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Software/Hardware Procurement, Distribution, and Licensing


What is CUP?

The Computer Upgrade Program (CUP) is a centrally funded program designed to upgrade the computer equipment for UTK faculty and staff once every four years. Funding for the program is on an annual basis and is dependent each year on available resources. Maximum reimbursement amounts are established for base desktops and notebooks for the Windows and Apple platforms. Approved faculty or staff members may choose to purchase one of these systems as configured or they can go to one of the university’s contract vendor websites and configure a customized version of one of these base CUP systems.  However, the system must meet or exceed the “like” base CUP configuration.  Reimbursement is limited to the cost of the recommended base configurations.

Who is eligible for CUP?

For faculty, you must be a full-time employee of UTK and tenured or tenure track. Faculty receiving startup funds are not eligible within the first four years of employment. Non-tenure track faculty are eligible if they teach one class both fall and spring semester. Departmental computers managed by the department for classroom and teaching use are also eligible if resources are available.

For staff, you must be a full-time employee of UTK and at least half of your funding must come from a centrally funded E01 account.

What can I order?

Base configurations for Windows and Apple desktops and notebooks have been established. These machines have been configured to meet the work requirements of a majority of faculty and staff. The costs of the base machines represent the maximum reimbursement amount you will receive for your upgrade.  You can order whatever customization of these machines your Dean or Department Head will approve. However, the selection must meet or exceed the recommended CUP configuration and any expense above the fixed reimbursement amount must be paid by the departmental cost center account.

How do I submit a request?

Your Dean, Department Head, or Director appoints a contact person and a purchasing agent for your area, and all requests must come through them. Select the machine of your choice and then contact your purchasing agent.

Can I request hardware other than desktops, laptops, or tablets such as printers and scanners?

No, peripheral equipment is not eligible this year due to limited resources.

How can I determine if my machine is old enough to be eligible?

Contact your departmental business office about the purchase records for your computer. If your computer was $1,500 or more at the time of purchase, the information is available in IRIS. If you have a Dell computer you can look up the purchase date on their site using your Service Tag Number.  Apple computers have a similar web page based on your hardware serial number.  Lenovo warranty information is available on the Lenovo website.

In past years desktops & laptops (5) five years or older were eligible, but now it’s  (4) four years or older. Why has that changed?

Each year the program is structured based on available resources, with the goal to upgrade as many older machines as possible. After careful consideration, the Administration has decided to return to the 4 year eligibility program.

How long do I have to purchase my upgrade computer once approved? 

The deadline to purchase CUP machines is May 17, 2021.

What category applies to my specific selection on the CUP request spreadsheet?

       Machine                           Reimbursement     Upgrade Category Request 

Dell OptiPlex 7080 Tower                      $1057.34                         Desktop

Dell Latitude 5520                                  $1114.44                          Laptop

Dell Latitude 7420                                  $1230.23                          Laptop

Dell 7420 2-in-1 with Active Pen            $1434.98                          2-in-1

Dell Latitude 7210 2-in-1                        $1768.19                          2-in-1 

Apple iMac 24 inch                                $1609.00                         Desktop

Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch                   $2109.00                         Laptop

Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch                   $2517.00                          Laptop

Lenovo Desktop                                      $1252.95                         Desktop 

Lenovo ThinkPad L14 Intel Gen2            $1291.00                        Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad L15 Gen2                    $1439.00                        Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad L13 Yoga Gen2           $1575.00                        Laptop 

When’s the last day to submit my reimbursement paperwork?

The deadline to submit your completed FY21 CUP Reimbursement Form is June 30, 2021.

Is there a kick-off meeting of contact persons and purchasing agents we’re required to attend?

We eliminated the required meeting a few years ago, focusing instead on web site documentation and emails to share and exchange information.

Will the department be receiving a list of faculty and staff who received machines during the last CUP?

We no longer provide that information. Most departments maintain their own purchasing records and our list is usually redundant. If you have a specific question about the eligibility of a machine, please contact us.

What are all of the key dates to remember?

March 5      Deadline for college coordinator to submit purchasing agent (PA) to OIT

March 26    Deadline to submit CUP request spreadsheet to Dean’s Office

April 19      Deadline to submit all CUP request spreadsheets to OIT

May 3-4      Approved CUP spreadsheets to be sent out; PA’s may begin purchasing when approved spreadsheets are received     

May 10       Deadline to appeal to Budget and Finance       

May 17      Last day to purchase approved CUP equipment 

June 30      Last day to submit reimbursement forms to OIT 

I still have questions.  Who do I contact?

The Office of Information Technology administers the CUP program on behalf of the Budget and Finance Office. Contact Mona Hernandez ( or 865-974-2322) with any questions.