This document describes the guidelines for new academic software acquisitions and allocation of existing software resources.

Funding Source

Academic software capital purchases and annual software maintenance costs are funded by the student technology fee. The software maintenance budget is divided into system software (operating systems, compilers, backup software), utilities (FastX for Windows, Ghostview, Acrobat), non-engineering-specific software including productivity tools (Visual Basic, Microsoft Office, Java), and commercial educational software (e.g., Pro/E, Matlab, ChemCAD).


ECS will consider purchasing software on an individual case basis. Software requests should be submitted to soft-adm@engineering.uiowa.edu. Please include course number(s), number of students and URL to software vendor/purchase location.

Research Use

The cost-share model applies to the educational portion of any license agreement. When there is a differential cost between an educational version and research version of a software package, the ECS contribution will cover only the cost of the educational version. Departments and researchers interested in the research version must cover the purchase and annual cost differential.

Commercial Educational Software Acquisition and Installation

In order to maintain a secure and productive computer environment, software must meet the following guidelines to qualify for a network install and ECS funding.

  • Annual maintenance must be purchased for all commercial software. Annual maintenance must include phone support.
  • Software must be able to run as an ordinary user (i.e., not as Administrator).
  • Software must support network licensing and must be able to be run from any machine on the College network.
  • Enough licenses must be purchased to adequately support the class (or classes) in which the software will be used. The College recommends purchasing a number equal to at least 20%-25% of the maximum number of students in the class (or classes) or a number equal to the number of seats in the 1245 SC electronic classroom (33).
  • Department(s) using the software are responsible for any reporting requirements (e.g., Ansys requires an annual usage report).
  • Software must be compatible with the supported engineering lab load to be installed on the college network.

If a purchased package does not meet these guidelines, ECS will not install it on the network. Such software may be installed on an individual faculty machine or in a research lab.

Annual Software Renewal and Installation

Academic software renewal processing coincides with budget planning for the new fiscal year. New funding requests will be accepted beginning March 1 and until the funding for that year is exhausted.

Donated or no cost software will be handled in the same manner as purchased software.

In general, the sooner ECS receives the software, the more likely it is that the install will be completed prior to the start of the next semester. Requests will be processed in the order they are received. Queue order may change if the requesters agree to the change.

Guidelines for Software Removal

College software launch data will be compiled immediately following the spring semester.  DEOs will be notified of software that no longer qualifies for ECS funding. Software that does not get alternate funding will be removed from lab, classroom, and other public workstations prior to the start of fall classes. In addition, ECS will not maintain retired software that remains on individual faculty or research machines. New OS loads will likely render retired software inoperable.

Installation Requests

The Software Installation Policy includes the deadlines for requesting software for installation on the ECN or the laptops used in SC.