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Microsoft Campus Agreement

The Microsoft Campus Agreement program allows campus to license Microsoft software covered by the program at extremely low cost compared with retail or even most discounted pricing.  For any campus entity (e.g., Student Affairs or the School of Business Administration) licensing costs are based upon a calculated "FTE" count for the entire unit, not on the actual number of copies of the software the entity may need.  As a result, the program can be extremely cost-effective for software that is used widely throughout the unit but may not be cost-effective for software that will be used by only a few people within the unit.

Some software is centrally purchased for the entire UM-Missoula campus at no cost to offices or departments.  Notably, this includes a campus-wide "desktop package" that includes upgrades to the latest version of the Windows operating system, the Microsoft Office Enterprise suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, etc., as well as Office 2008 for Macintosh), and what are known as "Core CALs."  (A CAL is a Client Access License that gives a campus user "legal" access to various server-based applications such as the campus Exchange e-mail system.)  The Campus Agreement program also includes other software that can be purchased at the college-/school-/sector-wide level as described below.

Calculating campus unit FTE

Licensing is based solely upon the number of full-time and part-time faculty and staff that each unit has.  We ask that each year each unit head verify and update these counts.  From these counts, Microsoft calculates what they term the "FTE" as follows:

FTE = # of full-time faculty + # of full-time staff + 1/3 # of part-time faculty + 1/2 # of part-time staff

Together with the cost per FTE of each specific software title, this calculated "FTE" forms the basis for determining the cost of ordering software titles.  Here's how this works:

Suppose, for example, that Information Technology needs 50 copies of Microsoft Visio for its staff.  If the calculated FTE for Information Technology is 68, then the license cost is calculated using 68 times the unit price for Visio rather than 50 times that price.  The advantage of doing this comes from the reduced price of the software that is available through the Campus Agreement program.  In this example, the cost of Visio Pro to UM departments for the last year has been $4.93 per FTE compared with a price of about $110 through the Bookstore's Microsoft Select program or a normal retail price of about $350.  So, despite having to purchase a greater number of licenses, the cost of acquiring this software through the Campus Agreement program would be about $335 compared with about $5,500 if 50 licenses were purchased through Microsoft Select or about $17,500 through normal retail channels.

Obviously, in this example, if Information Technology needed just one or two copies of Visio, it would be better to purchase them through the Bookstore's Microsoft Select program (2 copies X $110/copy = $220 vs. 68 FTE X $4.93/FTE =~$335).  So, each unit should carefully consider what software it does or does not want to purchase through the Campus Agreement program.

Additional notes regarding the MSCA program 

  • First, software licenses acquired through the Campus Agreement program must be renewed annually, in contrast with the one-time purchases to which we may be accustomed through retail channels.  However, software licensed through the Campus Agreement program includes any available periodic version updates, which retail purchases do not.
  • Second, software licensed through UM's Campus Agreement program is available only to (and for) University departments and offices.  It is NOT available for student use except for software that is installed in University-managed computer labs.
  • Third, if you are not already aware of it, the Campus Agreement program provides a work-at-home feature that makes software licensed by the University or by campus units available to employees at very low cost.  Questions about the work-at-home program should be directed to the Bookstore. 

Software titles currently available through the MSCA program

Currently campus licenses 4 additional software packages listed below.  If you are interested in another Microsoft software package please contact Information Technology to discuss your software needs.

  • Project Professional 2010 and 2013
  • Visio Professional 2010 and 2013
  • Visual Studio Premium 2010 and 2013

MSCA distribution

Because Information Technology is the recognized contact for the University's Microsoft Campus Agreement, all orders for software through the Campus Agreement program must be placed through IT.

  • Social Sciences 126
  • IT Office: 406.243.5350
  • IT Central: 406.243-HELP
  • Send Email