment. The goal of the process is to ensure each employee has a suitable computer to perform their assigned responsibilities while also providing prudent stewardship of University resources.
To achieve cost savings for the University by leveraging collective buying power, educational discounts, and to accommodate security considerations when implementing new software and hardware.
The Division of Information Technology (IT) helps to ensure that hardware and software acquisitions integrate well into Marshall University’s information technology environment, that any risk, security exposure, or liability associated with an IT acquisition is identified before the purchase is made, and that the University achieves the maximum value from any IT investment. A newly created Computer Replacement Committee would need to be established to approve the life-cycle process and provide a method to deal with exception purchases.


This process applies to all full and part-time university employees and the purchase of all IT equipment, including desktop computers, laptops, tablet devices, iPads, software, and peripherals. Computer labs (Public and Private), and other computer locations will be included in the university life-cycle replacement plan.
Benefits of purchasing hardware based on a replacement cycle include:

  • Discounts and educational pricing from existing contracts, consortiums, and agreements
  • Quantity pricing (if applicable) and exclusion of sales tax due to University’s tax exempt status
  • Utilizing existing site licensed software to realize budget savings
  • Tracking of asset through entire lifecycle
  • Compatibility checks for use on our network configuration and desktop setups
  • License agreement review for compliance
  • Streamlined installations
  • Create purchasing plan that does not negatively impact the University’s cash flow
  • Containment of support costs

Purchase Guidelines

All University owned IT hardware and software should be purchased and disposed of through the Division of Information Technology with consultation of the Presidents’ Cabinet or a designated Computer Replacement Committee. Purchases must adhere to University procurement and technology policies and standards, e.g. information security, acceptable use, bid process, etc.

IT Hardware Purchases

This plan provides the basis for each employee to be provided a computer (desktop or laptop) and a standard life-cycle replacement. A list of standard supported windows and apple hardware can be found in Appendix A.

Replacement Equipment

The Central Planning process begins each spring. The Computer Replacement Committee sends each department head a listing of current computer assets to make updates and request replacement computers. The recommendations from each department serve as the starting point for budget development and deployment planning.
Every request is evaluated and prioritized based on need and usage. Due to the high costs of maintaining and replacing desktop equipment, everyone needs to be conservative in their requests.
Computer deployment for labs and classrooms normally takes place during the summer months and winter break with Faculty and Staff systems following starting in the fall and continuing through the budget year. Due to budget constraints, some requests may not be approved.
Once the budget has been established for a fiscal year, departments will receive a list of approved lab equipment replacements at the beginning of the budget year and approved faculty and staff replacement equipment later in the semester. Computer purchases will happen quarterly.

Non-Standard Configuration

The University has equipment standards for laptops and desktops in order to provide each user with the best support possible. While our standard configurations meet the needs of most individuals, we also recognize that some users may require a more customized configuration. Requests for non-standard equipment should be noted on submitted requests.

Tablet Devices

Apple iPad and similar tablet devices are designed as a platform for audio-visual media including e-books and periodicals, music, movies, games and web content. Tablet devices usually run a smartphone-like operating system such as Apple iOS, Google Android or Microsoft Windows RT. They typically cannot run the same software packages as a desktop or laptop computer, and generally are not considered a suitable replacement for a computer. These units may be viable for selected positions.


Monitors are not always replaced when a new system is delivered. In general, monitors can last a lot longer, but bad/defective monitors will be replaced when needed. A flat panel monitor in good working condition will generally not be replaced.

Network Printer

Departments should use the networked multifunction copier for network printing devices. Departments are strongly urged to use multifunction copier for printing instead of desktop printers due to Total Cost of Ownership.

Desktop Management

University Windows and Apple computers run Dell KACE central desktop management solution. This allows IT to more efficiently manage computers, provision software to specific computers, deploy patches to fix vulnerable software titles, and streamline the imaging of computers. Any computer not in compliance with this requirement may be disconnected.

IT Software Purchases

Software being purchased for University equipment must comply with our security policies and be compatible with the desktop configuration standards and network configuration already in place. Software images are supplied for faculty and staff computers. A complete list of university licensed software is available at: All software installed on University-owned equipment must adhere to the software license agreement. Some software can only be installed on one device while other software can be installed multiple times. Other license restrictions such as academic or research use only must also be followed.

Asset Disposal

All computers purchased with university funds remain the property of the University until disposed of by IT Services. Failure to return University-owned equipment, software, or data upon leaving the University or at the request of the University may result in legal action or obligate the employee to reimburse the University for the value of the equipment.
A computer that is returned to inventory and no longer meets the minimum configuration is disposed of through an asset disposal process.


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