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Computer Purchasing

CBS is committed to ensuring that its members have appropriate computer equipment to effectively perform their duties with computers that are modern, supportable, and secure.

To meet this goal, all CBS-owned computers must be purchased through the Office of Information Technology (OIT). Standard models are configured to meet most needs for up to five years and are purchased in bulk to further reduce cost. Where individual needs exceed standard models, custom orders are available.


  • Computers bundled with scientific or research equipment purchases.
  • Purchase with written pre-approval by the CBS Director of Technology.

After August 1, 2021, computer purchase reimbursements will be declined and PCard, UMarket, and Bookstores computer purchases without documented prior approval from the Director of Technology will require you to reimburse the University.

In cases where your primary computer is unusable or requires repair, OIT has loaner laptops available. Email or call (612) 301-HELP (4357).


CBS provides a subsidy of $1165* to offset the cost of purchasing a new computer.

The eligibility status list is updated weekly.

*Based on the price of a stock catalog portable laptop, adjusted at least annually.

Subsidy Criteria

  • FTE sum of CBS department appointments >=.25
    • Med School appointments in GCD and BMBB do contribute
    • Temp/casual appointments do not contribute
    • Undergraduate appointments (2xxx) do not contribute
  • Subsidy not used in last 5 years

Subsidy Terms & Conditions

  1. Computers must be purchased through OIT with University funds.
  2. Purchased computer must be supported and managed by OIT.
  3. Cannot be used for only parts or peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc.). A computer must be purchased with peripherals.
  4. Cannot be used for tablets.
  5. Computers are the property of the purchasing department/lab. Written approval required to transfer elsewhere.
  6. Job transfer to another department/lab does not renew eligibility.
  7. Remaining subsidy balance does not carry forward.
  8. Only one subsidy can be used per computer purchase.
  9. More than one subsidy cannot be accrued. (e.g. 10 years between purchases does not result in a double subsidy)

Transitioning to Work. With Flexibility.

To support those who are not currently eligible because they used their subsidy to purchase a desktop computer, a one-time early subsidy exception will be made to purchase a laptop.

Requirements for Exception

  • You are not eligible for a subsidy because your most recent subsidy purchase was for a desktop computer.
  • You will provide a written agreement with your supervisor for a flexible work arrangement.
  • You will return the subsidized desktop to CBS-RLT upon receipt of your laptop.
    • Additional funds used for the purchase will not be reimbursed.

Requesting an exception

To request an exemption, email with the following information:

  • The desktop's University asset tag
  • The name of your supervisor
  • A copy of your written flexible work agreement

CBS-RLT will confirm with your supervisor and update the subsidy list to indicate your eligibility.

The Purchase Process

All purchases must be performed through and supported by OIT. To begin a purchase, visit You may use the stock catalog computers or perform a "Non-stock Hardware" order to request device specifics.

If using a subsidy, some Order Information fields require specific information:

Field Detailed Information
Payment Information Type "CBS Subsidy" as the first budget number and enter the appropriate dollar amount.
Additional Information If the subsidy holder and computer recipient differ, provide their Internet IDs. (requires supervisor approval)
Approval This is normally a supervisor, PI, or lab manager. Also might be someone who approves purchasing in your unit if required.


Eligibility questions: Email
Purchase questions: Visit and click on the Contact Us button