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Full Technology Purchasing Policy

Standardization allows the university to efficiently select and manage technology, obtain better technology pricing, reduce maintenance costs and increase access to training and assistance.  These standards are re-evaluated periodically based on common needs, vendor offerings, cost, reliability, supportability, quality, sustainability, compliance with recycling policies and timeliness of vendor response.   When technology is adopted as a campus standard it is considered to be eligible for purchase by campus departments .

A. Applicability and standards

This policy applies to all computers and network-related resources of the University, whether located on the campus or in remote locations or facilities. These resources include but are not necessarily limited to:

• desktops, laptops, tablets and servers

• software running on these devices

• peripheral equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, etc.)

• cabling or connectivity-related devices

• audio-visual equipment such as projectors

• mobile devices

• web based software services and domain names

At any point in time, the University gains benefits from maintaining within reason the practice of purchasing equipment according to agreed-upon standards. Agreement by a purchaser to accept standard configurations achieves the benefits to the campus of better pricing for components and supplies, and less administrative overhead; and to the purchaser of better pricing, faster processing of requests, better support, less costly maintenance, and a better ability to train on and provide assistance with technologies purchased.

Purchase of non-standard technology components is not prohibited. However, such purchases should be minimized as much as reasonably possible. The purchase of non-standard technology components must be justified by the existence of special circumstances that require it. Also, the purchaser of a non-standard technology component must document the source of support for the component before purchase will be approved.  Examples of non-standard technology could include:

• Proprietary software

• Simulation technology

• Single use licensed software

• Specialized electronic hardware  

B. Vendor and Contracts Reviews

LITS will be responsible for the administration of technology contracts including, but not limited to: hardware, software, data, web domains, copiers, service, and “smart” phones for Belmont University. This includes managing all actions associated with contracts, including renewals, warranty issues, and vendor returns or replacement.

It is the policy of Belmont University to periodically review performance by suppliers of technology for the benefit of the campus in terms of cost, service and reliability. Vendor performance reviews will be evaluated in several categories, including but not limited to: cost; reliability; service times and performance; and acquisition time.

C. Internet Products and Services

All Internet products and services including the purchase of domain names, hosting services, SSLs, and SaaS services must be approved, managed and coordinated with LITS.  All domain names are owned by Belmont University and the procurement and setup of Internet products and services are the responsibility of LITS.  All domain names must be approved first with the Office of Communications and managed by LITS.

D.  Technology Project Approvals

All technology projects must be approved and coordinated with LITS early in the process.  If the project involves connecting to the campus network or management of data or supports an administrative process LITS must be a member of the implementation team. 

E. Workstation and Laptop Replacement Plan

Realizing that technology is an integral part of a University of academic distinction, Senior Leadership has approved the following replacement plan for Belmont University computers to ensure that computers on campus are kept up-to-date:

(1)  Computer Labs will be eligible to be refreshed every four years.

(2)  Faculty/Staff laptops and tablets will be eligible to be refreshed every four years.

(3)  Faculty or staff may elect to purchase an Apple product at cost above the current refresh allotment but only on approval of the department budget manager.  Approval of selection of an Apple product will also be predicated on support of all job functions of the department including compatibility with Banner processes.

(4)  Faculty/Staff workstations will be eligible to be replaced every four years, or:

(a)  If the workstation is out of warranty and repair is not feasible; or
(b)  If there is adequate justification that the workstation does not meet the requirements for the user’s job and or repair is cost prohibitive.

 

F. Accessibility

Software and non-peripheral hardware purchased by the university should consider accessibility as a factor in purchasing decisions.

Hardware or software purchased by the university should comply with one or more of the following standards as evidence of accessibility:

• Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

• W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

G. Sustainability

Software and non-peripheral hardware purchased by the university should strongly consider sustainability as a factor in purchasing decisions.   Hardware or software purchased by the university should support Belmont University’s sustainability program. All electronic hardware should meet or exceed EPEAT criteria for energy efficiency.   All hardware disposal must comply with all Nashville and Tennessee laws for disposal and recycling of electronic waste.  Technology recycling and disposal will be coordinated through LITS.

H. Software

Standard Office Productivity/Instructional Software

Office productivity/instructional software includes such packages as Microsoft Office and Excel, AVID, SPSS, Minitab etc.   When a software package is defined as a standard for the campus, that definition is typically supported in terms of:

(1)  provision of a site license or volume purchase agreement for the package;

(2)  call center and/or help center support for the package; and

(3)  training on use of the package.

Standards for office productivity/instructional software are defined for the campus and re-evaluated periodically. When a package is approved as a campus standard it is considered to be pre-approved for purchase without additional consideration by LITS, requests for standard office productivity/instructional software will normally be processed immediately upon receipt.

Non-Standard Office Productivity/Instructional Software

If a software package is not listed as a current standard, it is considered to be non-standard. Requests for non-standard software must be approved by the Dean or department head and LITS Service Desk.

Non-standard software will have limited support by LITS Service Desk. Before purchasing non-standard software, the purchaser must describe the source of support for the software being purchased and specific hardware requirements to support the implementation.

Administrative Software (both installed locally and as a web service)

Administrative software is software that fulfills a specific business purpose. Examples of application software are: Banner, Adirondack and Alma.  When an application software package or Service (SaaS) is considered for purchase, it must be evaluated in terms of its fit with the campus environment (operating hardware requirements, database management system, operating system requirements, Web environment requirements), and the support requirements associated with the package or service.

Application software will be evaluated based on the nature of the application, its usage base, and its criticality to the mission of the department or the University as a whole. If application software is to be supported by LITS, the package must fit within the standard operating environment.  With this in mind, all application software packages must be evaluated and approved by LITS Administrative Technology Services before purchase.
 
I. Hardware

Hardware Standards

Standards have been defined for workstation hardware and peripherals, audio-visual equipment and servers. These standards are re-evaluated periodically based on common needs, vendor offerings, cost, reliability, their ability to be supported, and the quality and timeliness of vendor support. When an item is approved as a campus standard it is considered to be eligible for purchase and orders will normally be processed immediately upon receipt.

Non-Standard Hardware

If a hardware component is not listed as a current standard, it is considered to be non-standard. Requests for non-standard hardware must be approved by the Dean or department head and LITS Service Desk.

Before purchasing non-standard hardware, the purchaser must describe the source of support for the hardware being purchased. This information will be provided on the form requesting purchase of the hardware.

Purchase of Non-Standard Technology

Purchase of non-standard technology components should be minimal, and justified through extenuating circumstances. This includes technology purchased through grants and other non-university funds. The university will not reimburse or support the purchase of any technology related item, unless that purchase was made through and/or with the knowledge and approval of LITS.

In certain cases, when services are being considered for purchase, or new systems are being considered for in-house development, the AVP/CIO must review and approve vendor selections, consultant engagements, development plans, and contract language. 

J. Technology Purchasing Procedures

These procedures have been developed in support of the Technology Purchasing Policy.

Standard Purchase Requests

All university technology requests are processed through LITS. The purchasing procedure is initiated by executing a purchase request. Individual departments may gather information on items being considered for purchase and include this information with the request.  Technology purchase requests must follow all guidelines as prescribed by Belmont’s accounting and purchasing department. 

The end user may request technology by:

(1)  visiting the LITS Service Desk to complete a  request form;
(2)  contacting LITS Service Desk for technical consultation.

The Budget Manager/Dean must approve purchases prior to ordering by LITS. To facilitate turn-around, and to give the best possible service, please have the following information available or included when requesting or submitting via online:

(a)  Quantities, complete item description(s)
(b)  Budget number to be charged
(c)   Date needed

Requests should be submitted with sufficient time to obtain price quotations and place orders without causing undue delay. Please provide as much lead-time as possible. To duplicate a previous purchase, the prior order should be referenced.

Non-standard Purchase Requests

All requests for non-standard technology must be approved by the AVP/CIO.  A  LITS staff member will work with the purchaser to determine the appropriate technology that best meets the needs of the project.  The request will be presented to the AVP/CIO and associated Dean as part of the decision making process before a purchase can be approved.

End of Year Purchase (EOY) Requests

All EOY requests must strictly follow all guidelines as established by Finance and Accounting Division.  Given this is a busy time please allow at least two additional weeks to the request in order to order equipment to arrive in the fiscal year of the purchase request.

Compliance

Software License Compliance

This issue is even more critical than the departmental purchases because the University could

be liable for thousands of dollars in fines if there are violations of copyright.  Software license issues are governed by contracts with each vendor and Belmont must comply in monitoring and mandating metered usage or seats for software usage at all times.  All requests for new or upgraded Software or enhancements to software contracts must first be approved by LITS and Belmont’s legal counsel.

Violations

Violations of this policy will be handled according to normal disciplinary procedures and/or referred to the department Dean of the offending area, Office of Finance and Accounting VP and the AVP/CIO. 

Any violation of this policy by faculty and staff is “misconduct” under Belmont policies.  Any violation of this policy by students is subject to the Student Code of Conduct in the student handbook “Bruin Guide”. Violations of law may also be referred for criminal or civil prosecution.

Related Standards, Policies, and Procedures

The Technology Purchasing Policy is administered through a collection of Belmont standards. The Belmont University Technology Purchasing Policy and its standards are in effect at all times.  LITS works in concert with the Dean of Students Office, Senior Leadership, and Human Resources to ensure fair and appropriate investigation, consideration, and consequences where appropriate. Users are expected to familiarize themselves with Belmont standards and comply with them.

Password Policy

Acceptable User Policy

Remote Access Policy

Wireless  Communication Policy

Data Classification Policy

2016-2017 Belmont Bruin Guide 

2016-2017 Faculty Staff Handbook

2016-2017 Staff Handbook 

FERPA Policy

HIPPA Policy

GLBA Policy

Misconduct Policy

Definition of Terms


Technology: Any software, hardware, server, virtual server or service, wireless, wired, or electronic process that supports working, living, visiting, learning or teaching at the university.  Examples include but are not limited to: desktop computers, mobile devices, telephones, wiring, wireless internet, applications, projectors, printers, software systems, etc.   Technology includes any component that attaches to the campus network, an electronic lab component, stores data, electronically controls something, or performs computations.

User: Any person using any of the University’s computer or information resources, including but not limited to:

• Faculty

• Students

• Alumni

• Contractors

• Consultants

• Associates, honoraries and visiting staff

• Community members and guests

• Other users authorized by the University

• Third parties (ex. Vendors, contractors, etc.)

• Anyone connecting non-Belmont equipment (e.g. laptop computers) to the University network

LITS: Library and Information Technology Services.  Belmont division that supports technology and library services for the campus

SSL: (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

SaaS:  Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and maintaining software, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing yourself from complex software and hardware management.

Date of Change
Responsible
Summary of Change
May 19, 2016
Randall Reynolds

Director of Information Security
New policy created
October 20, 2016

Randall Reynolds
Director of Information Security
Policy updated