Computer Purchasing Guidelines and Standard Computer Models (FAQ)

In fiscal year 2017, ITS made changes to the process for purchasing computers. The following guidelines cover the responsibilities of purchasing and funding. Each individual department is responsible for funding the purchase of staff or lab computers. The Office of the Provost is responsible for funding the purchase of most faculty computers, with some exceptions.


The pandemic continues to affect electronic component shortages, and this creates many issues with supply chain management. Backorder delays are unpredictable for computer and accessory hardware. The items you choose may be switched to an alternate like-for-like product when feasible. Priority will be given to order requests for newly hired employees, but also be aware that your order may not be fulfilled by the hire date. We have a small quantity of older laptops to use as temporary loaners while we wait for order fulfillment. (8/8/22)

Computer Purchasing Guidelines

ITS evaluates multiple vendor products to find the best options that align with our campus needs. We may choose business models over cheaper consumer models to ensure the technology performs well and meets our life cycle longevity requirements. Our goal is to maintain an accurate asset inventory list by centralizing the computer purchasing and receiving process.

ITS will place orders for:

  • Desktop computers and accessories (both standard and non-standard configurations)
  • Laptop computers and accessories (both standard and non-standard configurations)
  • iPads - must purchase from our CDWG or Apple business accounts so devices are auto-enrolled in Apple's device management system
  • Adobe software

Departments will place orders for:

  • All non-IT purchases
  • Computer accessories (hard drives, keyboards, monitor stands, etc.) - anything that was not included with the original computer order
  • Software and renewals – anything that is used specifically by the department and not already covered by a campus-wide agreement managed by ITS

1. Computer Options

Our standard computer models are listed at the end of this article. We have options for both Windows and Mac in a desktop or laptop format. All standard models are tested by ITS to ensure they meet our technical requirements. Requests for non-standard computers are considered an exception and require approval from your budget manager and ITS. Please consult with an ITS technician who will gather your requirements and contact our preferred vendors for a quote (see How to Place Orders below).

Per HR’s Customized Work Arrangement guidelines, Drake provides one standard computer bundle per employee. If an employee works remotely part of the time, they are responsible for purchasing any duplicate computer components for home-office use. Additional information is available in HR’s FAQ document.

2. Life Cycle Replacement

ITS recommends a 4-year life cycle for computers to ensure proper function and productivity. It's highly recommended to replace computers on this schedule. You can help ITS maintain a detailed computer asset inventory by following this centralized purchasing process. Questions about the age of computers in your department can be directed to the Campus Relations team. Call the Support Center at 271-3001 and ask for a campus technician. Do not wait until the end of the fiscal year to order computer replacements (see Fiscal Year Deadlines below).

Software Transfer - If you have specialized software installed on the old computer that needs transferred to the new computer, add a note in the description field of the service request ticket. The campus technician will need to know the name of the software, version, and license code (if available).

3. Funding

ITS does not receive a special budget allocation to fund the replacement of computers. Departments are responsible for funding the replacement of older staff computers and new staff computers. New faculty computers and faculty computer replacements will be funded by the Office of the Provost in accordance with standard bundle pricing. We recommend that departments keep track of their computer inventory life cycles so that funding can be allocated to their budget plans each year.

4. How to Place Orders

If you're ordering standard computer models, refer to the price list linked in the Attachments section to the right. If you're ordering non-standard computer equipment, the first step is getting a custom quote by submitting a Computer/Peripheral Request. The campus technicians will work with our preferred vendors to obtain a quote, and the custom quote should be submitted along with the computer order form.

  1. Fill out the ITS Order Form available on the Computer/Peripheral Request page. The form requires FOAPAL number approval from your budget manager. It's important to show approval by a person with budget authority because the form is attached to the invoice for Accounting.
  2. Submit a Computer/Peripheral Request through the IT Service Portal. Create one request per each individual computer user.
  3. ITS will order the equipment and complete pre-installation configuration.
  4. Once the configuration is complete, a campus technician will schedule installation with the employee.

5. Ordering Timelines

Order fulfillment times vary by vendor. Standard computer equipment typically ships within 1-2 weeks. Once your complete order arrives on campus, please allow up to 3 additional weeks for installation. It is important to provide a “need by date” on the computer order form when ordering for a new employee or for special circumstances (e.g. employee needs a computer before traveling).

ITS maintains a very limited inventory of loaner laptops for emergency repair situations only. We don't keep an inventory of new computers on hand, therefore it's especially critical that orders for newly hired employees are submitted several weeks in advance of the employee’s start date.

6. Fiscal Year-end Deadlines

Departments should submit staff life cycle replacement orders between July and December. Ordering computers near the end of the fiscal year will be limited to only new hire requests or emergency replacements. New computer order requests need to be submitted no later than April 15. Reducing the number of orders during the spring term allows ITS extra time to receive product and meet fiscal year-end invoicing deadlines.

  1. If product is received on campus in June 2022, it will be expensed in FY22.
  2. If product is received on campus in July 2022, it will be expensed in FY23.

We can not guarantee that hardware will be shipped from the vendor in a timely manner. Supply chain backorders are unpredictable and can delay shipments by several weeks.

7. Computer Transfer or Decommission

Your communication with ITS about computer changes will help us maintain an accurate computer asset inventory. If you have a computer to be re-issued to a different employee, submit a Computer/Peripheral Request and select the option to Reassign computer to new user. A computer must meet minimum specifications to be re-purposed. Allow up to two weeks for the deployment. If you have computers no longer in use, use the same service request and select the Decommission/eWaste option. Additional information is available in the Required Return of Drake-Owned Technology Policy listed on the ITS website.

8. Printers

We have a printer lease contract with LRI. If you have questions about adding a new printer in your area, please consult with ITS. We may have access to spare equipment that's no longer being used due to office moves. Drake will not provide reimbursement for purchases of personal desktop printers for home office use. Per Human Resource's telecommuting guidelines, the University will not duplicate equipment resources between the campus work location and the alternate work location.


  • Technical Questions — Call the ITS Support Center at 271-3001.
  • ITS Purchasing Questions —Contact Elissa Johnson or Alicia Mann.

Standard Computer Models

ITS reviews vendor pricing on a regular basis. This list will change periodically due to price or part number updates.

NOTE: Occasionally people replace an old computer, but choose to keep an existing monitor or keyboard. The new computer options may not use the same cabling connections that are compatible with older monitors. Before you submit an order request, please talk to an ITS technician to review which parts are required to make a new computer work with older peripheral hardware. Additional adapters may be required.

Current models as of 1/10/2023 (Current price list is linked in the Attachments section to the right.)

Windows/PC Options:

  • HP EliteDesk 800 G6 Mini Desktop
  • HP Elite x360 830 G9 Laptop

Mac Options:

  • Apple Mac Mini M1 Desktop
  • Apple MacBook Air 13" Laptop - M2 Proc.
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Article ID: 28289
Tue 3/28/17 3:14 PM
Fri 1/13/23 1:41 PM

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