Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Information Services

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

October 2019

Related Policies and Additional References:


The offices of the Vice President of Information Services (VPIS) are charged with assessing, procuring, implementing and maintaining information resources in support of the St. Mary’s University mission. The Information Resources Acquisition policy establishes guidelines and procedures for purchasing information resources for the St. Mary’s University community.

  • Information Resources include the following – computers, laptops, tablets (Dell, Apple, etc.), peripheral devices, printers, software (desktop, enterprise and cloud-based applications), servers, networking equipment, Internet service, campus phones and phone services, etc.

General areas of responsibility include:

  • Academic Technology Services (ATS) is charged with supporting enterprise academic software/service licenses, new classroom/learning space design, distance learning.  ATS also supports the resources and services needed to facilitate our student’s creative digital and multimedia projects.
  • Client and Law Support Services (C&LSS) is charged with supporting computer hardware and software typically used in the office and classroom setting. The majority of faculty, staff and classroom refresh is completed by C&LSS.  This area is also responsible for the technology needs of the School of Law and collaborates closely with the Dean and other members.
  • Infrastructure and Enterprise Services (I&ES) is charged with supporting computer hardware, software, networking, infrastructure, cloud based services and ancillary components used by the University community at large.
  • Library Services (LS) is charged with evaluating, acquiring, and making accessible books, ebooks, databases, audiovisual materials, etc., to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of students and faculty.

This policy establishes standards, guidelines, and procedures for the acquisition of information resources in a manner that supports the goal of providing excellent stewardship of university resources. In each case, the appropriate IS area will assist requesting departments in acquiring information resources that meet the needs and priorities of the university community, are sustainable, compatible with existing systems, and can be efficiently supported.  The ATS, C&LSS, I&ES and LS offices have extensive experience in assessing and procuring information resources and maintain numerous purchasing agreements with hardware, software, publishers, service agencies, etc.  In order to effectively leverage these agreements and ensure information resource standards and licensing/compliance requirements are met, the appropriate office must be involved in the acquisition of all information resources.

The following procedures will be used for all St. Mary’s University information resources purchases, leases, grant awards, or other acquisitions:

All information resources acquisitions, whether centrally funded by the offices of the VPIS, department funded or grant funded, must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate area (ATS, C&LSS, I&ES or LS) prior to purchase.

  • ATS, C&LSS, I&ES or LS (as appropriate) will provide assistance in making information resource acquisition decisions and will take into account the initial cost, maintenance, support, usability and continuity with existing and planned technologies in addition to the overall utility to the University community.
  • Where appropriate, recommendations on hardware/software support and maintenance agreements or other vendor support agreements will be provided. Generally, such agreements will be required for “mission critical” systems or any non-standard software/system for which in-house expertise is not available.
  • Requesting Information Resources:
  • ATS, C&LSS and I&ES Information Resources – A requesting department may initiate the process by contacting the Technical Support Center (TSC) to fill out a Hardware/Software Request Form, a Project Charter, or both if applicable. Alternatively, the requestor may contact the TSC for initial consultation and advice before filling out the Information Resources Acquisition Form or Project Charter (as applicable).  The TSC manager will ensure the request is documented, tracked and assigned to the appropriate area for action.  A member of the ATS, C&LSS or I&ES team will contact the requestor to clarify needs (if required) and contact vendors for pricing.  An email quote will then be sent to the requestor, the requestor will approve the quote and the resources will be procured via a department initiated Purchase Order or one initiated by Information Services.  The requestor can track the status of the request through the TSC ticketing system.
  • LS Information Resources – A requesting department may initiate the process by contacting their designated Librarian Liaison (list of academic subject areas and Librarian Liaisons can be found at The Library Liaison will ensure the request is documented, clarify needs (if required) and process the request as appropriate. The Library Liaison will provide the requestor an estimated time of receipt of materials and notify the requestor when the materials are available or if delays are encountered.
  • Where appropriate, information resources acquisitions take into account the total life cycle costs to include, but not limited to, initial acquisition, implementation costs, training, annual maintenance/support, migration of data, and decommissioning.
  • All information resources acquisitions will be in compliance with purchasing policies and procedures. The budget account of the requesting department will be expensed accordingly unless other funding arrangements are made in advance for all ATS, C&LSS and I&ES related acquisitions. Department funds will not be transferred to VPIS office accounts.  If funds are not available in the appropriate account, it is the responsibility of the requestor to ensure funds are allocated from elsewhere in the department budget to fund the technology purchase, however, most LS information resource acquisitions are centrally funded.
  • The budget accounts covering information resources acquisitions may be in each departmental budget, however, it is the responsibility of the department budget manager to ensure appropriate funding is allocated. When purchasing information resources use account numbers as follow: (note – this is a partial listing of accounts that may be used)
  • Account number 71401, 79104, 79105 Software Licensing – Software purchased by department (departments do not have to pay for MS Office/Windows or SPSS, as these are covered by Campus Agreements with Microsoft and IBM, respectively).
  • Account number 71544 Computer Supplies – Purchase of additional power cords, tapes, videos, cables, etc.
  • Account number 79103 Computer Purchases – Purchase of new computers, monitors, laptops, tablets, scanners, digital cameras, digital LCD projectors, keyboards, mice, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, CD players, printers (note – printers are addressed under a separate policy), etc.
  • Account number 79106 Equipment – Purchase of other technology equipment of $1,500 or greater.
  • Account number 79107 Software Maintenance and Update – Purchase software maintenance and software upgrades.
  • Account number 79109 Networking – Purchase of computer networking equipment such as switches, wireless access points, etc.

Note: The following accounts are for Library resources and are used exclusively by Library Services to procure items for academic departments.

  • Account number 72704 Media – Library Acquisitions – Purchase of related Library materials.
  • Account number 73801 Periodicals and Subscriptions – Purchase of related Library materials.
  • All ATS, C&LSS and I&ES related information resources purchases will be done by the requesting department. This includes determining appropriate account numbers and entering the purchase order in the Banner system, obtaining appropriate budgetary approvals etc.  LS related purchase actions will be performed by the Library Liaison and other LS personnel as required and are contingent on funding.
  • Once the purchase order has been created and approved for ATS, C&LSS and I&ES related acquisitions, a copy of the purchase order will need to be emailed to the appropriate VPIS office or included with the TSC ticket or IRA form.
  • The appropriate VPIS staff member will review purchase order documents received and, once reviewed and approved by the VPIS, that staff member will initiate the purchase with the vendor.
  • All information resources purchases will be shipped to and received by the appropriate VPIS office unless other arrangements have been approved by IS personnel.
  • Once the orders are received, inventoried and prepared for use, the associated TSC ticket will be updated to document that the information resources made available to the requesting office for all ATS, C&LSS and I&ES related purchases.
  • The requesting office will budget for annual costs such as maintenance, licensing, training and conferences as appropriate and will adjust for annual support increases from the vendor.
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