Printer Purchasing Policies

The university expends tremendous resources on printing, and struggles to The purpose of the printer purchasing polices are to:

  • Utilize equipment provided by perferred vendors wherever possible
  • Support green initiatives by reducing the number of printing devices in the division
  • Reduce the cost of consumables by using more efficient printing devices
Cost-Per-Copy Program

The standard printer/copier/fax combinations obtained through the university cost-per-copy program is the most cost effective solution for the bulk of printing needs. All consumable supplies and maintenance (except paper) are included in the per-impression cost of the program.

It is the policy of the division to utilize this program wherever possible. In the case where the vendor is unwilling or unable to provide a solution, the IT Operations Group will obtain appropriate equipment according to these guidelines.

Desktop Printer Purchasing

The purchase of personal desktop printers is not permitted. The IT Operations Group will assist users in either accessing an existing network printer or obtaining a new networked printer for use by all staff in the department or area.

The low initial cost of personal inkjet or laser printers make them attractive for ad-hoc purchasing, but they are designed for home use, and the overall cost of ownership for these printers (the total cost-per-copy) is very high. The final cost to print a page can be five-to-ten times more than an appropriate workgroup printer and many times more than the cost-per-copy program.

In locations where these printers already exist, the IT Operations Group will actively seek to replace them with shared networked printers as soon as a networked printer is available to the user. In locations where a user already has access to a reliable, networked printer through the cost-per-copy program, the printer will be removed and recycled.

The director of IT is responsible for approving exceptions to this policy based on any unique needs of a particular department.


All printers not obtained through the cost-per-copy program must be networked workgroup laser printers meeting minimum requirements. A networked printer contains an internal network card and can be connected directly to the Case network. A workgroup printer has the capacity and features to support the printing needs of a department. This scheme produces tangible benefits for the division:

  • Reduced overall costs: A single printer shared among multiple users can be cheaper than purchasing a printer for each user. In addition, the cost of per page for laser printers is much less than for personal inkjet printers (many inkjet printers require special, higher-cost paper for optimal quality).
  • Compatibility with administrative applications: Campus applications such as PeopleSoft have fewer compatibility problems with shared networked printers. In some cases, these applications will work only with shared networked printers.
  • Reduced maintenance: Toner cartridges need to be changed less often than ink cartridges. It is easier to track warranties, keep supplies on hand, etc., for a few shared printers than for many personal printers. Additionally, most of the support for the printing software can be done remotely.
  • Reduced space requirements: Shared printers free up desk space and power outlets that would otherwise be used by personal printers.
  • Improved performance and features: Networked laser printers are faster for high volume printing. In addition, these printers often have features, such as multiple paper trays and duplex printing, which personal printers lack.
  • Improved availability: Networked printers are not dependent on a particular computer in order for others to print. A workgroup printer is constructed for higher use and is less likely to jam or break down.
  • Green computing: The best way to support campus "green" computing initiatives is to reduce the amount of computing equipment. A single small printer can cost $25 each year in electricity alone!
Minimum Specifications

The following minimum specifications apply to all printer acquistions:

  • Laser Printer
  • Workgroup Quality
  • 100/1000 Network Equipped
  • Energy Star Compliant
  • Supports Duplex Printing
  • PCL/PS/KPDL Universal Print Driver Support
  • Windows Print Server Support
Standard Laser Printers
  • Hewlett Packard LaserJet P1606dn (1 to 2 users, ~$220)
  • Hewlett Packard LaserJet M401dne (3 to 5 users, ~$300)
Color Laser Printers
  • Hewlett Packard Color LaserJet M451dn (small volume,~$450)

Once received, the operations group will handle installing your new printer and ensure that all appropriate workstations can access it successfully.

Last Updated: August 6, 2014