Computer Exchange Program FAQs

        1. What is the CEP?

          The Computer Exchange Program (CEP) is a university initiative to exchange obsolete and non-supported computers (exchange computers) for under-warranty computers (CEP computers). This helps ensure that university faculty and staff technology needs are being met and that computers meet current standards. 

        2. When is CEP open?

          The Computer Exchange Program is open year round, provided funding is available.

          Note: Requests for CEP computers are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis from the CEP pool.

        3. Am I liable for the CEP computer?

          The recipient of the CEP computer is liable for the university asset. The Computer Exchange Program did not initiate a new policy or law. This is a restatement of existing state procurement law.

          Please refer to Property Accounting Manual on pg. 6 under LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO MAKE INVENTORY-SECTION 29-9-17.


          If any officer or employee of any state agency shall refuse or fail to make any inventory or supplemental inventory thereto as required herein, or to do so in the manner prescribed by the State Auditor, the State Auditor shall proceed to make, or cause to be made, the inventory or supplemental inventory; and the expense thereof shall be personally borne by said officer or employee, and he shall be responsible on his official bond for the payment of the expense.

          In the event that an examination conducted pursuant to Section 29-9-13 finds items that are included on an agency's inventory which are missing and otherwise unaccounted for, the State Auditor has the authority to proceed under the provisions of Section 7-7-211 to recover the value of the missing items. The demand shall be made against the head of the agency, the agency's property officer and/or the appropriate officer or employee, if identified.

        4. Who is responsible for CEP?

          The CEP is governed by the CEP Policy which is administered by iTech with the support of the University Executive Cabinet.

        5. Who is eligible for CEP?

          Any faculty and staff member employed by the university who require computing resources for their positions are eligible to participate in CEP.

          A computer MUST ALWAYS be exchanged to receive a CEP computer.

          The following individuals/situations are NOT qualified to participate at this time:

          • Individuals employed by a grant or sponsored program
          • Departmental or office shared computers
          • Student workers (undergraduate and graduate)
          • Public computing areas in the libraries and departmental computer labs
          • Auxiliaries   

          NOTE: To help ensure that the benefits from the Computer Exchange Program are felt throughout the entire Southern Miss community and that all those who are in need (and eligible) have an opportunity to replace their old computers, requests are limited to one per person. The intentions of the program are that CEP computers will be eligible for exchange four years after the purchase date of the computer.

        6. Is my computer eligible to be exchanged?

          If your computer was purchased by the university more than four years ago but less than eight years ago, your computer is eligible to be exchanged.

          For individuals already in the program, future exchanges will only be allowed after four years from the purchase date of the exchange computer recorded in AssetWorks.

          You can check the purchase date of your computer in SOAR at “USM AssetWorks Purchase Date” (USM Utilities > USM Property Control > USM AssetWorks Purchase Date).

        7. How do I participate or put in a request?

           If you meet the eligibility requirements (defined in FAQ above), you must complete this form.

        8. When will I know if my request was approved?

          The evaluation process occurs on a weekly basis. After the requests are reviewed, those that are eligible will get a congratulatory email with more information.

          Note: An email will be sent to each person who submitted a request so each participant is clear about their status.

        9. I have a computer that is not an Apple; can I exchange it for an Apple computer?

          The Program recommends that Apples be exchanged for Apples. If you have a Windows computer, it is recommended that you only exchange it for a Windows computer. Due to the vast difference between Windows and Apple computers, there is a learning curve for most new users and departmental software that works on a Windows computer may not work on an Apple computer.

        10. How do I transfer data from my old computer to the CEP computer?

          You are encouraged to place a work order on the main iTech site, so that an iTech technician can assist you with the data transfer and software downloads as necessary.

        11. How much does it cost my department?

          There is no cost to the department or the CEP recipient if a qualified faculty or staff member receives a computer through the Computer Exchange Program. The program is funded by the university, approved by cabinet and administered through iTech.  

          A department budget will be charged under these circumstances:

          • Exchange computer is not sent to Surplus after transferring data to CEP computer
          • If CEP computer is lost or stolen, then it is the financial and auditing responsibility of the department
          • Any costs not covered by the manufacturer's warranty
          • Under certain circumstances, a nominal restock fee may apply.
        12. When will I recieve my CEP computer?

          Typically, CEP computers are readily available. In the event a computer is not available, you will be notified.

        13. When will my department receive the transfer of the CEP computer?

          The CEP computer will transfer ownership to the department pending the acceptance in AssetWorks by Surplus of the exchange computer. The property contact of the recipient will have to initiate the transfer of the exchange computer to Surplus (#960029) and receive the transfer of the CEP computer in AssetWorks for this action to be complete.

        14. What are the hardware specs for the CEP computers?

        15. What is covered under the manufacturer's warranty?

        16. Is every participant guaranteed a newly purchased CEP computer?

          Under certain circumstances, computers distributed from CEP may be pre-owned. It is possible that the CEP computer you receive was used by a previous CEP recipient. The pre-owned computers are eligible for exchange after four years from the purchase date of the computer. The delivery confirmation form each recipient receives will have the purchase date listed for the computer they receive.

        17. What if I want more than just what is offered in the hardware specifications (like a docking station or a monitor)?

          Recipients who would like to purchase additional items should contact

          Note: If you currently have a laptop with a docking station, your CEP laptop may not fit into the old docking station. Your department may have to replace the docking station for your CEP laptop if you choose to continue using a docking station. 

        18. What if my building or office only has wireless connectivity?

          If there is no physical network jack to connect to the network, you should consider requesting a laptop, which will contain an internal wireless network card. Desktops do not come with internal wireless network cards, and your department will incur cost to purchase a network card for the desktop. 

        19. What do I do with my old computer (exchange computer)?

          The recipient’s property contact person for the department MUST initiate a transfer to Surplus (#960029) via AssetWorks before the CEP computer is transferred to the recipient’s departmental inventory. If the recipient does not have a property contact person, please contact Property Accounting for assistance.

          After the property contact initiates the transfer in AssetWorks, a physical move of the computer must take place.

          The physical move of the computer is accomplished by either of the following:

          • The recipient or the property contact person entering a Physical Plant work order to have the exchange computer picked up and delivered to Surplus


          • By the recipient or a representative from his/her department taking the computer to Surplus

          To help prevent the department from being charged for the CEP computer, multiple reminders are sent to help ensure that the department is fully aware of the status and takes corrective action.

        20. Where is Surplus located?

          To take your computer to Surplus, you will need to go to the Receiving and Warehousing building, which is located across W. Fourth Street from McCarty Hall at the corner of W. Fourth Street and Service Drive. For further assistance, please see the university map.

        21. If my CEP computer is damaged or having problems, what do I do?

          Please submit an iTech Work Order to have a technician come and assess the computer.

          Note: All computers distributed by CEP are under warranty.

        22. If my CEP computer is lost or stolen, am I eligible for another CEP computer?

          The recipient must provide a copy of the police report and affidavit to to be eligible to reapply.

        23. What happens to my CEP computer if I change departments?

          CEP computers remain with the department that provided the exchange computer. Employees who transfer to another department within the university will not take their CEP computer with them. The person who transferred must reapply to CEP. If issues arise when trying to reapply, please notify CEP.

        24. What happens to my CEP computer if I end my employment at USM?

          CEP computers remain with the department that provided the exchange computer. Employees leaving employment with the university will not return the CEP computer to the Computer Exchange Program. The department should either save the computer for the former employee’s replacement or issue to another employee.

        25. What software is installed on a CEP computer?

          Windows Desktop and Notebooks

          • Microsoft Windows Operating System
          • Microsoft Office

          -       Microsoft Outlook

          -       Microsoft Word

          -       Microsoft Excel

          -       Microsoft PowerPoint

          -       Microsoft Access

          -       Microsoft Publisher

          • Anti-virus
          • Adobe Flash
          • Adobe Reader


          Apple Desktops and Notebooks

          • Mac Operating System
          • Mail
          • iCal
          • iLife

          -       iMovie

          -       iPhoto

          -       Garage Band

          Office for Mac, which includes Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint are offered by iTech. To have this software package installed, please visit Software Downloads on the iTech website.

        26. Can I move software from my exchange computer to my CEP computer?

          Software programs cannot be moved from exchange computers to CEP computers. However, old software can be installed on the CEP computer if you have the proper software media and licensing keys. It is the participant’s responsibility to locate any additional software discs and licenses required (example: Adobe Acrobat Pro, Dreamweaver, etc.); iTech, in most cases, does not have the media required for software that is not a standard offering.


        27. What is Microsoft (MS) Active Directory and how does it affect me as a CEP recipent?

          MS Active Directory, a technology-industry standard, has been adopted by the university to help effectively, and with lower cost, support all colleges and departments at Southern Miss. It allows more technology to be supported without the need to add support staff at the same rate.

          Your CEP computer, as delivered, has been formatted with MS Active Directory using your CampusID credentials (same username and password for SOAR and email). When you log in to your CEP computer, you will use your CampusID. By using this login, you will be part of The University of Southern Mississippi’s MS Active Directory domain, which provides central support.

          Note: Apple computers are not currently included in MS Active Directory.


For additional questions or comments, please email