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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 custom system. Reimbursement, however, 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, but any expense above this 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 or laptops, such as printers and scanners?

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

Are tablets eligible for reimbursement?

No. To receive reimbursement from CUP you must purchase either a standard notebook or a lightweight notebook.

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 February 11, 2019.

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

The deadline to submit your completed FY19 CUP Reimbursement Form is March 18, 2019.

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?

Monday, Oct 22          Deadline to provide purchasing agent(s) to college coordinator

Monday, Oct 29          Deadline to submit purchasing agent(s) to OIT

Monday, Nov 5           Deadline to submit CUP request spreadsheet to Dean’s office

Monday, Nov 12         Deadline to submit all CUP request spreadsheets to OIT

Dec 10 – 14                 Approved CUP spreadsheets to be sent out to Dean’s/Division

Monday, Jan 14          Deadline for appeals to Budget & Finance

Monday, Feb 11          Last day to purchase approved CUP equipment

Monday, Mar 18         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 Cindy Ogle ( or 865-974-2198) with any questions.

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