Software Adoption Policy
Initially approved: August 24, 2015
Policy Topic: Information Technology
Administering Office: Division of Information Technology/Office of the CIO
I. POLICY STATEMENT
It is the policy of Western Carolina University (“WCU” or the “University”) to ensure
that its software assets are developed and used in compliance with all applicable
software licensing laws and agreements and consistent with its responsibilities as
a steward of the resources of the State of North Carolina.
II. SCOPE AND APPLICATION
This policy shall apply to the acquisition and/or adoption of software under any one
or more of the following circumstances:
a. Payment for the software comes from state/institutional funding sources;
b. The software will be used regularly by multiple WCU employees or recognized student
c. The software is intended for use by students as a sustained part of their class(es),
curriculum(s) or program(s);
d. The software integrates with other enterprise-level applications (e.g., Banner,
Blackboard, Web CMS);
e. The software will utilize WCU authentication/identify management;
f. The software makes public use of the WCU name or brand; or
g. The software makes use of sensitive, confidential or privileged data or information.
Additionally, the acquisition and/or adoption of software shall be subject to all
of the requirements of the following University Policies, accessible in Section V
- University Policy #52: Use of Computers and Data Communications;
- University Policy #62: Contract Review and Execution;
- University Policy #67: Computer Hardware, Software, and Services Standards;
- University Policy #95: Network Security and Access Control; and
- University Policy #97: Data Security and Stewardship.
Academic Software. For purposes of this policy, “academic software” means software
that will be used by students or faculty on their personal computers or in student
Acquisition. “Acquisition” means a software asset that is purchases or obtained (e.g.,
software that is sold for a fee or for free-ware).
Administrative Software. For purposes of this policy, “administrative software” is
software that is utilized by a department or individual to assist with non-academic
Adoption. For purposes of this policy, “adoption” means the purchase, by either WCU
or personal funds, or download of free software to be used academically, administratively,
or for the purposes of research/scholarship/creative works.
Application. See also “software.”
Enterprise Software. For purposes of this policy, “enterprise software” means software
that would be used by multiple individuals (either persons or departments/divisions).
It may have additional requirements or limitations on its use. For example it may
be required to interface with existing software on campus (Banner, Blackboard, etc.)
or be limited to certain authorized users (either individuals or organizations).
License. For purposes of this policy, “license” means a legal instrument which governs
the use or redistribution of software.
Licensing. “Licensing” means the sale of a license.
Research Software. For purposes of this policy, “research software” means software
utilized by employees for research, scholarship, assessment or creative works.
Software. “Software” means a computer program or collection (suite) of programs that
can be installed on personal computers, mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones,
or on a server environment (either within WCU or hosted elsewhere). See also “enterprise
IV. ACQUISITION/ADOPTION PROCEDURES
4. 1 Employees or University administrative units (i.e., divisions, departments, offices)
who are purchasing software must first contact the WCU IT Help Desk at (828) 227-7487
prior to making the purchase.
4.2 The uses of software on campus are highly diverse. In recognition of this diversity,
the Division of Information Technology agrees to the timely facilitation of a customized
intake process that indicates appropriate steps for software acquisition, adoption,
4.3 Oversight of the software acquisition process will be managed by the appropriate
unit within the Division of Information Technology, as designated by the Chief Information
4.4 The employee or administrative unit acquiring or adopting software must adhere
to the licensing agreements provided by the vendor and other governing bodies.
4.5 Employees acquiring or adopting software must adhere to all applicable WCU and
UNC-General Administration policies.
V. POLICY REVIEW
This policy will be reviewed annually by the Information Technology Leadership Council.
VI. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES
University Policy #52: Use of Computers and Data Communications
University Policy #62: Contract Review and Execution
University Policy #67: Computer Hardware, Software, and Services Standards
University Policy #95: Network Security and Access Control
University Policy #97: Data Security and Stewardship
Division of IT Website