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IT Purchasing Policy and Recommendations for Faculty and Centers

Overview:

Penn Law’s ITS group is pleased to partner with faculty in a variety of ways to support your teaching, scholarship, and research agendas.  Our support for your computing needs includes these ITS recommendations for faculty research account purchases for desktop computers, laptops, software, and printers. 

All software and hardware purchased with Law School funds remains the property of the Law School.  ITS support only extends to systems owned by the Law School and purchased by ITS.  Purchases made with personal funds (including laptops, desktops, monitors, printers) are not reimbursable by the Law School nor supported by ITS.

ITS limits support to hardware and computer operating systems that are still fully supported by their manufacturers.  Any warranty or repair fees for software or devices purchased with research funds (including subsidized items) will be paid by research funds.  Faculty are encouraged to keep their warranty coverage up-to-date. Please see the section below on manufacturer support for more information.

Please let us know about your needs as early as possible to avoid delays. If you have an urgent deadline, we can suggest available options. Please see Procurement Timeframes for expectations on how long a request may take to be filled.

Standard Equipment and Software:

Faculty are provided with a standard Dell computer and monitor, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat. 

  • Research funds can be used with the Dean’s approval to supplement or replace equipment in faculty offices. 
  • ITS will subsidize a portion of the cost of a non-standard desktop.
  • If faculty choose to use a laptop purchased with their research funds as their office system, ITS will subsidize a portion of the cost. 
  • Faculty are still limited to two laptops in total.

Digital-First: Faculty are encouraged to use digital solutions over printing, and network printers instead of personal printers.  We offer a variety of digital tools from file sharing to DocuSign solutions.  Standing faculty will still be provided with a personal printer on request.   

Staff Employees: Full-time staff employed in faculty centers or institutes receive the standard laptop, monitor and docking station provided to other Penn Law staff.  Part-time staff may receive a shared desktop station, instead of a laptop.

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Equipment for use outside of Law School:

Penn Law’s purchase policy permits the expenditure of faculty research funds for IT equipment and applications as follows:

  • Faculty may purchase up to three devices in the following combinations:
    • Desktop alone
    • Laptop alone
    • iPad alone
    • Laptop + iPad
    • Laptop + Laptop
    • Desktop + Laptop
    • Desktop + iPad
    • Desktop + Laptop + iPad
    • Laptop + Laptop + iPad
  • Each faculty member may have up to two laptops in total, even in cases where they choose to use a laptop as their office computer.  
  • Faculty pay for any purchases with that current fiscal year’s research funds.
  • ITS, rather than the faculty member, must purchase all equipment procured through this policy.
  • If ITS does not recommend the purchase of a particular piece of equipment, that purchase will require special approval from the Dean.
  • Visiting faculty cannot use their research funds for desktop computers, laptops, or iPads.

Accessories: Faculty can also purchase accessories (e.g. headsets, wireless keyboards) out of their research funds.  ITS recommends faculty purchase a laptop (or iPad) case to protect their system from damage. 

Not Supported: ITS does not purchase or support Android, iPhone, Apple Watch, Kindle, Galaxy Note, or any other PDA, tablet, smartphone, cellphone, cellular network card or their services. 

Software and Cloud Applications:

Cloud applications and nonstandard software for use by faculty and centers are purchasable via research funds.  Please note that cloud applications must meet Penn’s Data Security and Privacy requirements if they will contain sensitive data (e.g. financial, academic, health).  The privacy audit may take several weeks to complete.

Procurement Timeframes

Below are several factors that can influence how long it takes to fulfill purchase requests:

  • Hardware/Software: it may take up to a month to receive a new computer, due to manufacturer lead times and ITS scheduling.
  • Fiscal year: we recommend you make purchase requests by the end of April. This is necessary in order to complete all transactions prior to the annual invoice deadline.
  • Cloud Applications: these systems can take several weeks to purchase due to Penn Privacy and Security requirements, as well as ITS scheduling (e.g. previously scheduled projects).
  • Busy Periods: you may experience longer delays during the start of each semester, over winter holiday, and during the end of fiscal year due to high volume of requests.

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Old Equipment

If you are replacing a desktop or laptop purchased with research funds, you have the option of returning the equipment or purchasing it from the Law School. Returning or purchasing subsidized equipment does not change subsidy eligibility amount.  If you are leaving Penn Law, you may return the equipment or purchase it.  Please note: Equipment purchased from Penn Law is no longer supported by ITS.  Licenses are commonly for academic use and are not transferable.

ITS Recommended Hardware and Software

All systems below are designed to be supported by ITS for at least three years and to meet or exceed the recommendations of ISC, Penn’s central computing organization, for desktops and laptops.

Windows Laptops

All Dell models come equipped with Windows 11, an integrated Webcam & Microphone, 802.11ac wireless card, Bluetooth, and a 3-year next business day, onsite warranty.

 

Standard

Model

Dell Latitude 7420 2-in-1

Dimensions

12.6” W x 7.9” D x .6” H

Weight

3.0 lbs

Display

14” (1920x1080, 157 ppi)

Processor

Intel i7

Memory

16GB

Hard Drive

256GB SSD

Est. Price

~$1600

Macintosh Laptops

All Mac models come equipped with MacOS 12 Monterey, an integrated Webcam & Microphone, 802.11ac wireless card, Bluetooth, and a 3-year AppleCare+ warranty.

If you are switching from a PC, please note that you cannot open WordPerfect files on a Mac. 

 

Standard

Model

MacBook Pro 14 inch

Dimensions

 12.31” W x 8.71” D x 0.61” H

Weight

 3.5 lbs

Display

14.2” (3024x1964, 254 ppi)

Processor

Apple Silicon M1 Pro 

Memory

16GB

Hard Drive

512GB

Est. Price

~$2100

iPad Pro

ITS recommends the 256GB WiFi model for the majority of business and research functions. 

Size

11” diagonal, 1lb

12.9 diagonal, 1.4lb

Screen

2388-by-1668 resolution, 264 ppi

2732-by-2048 resolution, 264 ppi

Cost

$998 w/ 3-year AppleCare+; $1396 with Pencil and Magic Keyboard

$1278 w/ 3-year AppleCare+; $1726 with Pencil and Magic Keyboard

Recommended Printers

Personal Printer

HP LaserJet M404dw

40 ppm

~$419

Multifunction Printer
(print/copy/scan/fax)

HP LaserJet M428fdn

40 ppm

~$549

Custom Hardware:

If you opt to go outside of ITS’s recommended systems, it may require special approval from the Dean.  Please keep in mind that customizing your system may hinder the ability of ITS to support the system.

Cloud Data Backup

Please note: ITS recommends all faculty use the CrashPlan cloud service to backup locally stored data in case of system failure.  Please see the ITS page to learn more: https://www.law.upenn.edu/its/docs/crashplan/.

Manufacturer Support for Hardware and Software:

Faculty are encouraged to keep their hardware warranty up-to-date.  Faculty who plan on keeping their systems over three years should purchase an extended warranty. One additional year costs approximately $150 and two years is approximately $250. If you would like a quote, please contact us.

  • Dell, Apple and Lenovo support their systems for 5 years from date of purchase.
    • Dell and Lenovo offer 4th/5th year post-purchase renewals.
    • Apple only offers a 3-year extended warranty (no 4th or 5th year). 
  • Operating Systems no longer supported by their vendor (1) are not supported by ITS and (2) may not be allowed to connect to Law School systems.
    • Microsoft Windows 7 is no longer supported (as of January 14, 2020).
    • Apple Mac OS X 10.14 (Mojave) is no longer supported (as of October 2021).

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