Frequently Asked Questions About Printing Policy and Procedures

The policy covers any large-quantity printing and photocopying, including course packs produced with university funds. It does not include incidental photocopying at an individual or departmental level. A good rule of thumb is if your job requires more than 100 copies or more than 500 total pages (i.e., 50 copies of a 10-page document), it is subject to the policy. At this level of quantity, most often there will be a cost savings using Printing Services.

This policy applies to all university departments and units. Any request for an exception to this policy must be submitted with justification to the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer or his designee.

It is important to start from the understanding that Printing Services exists in part as a cost saving center for the university. While the occasional job may exceed off campus pricing, overall Printing Services is more cost effective than outsourcing, and will save delivery time and delivery costs. For some print work that will be viewed by external audiences, maintaining a level of print quality is important to represent the university in a reputable and/or an official way.

Many factors impact printing costs including printing process (photocopying vs. digital vs. offset process color), paper, delivery, and shipping charges, etc. Printing Services can recommend the appropriate reproduction or printing process that is best suited for your print project and budget—saving costs. Please remember that departments may not contact commercial printers for quotes or estimates before the job has been reviewed by Printing Services as that practice is unfair to the commercial printers when Printing Services has the first right to determine if the job can be produced in house.

Producing projects on campus also helps ensure university branding standards are met, all jobs comply with copyright laws, and campus printing and copy facilities are utilized at the optimum capacity. As a dedicated high quality service center, Printing Services helps ensure that printing decisions are made in the best interests of the university and contributes to the overall financial health of the university.

Printing jobs that are donated in their entirety will be accepted. Obviously Printing Services cannot meet the “reasonable requirement” of zero cost.

A “gift” or “donation” may raise legal and ethical and quality concerns. It is advisable to contact the Ball State University Foundation to ensure that the gift is properly received and recorded. As part of the process, Printing Services can provide a quote to determine the actual value of the gift. Often donated work still requires some level of expense on the part of the university. All jobs other than gifts of entire jobs should be routed through Printing Services.

Exceptions to the policy must be approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer or his designee. Informal or undocumented agreements are not authorized by the university. If an exception to the policy is approved, then any proposed written agreement for such services should be routed through the Office of Business and Auxiliary Services for legal review to avoid both personal and institutional liability. Only the President, Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurer have signature authority for the university.
A department may choose to have the print job bid out by Purchasing Services, with Printing Services permitted to be on the bidders list, or forego the bid process and have the print job done by Printing Services. Outside bids received must be at least $500 lower than Printing Services pricing to be considered.
Departmental expenditures, including procurement card purchases, are routinely audited and monitored to ensure compliance with university policies. If a department is found to be in violation of the policy, then purchasing privileges may be curtailed. Egregious violations may result in personal liabilities being imposed.
Departments may not contact commercial printers for quotes or estimates before the job has been reviewed by Printing Services as that practice is unfair to the commercial printers when Printing Services has the first right to determine if the job can be produced in house. Printer representatives may be referred to Printing Services and/or Marketing and Communications (MC) to be assessed and added as approved vendors.
Yes. Since all purchases flow through the University’s Purchasing Services office, the University’s policies on purchasing and printing apply regardless of the source of funds.
Printing Services and MC work collaboratively to apply brand standards and adherence to university policy, including the Printing Services policy. The policy codifies long-established standard protocol between MC, Printing Services, and Purchasing. MC handles adherence to the policy as standard operating procedure on behalf of the department in the normal course of any print project. MC’s role in producing, monitoring, and approving institutional-level print work remains the same; and departments and units will continue to partner with MC on such projects.