Wildcat Statue

Media Equipment Purchases Policy

Media Equipment Purchases Policy

To provide guidance for the purchase of electronic equipment for instructional, administrative or public service use.

This policy covers the purchase of all technology and electronic equipment (by faculty, staff and administrators) used in support of audio production, monitoring, enhancement or amplification and video production, projection, monitoring and enlargement.  This includes video and film projection devices, TV cameras, monitors, recorders, and associated support equipment.  Specifically excluded from this definition are officer copiers and computers which are covered under other similar policies.

Northern Michigan University is committed to quality of instruction.  It therefore is also committed to maintaining appropriate technical standards in media equipment purchases.

Considerable resources are allocated annually, both through individual departments and through the Learning Resources Division, to acquire this equipment.

Cost-effective acquisition, maintenance, and repair, can best be achieved through a procedure which relies on professional judgment and counsel.

Since equipment selection has become so extensive through the University, and because intended use of the equipment can be fairly predicted, the following procedure, setting forth standards and guidelines for purchase, maintenance, repair and backup, has been established.






  1. Individuals, departments or divisions anticipating the need for additional electronic or instructional support equipment, either for University-wide or for allocation to their area should consult with the Audio Visual Services Department of Learning Resources.  Audio Visual Services, in consultation with the Learning Resources Engineering Department, will assist you in evaluating your specific need and will help identify specific equipment to meet that need.  Emphasis will be placed on the purchase of equipment which is technically sound for the purposes required, provides a good value for expenditure of funds, is aesthetically pleasing and is functional for your specific purposes.

A Purchase Requisition will be developed by the requesting department or by Learning Resources.  An Equipment Authorization form must be attached.  If a department requires the purchase of Category III equipment without concurrence by Learning Resources, signature of the appropriate Council member is required.  The normal purchasing procedures will then be followed.

  1. All equipment purchased by Northern Michigan University must be accompanied by a complete set of parts and service manuals unless manuals are already on file at Learning Resources.  If there is an additional charge for manuals, that cost is considered part of the equipment cost and must be borne by the ordering department.
  1. In accordance with University purchasing policy, all requests for the purchase of equipment must be on a Purchase Requisition form.  No employee may make any purchase commitment without prior approval from the Purchasing Department.
  1. All equipment purchased will receive a categorical evaluation which designates service and repair commitments on behalf of the Learning Resources Division.  Category III equipment is considered expendable and no parts for service are available.  Expenditure of funds for Category III equipment, absent Learning Resources concurrence, requires approval of appropriate President’s Council member.


Efforts to accommodate a wide range of use situations, both on campus and off, have resulted in the development of a categorical structure identifying relative quality, life expectancy, cost and level of equipment backup as follows:

Category I – Professional Equipment/Systems

This equipment is of the highest quality, designed specifically for professional performance in one or more distinct capacities, will accommodate continuous duty and multiple users, and is often capable of being moved from service in one area to another.  Equipment in this category is generally serviceable at Northern Michigan University and excellent vendor support is available.  Life expectancy is usually ten years or more and the relative cost is generally high.  Many examples around campus do exist; several are listed below:

Art and Design film editing equipment

Art and Design video equipment

Speech/Broadcast curriculum laboratory

Feature film projection and equipment (JXJ 102)

Category II – Industrial Grade Equipment Systems

This equipment features very good quality providing industrial or semi-professional performance while retaining rugged, multiple user capabilities.  General campus-wide use is expected.  Transporting equipment is a major factor in setting specifications.  This equipment is serviceable internally and has a good parts and vendor support record.  Usable life span of the equipment is generally 5-10 years and relative cost is moderate to high.

Category III – Consumer Grade Equipment/Systems

This category of equipment is deemed expendable/disposable in most University applications.  It is recommended only for equipment which is assigned to a single location and has a limited number of users.  It is not intended for transportation between one area and another, is not capable of continuous duty, and should deliver fair to average quality.  This equipment is not usually cost-effective to repair, vendor support may or may not be available, and life expectancy is deemed 1-3 years in industrial situations.  Minor repairs or adjustments may be possible, but are not guaranteed.  PURCHASE AUTHORIZATION REQUIRES THE SIGNATURE OF APPROPRIATE PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL MEMBER.


Category I equipment is generally highly specific to professional use in a designated area.  Learning Resources engineering staff will provide priority maintenance support to ensure continued and uninterrupted use of this equipment, as possible.  Components for necessary repairs of sophisticated parts and major components unique to professional equipment are the financial responsibility of the department in custody of said equipment.  Broadcast engineering support will be diverted from TV station operation as possible or necessary in order to provide maximum support in cases of equipment failure.  Learning Resources engineers will attempt substitution or pursue rental of equipment when unreasonable delays are anticipated.

Category II equipment provides the backbone of University equipment support potential.  This equipment provides excellent service in adverse field conditions and adequate backup equipment is generally available when failure occurs.  The Learning Resources engineering department will maintain necessary repair and test equipment and trained personnel for repair and maintenance of approved models and will stock repair parts as necessary.  Media Services or Audio Visual Services will provide backup equipment to the best of their ability to cover situations in which equipment has failed, under their respective department policies.

Category III equipment is not generally recommended for University purchase, is not capable of rugged service or transport from room to room or building to building, and often fails due to cold or damp weather.  Departments requesting Category III equipment are advised that no parts and only minimal services are available.  This equipment is considered expendable and no contingency equipment is available to cover failure.  Departments which require Category III for certain applications in absence of Learning Resources concurrence may do so by obtaining signature of the Dean or Director and the appropriate Council member.

Date Approved:10-14-1987
Last Revision:10-14-1987
Last Reviewed:10-14-1987
Approved By:President