Computer Purchase and Support

Computer Ownership

As required by law, hardware or software purchased with college funds or grant funds awarded to Bowdoin College is the property of the college.

Computer Allocation Process (CAP)

CAP is an annual process where you can request hardware, software, peripherals, and upgrades (such as printers, scanners, digital cameras, memory, hard drives).

All CAP requests require the approval of a department head or director. Requests are reviewed by a group of representatives from various departments and divisions around campus, and requests are funded based on prioritizaion of the CAP committees and the current budget. Final purchasing decisions are based on three factors: priorities determined by the Academic and Administrative Computing Committees, the budget, and the final vendor pricing at the time of purchase.

CAP requests are accepted during the month of February, and departments are notified of the committees' decisions in May. Funded equipment is distributed between July 1 and mid-August.  Purchasing and distribution is coordinated by the Technical Purchasing Manager.

There are certain requests that will be met without the need for review. These include requests for hardware made by faculty and staff whose job requires a computer who do not have a computer or whose computer is four or more years old.

Old computers are returned to IT and reallocated within the college or donated to non-profit organizations. Bowdoin has a four year replacement cycle for computers.

For more information, please visit the CAP Website.

Centralized Purchasing through IT

IT is the central purchasing agent for all college owned computing equipment, peripherals and software, including grant-funded equipment. The reasons for centralizing computer purchases through IT include the following:

Standards. To ensure that IT can adequately support all college owned equipment, standard hardware and software platforms have been identified. Minimum standards are upgraded annually by IT. The hardware and software standards will be reviewed periodically by the IT Committee and published on the IT web site. Unless a specific application requires non-standard hardware or software (see Non-Standard Hardware and Software), standards compliant equipment will be purchased. Establishing standards makes it possible to provide better training and documentation for supported products and also facilitates troubleshooting and follow-up repairs.

IT will ensure that equipment or software is compatible with the campus network or any other components of the technology infrastructure, as necessary.

IT purchases software site licenses and arranges volume purchase agreements to secure the best educational pricing. At present IT has re-seller agreements with Apple and Dell which provide educational discounts on their products.

Non-Standard Hardware or Software

For certain applications, standard hardware and software will not meet the needs of the application. IT and the purchaser will work together to determine the best configuration of hardware and software for the application, however the purchaser, and not IT, will make the final decision.

IT will purchase the hardware and software with CAP, departmental or grant funds as necessary.

Any purchase of non-standard equipment must include warranty and maintenance coverage and system documentation as needed.

The department will assume primary responsibility for support and maintenance of the equipment. IT will assist the department in securing full support for the hardware and software.

IT will provide network connectivity and assistance in connecting the equipment to the campus network.

Technical Support

IT will publish a list of recommended hardware and supported software in the IT knowledge base. Some hardware and software items will not be fully supported by IT. Full support includes training, documentation, installation, upgrades, troubleshooting, problem solving and repair.

IT will, on request, provide assistance to departments and individuals in planning how technology can be used, as well as equipment and software purchasing consultation.

IT will maintain a supply of spare systems, printers, peripherals and parts for repairs and emergency replacements. Critical systems will be repaired or replaced immediately.

IT will maintain an up-to-date inventory of hardware. Inventory verification may be requested from departments.

IT will provide troubleshooting and repair services for all college owned fully supported hardware. IT will work with the purchasers of specialized systems to ensure that maintenance and repair services are available to them.


Supplies (CDs, inkjet or toner cartridges, paper, etc) are to be funded by department budgets. Some supplies such as inkjet cartridges and blank DVDs may be purchased through the Bookstore. Other supplies should be ordered through Office Max.


Article ID: 71633
Thu 2/7/19 10:38 AM
Thu 2/7/19 10:38 AM