CPI Exceptions Process

Given direction from the North Carolina General Assembly, the Office of the President convened a working group of the campus CIOs to establish a system-wide combined pricing strategy. This strategy was created to establish uniform pricing for all campuses within the system and to provide computer users within the system with a number of standard configurations from participating vendors. There is a clear expectation that the majority of computer purchases within the system that are funded by the State of North Carolina will conform to the standard configurations provided by the Combined Pricing Initiative (CPI) Agreement.

There is a realization that all computing requirements may not be met by the standard configurations and, as a result, each campus within the UNC-System is tasked with creating a policy to govern when exceptions to the standard configurations are appropriate. A defined process for computer users to follow to request an exemption, and guidelines of what constitutes grounds for exemptions, is defined below.


This procedure governs purchases funded by the State of North Carolina but is outside the scope of the Combined Purchasing Initiative. There are several types of purchases addressed by this process which include minor variations as defined by the CPI agreement and systems outside of the standard configurations. If your request requires a CPI exception, click here.

Initially, this process addresses laptops and desktops although other equipment will be added in the near future.


There will be several levels of approval for purchases, some of which will require the department approval and the exceptions committee involvement before the purchase can be completed. The process will deal with purchases of computers through the Aggie Mart and address minor configuration variations and systems outside of the CPI Agreement.

Minor Configuration Variations: Purchases of configurations that conform to the standards with options not on the approved options list would be approved by the dean or designee for that unit. The Dean or Vice Chancellor of a unit can appoint a designee to approve these purchases.

Non-Standard Configurations: Configurations and options outside of the CPI Agreement need to complete the Request for Exemption Form and obtain approval by the purchasing unit, along with the exceptions committee. The unit’s representative is expected to forward the Request for Exemption Form to the committee and present the plan for the unit’s support of the non-standard configuration’s purchase. An approval by the purchasing unit and the exceptions committee is required in addition to the existing financial approvals.

Designees can add to the approval workflow in Aggie Mart as appropriate such as a referral to the appropriate Dean or Vice-Chancellor for items that need additional approval within a unit.


Under the guidelines from the UNC-System and the General Assembly, NC A&T will have to document the success of this program and provide reports addressing the percentage of computer purchases under the program that adhere to the standard configurations and those that do not.

Purchasing can also provide feedback to the units based on information within the AGGIEMart e-procurement system on whether purchases are meeting the standards.