X-15.25 - Policy on Information Technology Procurement


The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the procurement of information technology hardware, software and services follow established University policies, protocols and procedures, that due diligence is performed to ensure compatibility with existing systems and policies, that appropriate plans are associated with technology acquisition and that the approval of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is obtained prior to issuance of a purchase order and/or purchase request.

This policy applies to all technology resources and related services owned, used or operated by the University, regardless of the source of funding, location or intended purpose. These resources include but are not limited to: computers and servers of any form factor (i.e. PCs, MACs, Tablets, Cell Phones and other mobile devices); software and information systems; technology services, consulting, and maintenance contracts; peripheral equipment (e.g. printers, scanners, etc.); Network devices; television, audio/visual, surveillance and projection equipment; and door locking, alarm, and environmental monitoring equipment.


The CIO will follow established University and University System of Maryland (USM) policy and guidelines for technology procurement including, when appropriate, approval of the USM CIO.

The technology procurement process will follow established procurement and property management processes approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

The approval of the CIO shall be obtained before any technology is acquired by the University.

The CIO may require additional or more stringent property management requirements than USM or institutional policy establishes for tracking technology assets.

The CIO will identify and publish approved technology and provide procedures for technology acquisition.


There are no exclusions. The CIO has the sole authority to make exceptions, in writing, to this policy.


A. Coordination with Shared Governance Groups

Purchases of technology for campus use must be coordinated through our shared governance groups.  Academic technology should be requested through the Academic Technology Steering Committee and administrative technology should be requested through the Enterprise Technology Steering Committee.

The Shared Governance Groups will evaluate all IT purchase requests based on the following considerations:

1. Strategic Need
2. Functionality
3. Ease of Use
4. Compatibility
5. Systems Integration Requirements
6. Security
7. Support
8. Cost
9. Legal Obligations
10. Available Alternative Options
11. Accessibility:

a. Software and non-peripheral hardware purchased by the university should consider accessibility as a factor in purchasing decisions.
b. Hardware or software purchased by the university should comply with one or more of the following standards as evidence of accessibility:

i. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
ii. W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

c. As part of the purchasing process, the vendor should supply:

i. A valid Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
ii. Another statement by the vendor that provides an evaluation of the product’s accessibility.

d. The office making the purchase will provide to the Division of Information Technology (DoIT):

i. Documentation regarding accessibility supplied by the vendor.
ii. A list of any exceptions to the above accessibility standards identified in the vendor documentation.

e. In the event that no suitable product is found that meets minimum accessibility requirements, a description of the reason the product was selected should be submitted to DoIT.  DoIT will store this documentation for the duration the product is in use.

B. Standard Approved Software, Hardware and Services

1. The CIO will establish and maintain a website of computer technology acceptable standards, models, and vendors. The website will contain appropriate instructions, forms, and information for the purposes of acquiring technology resources.
2. When technology is approved as a campus standard it is considered to be pre-approved for procurement without additional consideration by DoIT.

C. Non-Standard Software, Hardware and Services

1. If a software package is not listed as a current standard, it is considered to be non-standard. Requests for non-standard software must be made using the Software Request Form, and must be submitted to and approved by the IT Client Services Manager.
2. Non-standard software may not be supported by DoIT. Before purchasing non-standard software, the purchaser must identify the source of support for the software being purchased.
3. Purchase of non-standard technology components is allowed. However, such purchases should be minimized as much as reasonably possible. The purchase of non-standard technology components must be justified by the existence of special circumstances that require it. Also, the purchaser of a non-standard technology component must document the source of support for the component via a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Specialized Equipment Request Form with DoIT before purchase will be approved.

D. Vendor Reviews

It is the policy of Bowie State University to periodically review performance by suppliers of technology for the benefit of the campus in terms of cost, service, and reliability. Performance reviews will be conducted at least annually by the Division of Information Technology and technology representatives from other campus organizations. Vendor performance will be evaluated in several categories, including but not limited to: cost; reliability; service times and performance; and acquisition time.

E. Forms and Procedures

All forms and procedures associated with this policy will be made available on the DoIT website.

F. Workstation and Laptop Replacement Guidelines

Reliable technology is important to maintaining smooth operations of University functions. Therefore, technology should be kept technically current to remain compatible with required capabilities, security constructs and technology innovation.

The following schedule provides a guideline to follow for planning replacements of computer technology.

1. Computer Labs funded by Student Technology Fees will be eligible to be refreshed every four years.
2. Faculty/Staff laptops and tablets will be eligible to be refreshed every four years.
3. Faculty/Staff workstations will be will eligible to be replaced every five years; or if the workstation is out of warranty and repair is not feasible; or if there is adequate justification that the workstation does not meet the requirements for the user’s job.

G. Information Systems Software

1. Enterprise Application Software is software that fulfills a specific business purpose, depends on integration with other sources of information, and is typically used by more than one person and/or department.

2. All Enterprise Application Software must be evaluated and approved by the CIO before purchase.

Examples of Enterprise Application Software are: student information systems (PeopleSoft), resource planning systems (Ad Astra), and learning management systems (Blackboard). When an enterprise application is considered for purchase, it must be evaluated in terms of its fit with the campus environment (operating hardware requirements, database management system, operating system requirements, web environment requirements), and the support requirements associated with the system.

Effective Date: 12/07/2021    

Revision Date: 01/09/2024