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 IT purchasing.  The purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of equipment and support.   All IT 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:

  • Desktop and laptop PCs are currently covered by this 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 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 but are not yet part of the CPI program.
  • Purchasers will be 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)

Seven standard configurations are available.

 Computer  Dell  Use
Mid-Level Optiplex 9020 Durable choice for everyday multitasking using standard business applications.
High-End Optiplex 9020 High performance choice for more intensive needs, such as Autodesk’s AutoCAD and other specialty apps.
All-in-One OptiPlex 9030 AIO Conserve valuable desk space with a clean and simple all-in-one design.
Workstation Precision Workstation Professional workstation class machines for Engineers, designers, architects and digital content creators.
Mid-Level Latitude E5440 Durable choice for everyday multitasking using standard business applications.  14.1-inch Display.  Standard size laptop keyboard.
High-End Latitude E6540 Choice for more intensive needs, such as Photoshop or video-editing.  15.6-inch Display.  Slightly larger laptop keyboard.
Ultra-Portable Latitude 14 7000 series Ultrabook Choice for Faculty and Staff who travel frequently or require a thin, light laptop.  13.3-inch Display.  Slightly smaller laptop keyboard.


For information on personal and student purchases, please visit our Student and Personal Computer Purchases page.

WCU Minimum Apple Computer Specifications for Institutional Use


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 Students 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