PAU Hardware & Software Purchase Policy


The purpose of this policy is to outline the process by which Palo Alto University acquires, replaces, and disposes of computer hardware equipment for faculty and staff.


This policy applies to all full-time and part-time employees and to the purchase of all computer equipment issued by the university regardless of university funding sources.

Computer Equipment Purchases for the University:

All computer equipment purchases must be coordinated with Information Technology Department before any purchases are made.


Computer Equipment Received via Grants or Gifts:

Departments receiving computer equipment as gifts from individuals, corporate sponsorships, and grants must work with Information Technology Services before accepting equipment donations. Equipment gifts will be reviewed to ensure that the gift may be utilized in the Palo Alto University environment and that ongoing support can be provided.


Computer Replacement Cycle:

Full-time faculty and staff positions will be assigned one primary computer. The computer assigned to a user as their primary system will be the machine covered under the Computer Replacement Cycle. Those users with non primary computers may either be upgraded out of the IT Department computer redistribution pool or by other departmental funds. The general guidelines for replacement of primary systems are:


  1. Full-time faculty and staff: Four years from the date of computer assignment
  2. Classrooms and computer labs:
    • Four years from the date of computer assignment
  3. Computers needed for part-time faculty/staff, student worker positions, temporary positions, and machines needed for projects or other temporary uses will be furnished out of the IT Department redistribution pool of computers.


Computers that are part of the IT Department Computer Replacement Cycle will be replaced with a new standard computer. Information Technology Department will also cover the costs of a new standard machine requested for a newly created position.


Standard Computer Configurations:

A standard configuration will be established by Information Technology Department on an annual basis. Any upgrades to the hardware configuration beyond the scope of the standard configuration will be charged to the requesting department.


Full-time faculty and staff have the choice of a Windows or Apple laptop or desktop based on a standard configuration.


Any staff replacement personnel will inherit the computer used by the previous holder of that position, unless that computer was purchased or has been in use for four years.


Standard Software Installations:

Standard software on machines will include:

  1. Current supported version of Windows OS or Mac OS operating systems
  2. Current supported version of Microsoft Office Suite (for both Windows and Mac)
  3. Sophos Anti-Virus
  4. Adobe Acrobat Reader/Professional
  5. Internet Browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari)
  6. Zoom Software

Non-Standard Software Purchases:

  • Non-Standard software purchases such as statistic programs like SAS, MPLUS, and Matlab will need to be requested to the IT department and approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
  • Backup software such as iCloud, Carbonite, Dropbox, etc... are not approved by the IT Department. If you need a backup solution please contact and we'll work with you to find an appropriate solution.
  • Small consumables go through your department but do not include items such as iCloud storage, carbonite, dropbox, flash drives, external hard drives, etc. These items should not be purchased however, if you need a backup solution which these services would cover you should contact the IT department at

Additional Peripheral Devices:

  • Standard desktop configurations for both PCs and Macs will include a CPU, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Standard laptop configurations for both PCs and Macs will only include the laptop.
  • External monitors may be supplied depending on availability in redistribution.
  • Laptop setups do not include carrying cases, docking stations, and monitor stands.
  • If there is a need for external hard drives, dvd drives, or any other peripheral critical to instruction that is needed please contact the IT Department.
  • Tablets including Apple iPAD's, Microsoft Surface, and Android devices will need to be purchased through the IT Department and approved by Department manager before purchase.

Employee Purchase Option:

Full-time employees will have the option of purchasing their primary computer system at time of replacement once the IT Department identifies it as decommissioned.  Please note the following:

  1. The purchase price is determined by the business office. Typical cost is usually ~$150-250 for a Macbook after 4 years.
  2. User is responsible for ensuring all data has been backed up from the PC or laptop.
  3. All computers that have been decommissioned and the employee has elected to purchase must be processed through Information Technology Help Desk and will be re-built with a basic operating system installed.
  4. Once a computer has been identified as decommissioned, it will no longer be supported by Information Technology Department.
  5. All such sales are “as is” and Information Technology Services provides no warranty.

Requests by employees to purchase their decommissioned computer system must be made through Information Technology Services by sending an email to