ITS Online

Faculty Purchasing Policy and Recommendations

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 hardware and computing needs includes these ITS recommendations for faculty research account purchases for desktop computers, laptops, software and printers.

All equipment 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 feeds for software or devices purchased with research funds (including subsidized items) will be paid by reseach funds.  Faculty are encouraged to keep their warranty coverage up-to-date. Please see below section on manufacturer support for more information.

Office Equipment

Faculty are provided with a standard Dell computer and monitor, and a desk-side printer for their office.  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.

Faculty are encouraged to use network printing instead of a desk-side printer.  Please contact itshelp@law.upenn.edu if you would like to switch to network printing.  We encourage file sharing (e.g. Penn+Box) instead of printing in general. 

What Can I Purchase with Research Funds?

For technology equipment planned to be used outside the Penn Law complex, Penn Law’s purchase policy permits the expenditure of faculty research funds as follows:  

  • Faculty may purchase one desktop, laptop or iPad. 
  • Faculty who want more than one device may purchase the following combinations:
    • 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 cover any purchases with that current fiscal year’s research funds.
  • ITS, rather than the faculty member, purchases all equipment procured through this policy.
  • If ITS does not recommend 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.

Important note: 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.

Purchasing Deadlines

If you are buying a new system, please make your purchase requests by the end of April for the current fiscal year. This is necessary in order to complete all transactions prior to the annual invoice deadline.

We get a large number of requests at the end of the fiscal year, so please submit your requests as early as possible to avoid delays in setting up your new equipment. 

What Happens to My 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 for application software are not transferable.

Purchasing Process

  1. Review the recommended systems below and email itshelp@law.upenn.edu with your choices and/or questions.
  2. ITS will submit your purchasing request to Business Affairs for available balance.
  3. After approved, your equipment will be ordered and delivered to the Law School.
  4. ITS will install software, configure your system, and contact you to migrate data/settings from your old equipment.

It will normally take about one month to receive your new computer. You should expect longer delays during the following periods:

  • January, September, and December (start of semester)
  • Late April & May (high volume of end-of-year purchases)

ITS Recommended Systems

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 10, an integrated Webcam & Microphone, 802.11ac wireless card, Bluetooth, and a 3 year next business day, onsite warranty.

  Fullsize Small
Model Dell Latitude 5590
Dell Latitude 7390
Dimensions 14.8” W x 9.8” D x .8” H 12” W x 8.2” D x .7” H
Weight 4.1 lbs 2.6 lbs
Display 15.6” (1920x1080, 141 ppi) 13.3” (1920x1080, 166 ppi)
Processor Intel  i7 Intel i5
Memory 16GB 16GB
Hard Drive 512GB SSD 512GB SSD
Est. Price ~$1200 ~$1500

Mac Laptops

All Mac models come equipped with Mac OS X 10.13, an integrated Webcam & Microphone, 802.11ac wireless card, Bluetooth, and a 3 year mail-in warranty.

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


  Fullsize Midsize Small
Model MacBook Pro 15 inch MacBook Pro 13 inch MacBook 12 inch
Dimensions 13.75” W x 9.48” D x 0.61” H 11.97” W x 8.36” D x 0.59” H  11” W x 7.74” D x .52” H
Weight 4.02 lbs 3.02 lbs  2.03lbs
Display 15.4” (2880x1800, 220 ppi) 13.3” (2560x1600, 227 ppi)  12” (2304x1440, 226 ppi)
Processor Intel i7  Intel i5   Intel m3
Memory 16GB 8GB  8GB
Hard Drive 256GB 256GB  256GB SSD
Est. Price ~$2300 ~$1700  ~$1400

Manufacturer Support for Hardware and Software:

Faculty are encouraged to keep their hardware warranty up-to-date.  Faculty who you 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). 
  • Microsoft Windows 7 is no longer receiving feature updates (just security) (as of January 2015)
  • Microsoft Windows XP is no longer supported (as of April 2014).
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.9 is no longer supported (as of September 2016).

Additional Software

Additional software can be purchased on a per license basis.

  • Corel WordPerfect: $45
  • EndNote: $249
  • SAS: $85 per year
  • SPSS: $85 per year

Additional software is available through the Office of Software Licensing.

Dictation Software

  • Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred: $199
  • Headset for Dictation: $79

iPad Pro

ITS recommends the 128GB WiFi + Cellular model for the majority of business and research functions. 

Size 9.7” diagonal, 1lb 12.9 diagonal, 1.6lb
Screen 2048-by-1536 resolution, 264 ppi 2732-by-2048 resolution, 264 ppi
Cost $879; $1127 with pencil and keyboard $1079; $1347 with pencil and keyboard


Recommended Printers

Personal Printer HP LaserJet M402dw 40 ppm $250
Multifunction Printer
HP LaserJet M426fdn 40 ppm $300

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/.

Custom Configured Systems

If you opt to go outside of ITS’s recommended systems, it may require special approval from the Dean.

Penn Computer Connection

The Penn Computer Connection sells laptops and desktops at an academic discount. Please goto the Computer Connection website for more information (requires PennKey authentication).

HP Printers

For alternate HP printer models, please visit the HP Printers website.

Dell Computers

  1. Build and configure your own system from the Dell Higher Education Online Store.

  2. Select the specific model you wish to configure and select your options, then click Update Price when done.

  3. After you have configured the system to your satisfaction, update the price one final time, and then click Save E-Quote at the bottom of the page.

  4. A new page will open, asking you for your information. For the fields marked E-Quote Name and Description, please enter your full name. Note - Please fill in only the fields marked with the red asterisk.

  5. Your Configuration and E-Quote will be mailed to you. Please save this email; it will be necessary when you are ready to purchase your system. This E-Quote will save your exact pricing and configuration for 30 days, making your configuration easily retrievable. Once you have the quote, forward it onto itshelp@law.upenn.edu to continue the process.

Please keep in mind that customizing your system may hinder the ability of ITS to support the system.


Latest Tips

  • The Box team recently announced a new and improved, more personalized user experience with interface changes and backend improvements. Read on for more details
  • This year a new Special print account is being added for all Penn Law students. This account is to be used when printing for approved group and programs. All other printing remains the same, please read on for more details.