Each month, the Division of IT hi-lights a service provided to the campus. This month’s service is:

Institutional Computer Purchases

 Western Carolina University is required to participate in the UNC General Administration (UNC-GA) Combined Pricing Initiative (CPI) for bulk personal computer (PC) purchasing.  The purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of equipment and support.   All PC purchases for institutional use will be completed through the UNC-GA CPI program.

CPI Workflow Overview (PDF)

 Important elements of this policy are listed below:

  • CPI Purchases may be made only from our approved vendor, currently Dell.  This includes purchases using state funds, grants, or any other special funding. 
  • Apple products may be purchased for institutional use, but they are not yet part of the CPI program. Instead, each quarter UNC-GA does a combined bulk purchase of Apple PCs which results in additional price discounts.
  • Desktop and laptop PCs are currently covered by the CPI 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.
  • Purchasers are required to use the WCU Dell Market Place e-procurement system which may be accessed at http://premier.dell.com/.
  • Non-standard configurations that may be necessary for special situations will require approval through a new exception approval process.  UNC-GA requires the total expenditure for exceptions not to exceed 20% of the total computer purchases.

Exception Process (PDF)
Exception Request Form (PDF)

Dell Computer Purchases

Eight standard Dell computer configurations are available.

 Computer  Dell  Use


 Basic  Optiplex 7010 Small Form Factor Value-conscious choice for basic internet, email and Microsoft Office needs.
 Mid-Level  Optiplex 9010 Minitower Durable choice for everyday multitasking using standard business applications.
 High-End  Optiplex 9010 Minitower High performance choice for more intensive needs, such as Autodesk’s AutoCAD and other specialty apps.
 Workstation  Precision Workstation Professional workstation class machines for Engineers, designers, architects and digital content creators.


 Basic  Latitude E5430 Value-conscious choice for basic internet, email and Microsoft Office needs.  14.1-inch Display.  Standard size laptop keyboard.
 Mid-Level  Latitude E6430 Durable choice for everyday multitasking using standard business applications.  14.1-inch Display.  Standard size laptop keyboard.
 High-End  Latitude E6530 Choice for more intensive needs, such as Photoshop or video-editing.  15.6-inch Display.  Slightly larger laptop keyboard.
 Ultra-Portable  Latitude E6330 Choice for Faculty and Staff who travel frequently or require a thin, light laptop.  13.3-inch Display.  Slightly smaller laptop keyboard.


Apple Computer Purchases

WCU Minimum Apple Computer Specifications for Institutional Use

For information on Personal and Student Purchases please visit http://www.wcu.edu/27821.asp


WCU Faculty and Staff IT purchases for institutional use using state funds, grants, or any other special funding.

Service Availability

Web tools for purchasing are available 24/7.  Personal assistance is available by appointment, Monday-Friday, 8-5.

IT’s Role

Developing and maintaining standards for computers, desktop support for all standard purchasing configurations,  help with shipping and receiving, working with Purchasing Department on pricing and ordering.


Contact the IT Help Desk
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed weekends and university holidays
Call: 227-7487 or 866-928-7487 (toll free)
E-mail: ithelp@wcu.edu
Log in: Online Help Desk/IT Self-Service <http://ithelp.wcu.edu/
Faculty and Staff
username – wcu\WCU account username
password – WCU account password
username – wcu\Catamount account username
password – your PIN or password

Visit the Technology Commons
On the ground floor of Hunter Library
For walk-up technology assistance for faculty, staff and students
We’re open the same hours as Hunter Library

For More Information

Accessory items available at the WCU Bookstore include software, cables, surge protectors, security kits.

Charge for this Service

No charge