UNT System campuses welcome new standards for computers, tablets

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The UNT System's new personal and tablet computer standardization regulation, which is effective immediately, provides for negotiated pricing and volume discounts with Dell and Apple and sets new standard configurations for computers and tablets used at employee workstations and in libraries, labs, and teaching and testing centers across system campuses to best meet the academic and work needs of students, faculty and staff.

Last fall, thousands of UNT System students took advantage of computer labs located on the various system campuses.

The number of students who rely on these labs shows the importance of keeping computing resources and technology in our labs cutting edge, said Yonathan Khoe, an IT specialist at UNT and chair of UNT's General Access Lab Managers Committee.

Khoe and other IT specialists across system campuses — UNT, UNT Dallas and the UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth — now can provide students, faculty and staff with computers and tablets to meet their academic and work needs that not only have state-of-the-art technology but that can be acquired at a cost-savings thanks to the UNT System's new personal and tablet computer standardization regulation.

The regulation, which is effective immediately, provides for negotiated pricing and volume discounts with Dell and Apple and sets new standard configurations for computers and tablets used at employee workstations and in libraries, labs, and teaching and testing centers across system campuses. Learn about options available at personal and tablet computer standards.

"The new policy keeps our costs low when we buy computers for our labs and that translates to keeping students' fees low," Khoe said. "It also will help the student experience in General Access Computer Labs be more equivalent no matter which lab students visit on our campus."

As part of the new regulation, system campuses also have started using an easy standard requisition process for computer acquisitions. Department PCards can no longer be used to buy computers and tablets.

In addition to the cost-savings that will allow more money to be directed back into student programs and classrooms, the new regulation will improve IT support services across system campuses for our customers, said Michael Di Paolo, associate vice chancellor and chief information officer for the UNT System's Division of IT Shared Services.

Di Paolo said IT Shared Services is working to establish variances and exceptions in the new regulation that will address:

  • Acquisitions for transfer to students in specialized programs (all institutions)
  • Digitization initiatives in the libraries and other units
  • Grant-funded and researcher start-up funding acquisitions for which standard configurations are not adequate for grant or research purposes
  • Computers or tablets needed to meet specific requirements of the third party hardware or software providers
  • Purchases by IT Staff for the purposes of evaluating new computer models or technologies
  • Desktop/workstation-class computers deployed as servers for specialized purposes

 

"We're pleased that the standardization offers equality in computing performance for students and will continue to allow for the purchase of technology outside of the standard scope, if there is a technical need for it," Khoe said.

The UNT System Business Service Center and IT Shared Services will work together to ensure the new standards are met, Di Paolo said.

"The UNT System and IT Shared Services are committed to maximizing resources to better address the technology needs of our students, faculty and staff and these changes will help us in this effort," he said.