By William Frady, Manager of Instructional and Student Computing

As of October 1, new procedures will cover the purchase of all institutional desktop and laptop computers through Dell, WCU’s approved vendor. These policies and procedures do not yet apply to Apple computers.

UNC General Administration (UNC-GA) recently announced the launch of a new computer purchasing program called the Combined Pricing Initiative (CPI). Beginning this fiscal year, WCU, along with all schools in the UNC system, is required to participate in this new program. While the program offers the opportunity for the university to reduce costs on new computers, it will require the campus to change its purchasing procedures. WCU’s Purchasing Department, the Division of Information Technology and others on campus have worked to develop easy-to-use processes.

Below is an overview of the new computer purchasing program at WCU:

  • Desktop and laptop PCs are currently covered by the program.
  • UNC-GA has negotiated with vendors for the best prices for a range of standard desktop and laptop computer configurations intended to meet diverse computing needs while also reducing the total cost of ownership.
  • EPEAT/ENERGY STAR requirements are also included for energy conservation.
  • Purchases may only be made from Dell, WCU’s approved vendor, including those using state funds, grants or any other special funding.
  • Apple products may be purchased as they are today. (Apple is expected to join the CPI program during this academic year).
  • Purchasers will be required to use the new Dell Market Place e-procurement system.
  • Seven standard configurations are available (three desktop and four laptop).
  • Non-standard configurations that may be required for special situations will require approval through a new exception approval process. UNC-GA requires the total expenditure for exceptions for the fiscal year 2010-2011 to not exceed 20% of the total computer purchases. This percentage will be reduced by UNC-GA over time.
  • WCU is working on a process for personal and student purchases under this agreement. Further announcements will be made this fall semester.

For more information, visit or contact William Frady at or Dawn Brown at