University makes lucrative deal with Microsoft for license

Northern Kentucky University has funded a contract with Microsoft that allows for the installation of the latest versions of Microsoft products on NKU computers at no charge to the individual departments.

At one point, NKU had a mix of several different kinds of software used on the computers on campus.

The Microsoft/campus agreement is essentially a site license, giving higher education institutions the rights to run licensed software for a 12-month period and all upgrades and downgrades of the software during that period.

“A software site license allows us to install the particular software on any or all of the university’s computers,” Bill Reed, Director, Office of Information Technology said. “Instead of having to buy a specific license for each individual PC.”

The campus agreement also gives faculty and staff that use the Microsoft products on NKU computers the option to load one copy of the software on their home computers for school related activities.

The simplified reporting allows faculty and staff to keep one copy of the software in their office and one copy for their home PC or laptop.

Students will benefit by having access to the latest Microsoft operating systems and office applications on lab and classroom PCs.

“We can upgrade more easily when new versions are released if an upgrade is warranted,” said Reed. “So students are working on current software instead of using applications that are four or five years out of date.”

“It allows us to ensure that we have a legitimately good product to use on campus,” Debbie Chalk, Manager Customer Systems-Office of Information Technology, said

For departments that use Mac’s, like the journalism department and the Northerner, the only Microsoft product available is Microsoft Office, and it is a Mac version of it.

The agreement uses the full-time equivalent to determine the computers and the number of people who will be using those computers.

“If we have 500 staff positions,” Chalk, said. “We are allowed to reduce the FTE by the number of people who will never touch a computer.”

However, the agreement includes only seven Microsoft products.

A list of these can be viewed at