Section 1300: Information Technology

Effective: November, 2016
Revised: January 2019
Review Date: January 2021
Responsible Party: Chief Information Officer


Coordination with Information Technology Services (ITS) is required prior to ordering or accepting donation of any Information Technology (IT) related hardware, software (including cloud hosted software and services) or phone equipment. Examples include, but are not limited to: devices that connect to campus IT equipment or the wired or secure wireless network, any Wi-Fi device using standard frequencies, any software that will be installed on MSU-Northern owned equipment.

Information Technology (IT) resources require on-going investment of professional time and effort, and financial resources in order to perform optimally. The total expense to acquire and operate IT equipment typically involves much more than the initial purchase price of hardware or software. The collective costs of running an IT system over its lifespan can include network connections, license renewals, software upgrades, and IT support. Information Technology Services (ITS) is responsible for maintaining the University network, servers, workstations, and peripherals to ensure that quality is maintained at reasonable costs.

All IT equipment and software purchased with University funds remain the property of the University until disposal and media destruction is completed by ITS. (Ref: Montana Board of Regents Policy 1308 – Disposal of Computer Storage Devices)

Purchasing Card

The Montana State University-issued Purchasing Card (credit card) may NOT be used to purchase IT standardized resources listed below. (Ref: MSUN Purchasing Card Manual & Purchase Card Quick Reference Guide) Non-standard software may be purchased with prior approval of the Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Standardized IT Resources

ITS has established a standard set of equipment for the University. This equipment is reviewed periodically to ensure recommended equipment remains current and beneficial to the University.

The items designated by ITS as standard are:

  • Desktop Computers
  • Laptop Computers
  • Tablets
  • Printers
  • Multifunction Printers
  • Scanners
  • TVs
  • Facsimile Machines
  • Servers
  • Storage Units (Disk/Tape Units, Network-attached/Local-attached)
  • Networking and Telecommunications Equipment
  • Audio/Visual Equipment (portable)
  • Presentation Equipment (permanently installed in rooms)
  • University Licensed Software
  • Any other IT equipment that may be classified as sensitive: assets prone to theft due to marketability and/or portability. (ref: MSU Bozeman Property Management Procedure Manual; State of Montana Operations Manual Policy 335, Capital Assets)

Non-Standardized Resources

It is acknowledged that standardized IT resources will not always meet the needs of all university employees. These situations may require specialized or customized equipment or software. Reasons might include:

  • Specialized software or instructional equipment that determines the choice of hardware
  • Special hardware performance requirements
  • Employees whose teaching and research responsibilities require an alternative to the standard configuration
  • Employees whose specific technical, environmental, or functional job responsibilities require an alternative to the standard configuration

Non-standardized resources are exceptions, and justification for the need of the resources must be documented by the requesting department to the CIO. If approved, ITS will procure the requested non-standard resources on behalf of the requestor once approval is received from the requestor's department and Business Services. ITS will make every reasonable effort to support non-standardized resources, however this support may be limited.

See: Procedure for Procurement of IT Equipment, Software & Phones for the procedure for IT related purchases.

Related: MSU Enterprise IT Finance Policy