Information for ITS Staff: Computer Acquisition Procedure

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The outline which follows is intended to provide the framework for construction of the procedures used in the acquisition of computing units – and associated software, where applicable – for employees and staff office positions and computing units required in the instructional program. In some cases, this will include units for student employees where they are used in the regular conduct of office business. This group of computing devices also includes the rare printer not provided through the IKON lease arrangement. In addition to the Director, three members of the ITS staff are fundamentally involved in the acquisition process:

  • Technology Support Specialist (TSS), currently Kristi Jenkins,
  • Technology Support Coordinator (TSC), currently Susan Kirkpatrick, and
  • User Support Coordinator (USC), currently Tyler Chelf.


I. Which College-owned units are covered by this procedure?

A. Faculty and professional staff office units

  1. Faculty
    1. Tenure-track
    2. Visiting full-time
    3. Part-time and adjuncts
  2. Staff
    1. Professional
    2. Clerical
    3. Maintenance
    4. Athletics

B.Classroom Technology: this area is the primary responsibility of the Center for Teaching and Learning, but the USC participates in the acquisition of the units therein

  1. Technology classrooms
  2. Special event locations

C.Laboratory Units: USC provides primary oversight in this area

  1. General purpose laboratories
  2. Discipline-specific laboratories
  3. Scientific instrumentation interface units

D.Printers: responsibility of USC

  1. ITS does not install, configure, or support printers which are acquired outside the normal acquisition procedures employed by the College.
  2. When appropriate, ITS acquires and provides installation and software/connection support for a handful of non-IKON contract printers.
    1. Hardware issues with these Centre-owned/ITS-supported printers are referred to Danville Office Equipment for repairs.
    2. The College is exploring the possibility of a third party contract to manage the entire group
    3. Determine locations of ITS-supported printers not on the IKON contract.
      1. Alumni House
      2. Old Centre
      3. Wiseman
      4. Boles Finance Office
      5. Boles Natatorium (Aquatic Center)
      6. Campus Student Center
      7. 206 Maple
      8. Young Hall
      9. Horky House
      10. Communications Office
      11. Olin Hall
      12. Doherty Library
      13. Norton Center
      14. Yerkes Residence Hall
      15. Writing Center


E. Special areas: responsibility of TSS

  1. Facilities Management
    1. Break room
    2. Grounds shop
    3. Other
  2. Athletics
    1. Fields office
    2. Laundry facility
    3. Competition venues


II. Steps Preceding the Acquisition Process

A. Inventory review

  1. Time Frame - January of each academic year
  2. Establish cut-off line to determine those units no longer under warranty or marginally capable of running efficiently in the current applications environment
  3. Guidelines for employee and general purpose lab replacement strategy
    1. Approximately 25% of overall employee quantity
    2. Identification of units known from the Help Desk to have support issues
    3. Dollar ceiling (to be determined each year); this step may necessitate acquiring preliminary quotes for several configurations of desktop/laptop units
    4. Discipline-specific laboratory computers require conversation with appropriate division and program chairs.

B. Notification to budget managers

  1. Time Frame – first week of February
  2. Process
    1. TSS, USC, and ITS Director confer to determine notification details.
    2. Director sends suggestions to budget managers to assist their preparation of capital technology requests.

C. Preparation of requests

  1. Budget managers prepare and submit to the appropriate VP a request using Finance Office-specified document which includes justifications and priorities.
  2. VPs review requests from their reports, approve and endorse as appropriate, and submit to Finance Office.
  3. Purchasing Officer consolidates requests from the campus and sends copies to ITS Director.

D. Review of requests

  1. Time frame – after Board has approved the budget for the following academic year, usually late April / early May
  2. Process
    1. TSS, USC, and Director review consolidated requests for in/consistencies.
    2. Final decisions are the responsibility of the ITS Director.
  3. Creation of comprehensive acquisition list
    1. By platform
    2. By vendor
    3. By campus building
    4. By organizational unit

E. Miscellaneous: All requests for computers of any type must come from the budget manager to the Director, ITS; this policy is intended to preclude the ad hoc requests that TSS and other members of ITS receive on a fairly regular basis.

Acquisition of technology equipment (computers, peripheral devises, integrated video equipment, additional RAM, etc.) is the responsibility of Information Technology Services and the Center for Teaching and Learning. Normally, all such acquisitions are based on information generated by ITS and/or requests received from budget managers during the preparation of capital technology budgets (February). Requests received outside this time frame or from individuals other than a budget manager must be avoided. Emergencies will be handled at the discretion of the ITS Director in consultation with the budget manager.


III. The Acquisition Process

A. Solicitation of quotes

  1. TSS and USC gather quotes from appropriate vendors’ web sites to determine base pricing for a single unit, appropriately configured.
    1. Once per-unit cost is established, quotes are constructed based on acquisition needs and funds available.
    2. Formal quotes with accurate configuration and correct quantities are required for processing.
  2. The IBM grant is no longer used for employee unit acquisition.
    1. Those funds are now used by the network administrator solely for network equipment/servers.
    2. Quotes will be acquired from IBM’s website based on availability and need.

B. Generation of requisitions and purchase orders

  1. Quotes are sent to the TSC for processing.
  2. TSC enters a requisition into the Jenzabar-CX RPA (Requisition/Purchase/Accounts Payable) system.
  3. Once approved, the system generates purchase orders.
  4. Purchase orders are e-mailed/FAXed by the Purchasing Department to vendors with copies to TSC.

C. Recording and processing the paperwork

  1. CX system also generates an RP No., which TSC enters along with other pertinent information about the requisition in the Purchase Order log.
  2. The account number and other pertinent notations are recorded on documentation generated up to this point (order confirmation emails, for example) and filed in the “Pending Purchase Order” file.
  3. The budget spreadsheet is updated with the RP information.
  4. Upon receiving a copy of the purchase order, the TSC updates the Purchase Order log with the purchase order number and date.
    1. The account number to be charged is written on the Purchase Order along with any relevant notations.
    2. The budget spreadsheet is updated with PP information.
  5. Any previous documentation (order confirmation email, for example) is attached to the purchase order then filed in the “Pending Merchandise” file.

D. Receiving shipments

  1. Newly acquired equipment is stored in Bingham Basement until ready to inventory and image.
  2. Packing slips are given to TSC, which – once they are resolved – are attached to the PO (retrieved from the “Pending Merchandise” file) and filed under the account to which the equipment was charged.
  3. Any discrepancies between the PO and the packing slips are handled through the TSC and the vendor or the deliverer.

E. Handling return: These steps are entirely the purview of TSC, who

  1. Contacts the vendor (by website, email or phone) to obtain information about how to process the return.
  2. Processes the return per vendor instructions.
  3. Updates the budget spreadsheet, noting the return and how this will affect charges to the account.
  4. Adds notes on the purchase order regarding the return.
  5. Files a copy of emails, return shipping labels, or other documentation, with pertinent notations added, in “Returns” file.


IV. Placement of Units

A. Imaging the units

  1. USC and TSS work together to create and image all newly-acquired and relocated campus machines with either a lab or faculty/staff image.
  2. Lab machines are placed in the lab, inventoried and imaged.
  3. Faculty/Staff machines are inventoried and imaged, then delivered to the individual or area for use.

B. Delivery/set up

  1. Labs are set up based on availability and need of the labs, typically in the summer.
  2. Faculty/Staff units are delivered and setup by appointment with the individual based on their convenience and availability.
    1. Faculty and Staff machines have their documents and settings transferred from the old unit to the new one.
    2. Individuals who change platforms (e.g. from Windows to Mac) must be able to demonstrate that they are competent users of the new platform.

C.Removal of units being replaced

  1. Units being replaced are removed from their location and taken to a temporary holding area (currently Bingham basement) for storage.
  2. End-of-life machines are recycled and taken out of inventory.
  3. Machines that are still usable will be reimaged and redeployed based on need and serviceability.

D. Adjustments to inventory database

  1. The inventory database is updated immediately as machines are relocated.
    1. Accurate location, user name, asset tag, and serial number are recorded and updated as necessary.
    2. Machines to be recycled are not removed from the inventory database; rather, they are flagged as having been removed.
  2. Procedures for recycling items
    1. When recycling room is full, a recycling company is called to come collect our recycled electronics.
    2. Prior to release of equipment to recycling company, ITS will
      1. remove all asset tags and
      2. take appropriate steps to secure hard drives containing potentially sensitive data.
    3. Recycling agency must provide a completed form certifying proper handling/disposal of all equipment with hazardous components.