Purchasing Computers

Our office supports three types of computer purchases which are explained briefly below; each type of purchase must follow the established Computer Purchasing Process. All new L&S computers will be shipped directly to our office and prepared with the latest L&S image. When ready, you will be contacted to set up an appointment for a technician to deliver and set up your computer.

Purchasing Types

  • Department or Unit Purchases provide new computers for L&S employees. This method is generally used to support departmental research or special business needs, but grant-funded purchases must also adhere to these purchasing guidelines.
  • The Computer Acquisition Program (CAP) annually upgrades and redeploys existing computers based on an evaluation of existing hardware and individual unit needs.
  • Purchases for New Hires are typically provided for new full-time employees as specified by the terms of the position.

Payment Guidelines

All orders must be placed through the L&S business office, and payment will be applied as a direct charge to the specified funding account. Prohibited payment methods for computer purchases include:

  • P-Cards: UWM purchase cards (P-cards) may not be used.
  • Reimbursement: L&S faculty and staff who deviate from our established Computer Purchasing Process will not be reimbursed.
  • Personal Funds: Personal funds may not be combined with department or grant funds.

Purchases for Home Use

Computers and hardware may be purchased for home use by L&S faculty or staff under the general payment guidelines described above. Such equipment must be used primarily for UWM business and exclusively by UWM faculty or staff. Purchases with consumable resources (e.g., printers) or home infrastructure hardware (e.g., wireless routers) are not permitted.

Equipment purchased using general departmental or internal grant funds should not duplicate typical on-campus facilities, except in cases where an employee lacks a campus office. Approval is required for non-duplicative equipment purchases using 189 funds–units will be asked to provide a rationale based on functionality, portability, and shareability.

Computer Acquisition Program (CAP)

CAP is the primary source of new computers within the College; by annually subsidizing upgrades to existing computers, we are able to re-deploy capable computers to upgrade and replace aging hardware. Existing computers are ineligible for CAP replacement if an existing computer was purchased with grant funds, if the primary user is not a full-time employee, if the computer will be used in a non-teaching unit, or if the new computer will serve as an employee’s secondary machine.

Identification of CAP Recipients

Our office works closely with L&S administrators to determine annual CAP allocations based on available CAP funding and the number of full-time L&S employees in all departments. Decisions are primarily based on an ongoing assessment of existing L&S computer capacity and the business-related computing needs of all L&S faculty and staff. CAP recipients may elect to retain their current computer, and they will be returned to the CAP list for the next annual replacement cycle.

Following this assessment, we purchase a number of standard desktop computers. CAP recipients may choose a laptop or to upgrade their desktop computer beyond the CAP standard; however, these funds must be from departmental, grant, or other university funding sources—-personal funds cannot be applied to L&S hardware purchase.

“Cascade” Program

All capable computers replaced through CAP will be reconfigured for the College’s “cascade” program. If the reclaimed computer is able to run the current L&S image, LSITO will remove any existing data, install the latest L&S image, and re-deploy the machine to an appropriate L&S unit. All obsolete computers will be surplussed according to College policy.

Purchases for New Hires

The College generally provides new hires with a computer and appropriate software as dictated by terms articulated in an “offer of employment” letter. We advise new hires to use the established Computer Purchasing Process to create an E-Quote to expedite the purchasing process.

By default, we will order a standard Dell PC for each incoming hire; a list of current Standard Models is available on our purchasing webform for reference. We encourage prospective hires to identify any compelling instructional and/or research requirements which may not be addressed by the College’s standard Dell model.