Printing Policy

Printing Policy


Department of Operations


Senior Director of Operations





Effective Date:


Implementation History:

First policy 9/2021


Print, scan, paper.

Background Information:

SUNY Administration (SUNY) aspires to be the nation’s leading university system in terms of efficiency, sustainability, cost, and security as it relates to office printing. It is SUNY’s policy to:

  • Establish systemwide print defaults and standards;
  • Limit printing to items essential for academic instruction or required to perform and complete SUNY business needs (e.g., reports or forms for submission to federal or state agencies, etc.);
  • Achieve SUNY sustainability goals to reduce SUNY’s paper needs, energy use, and carbon footprint;
  • Deploy SUNY-approved software to monitor usage by individual, application, department, and device; and
  • Have campuses centralize their print budget.

 In furtherance of this policy, SUNY has established the following goals:

  • Achieve a total cost per copy (TCC) of <$.01xx;
  • Have 100% of print devices secure and on a campus network;
  • Eliminate all locally attached desktop devices;
  • Reduce the number of 2020 SFP by more than 50%;
  • Increase the usage of two-sided (duplex) printing by 100%;
  • Increase 2020 device utilization by more than 100%;
  • Reduce 2020 color print volume by 50%; and
  • Reduce 2020 mono volume by 40%.


This policy is to facilitate the appropriate and acceptable use of SUNY Empire State University print resources by University employees (full- and part-time) and authorized users. The university print objectives are to reduce cost, energy, waste, ink, and paper, and to simplify and standardize the printer fleet (both single-function and multi-function printers), as well as secure and optimize the print environment with a focus on efficiency. Reducing print volume reduces paper consumption and waste, as well as the number of printing devices, which leads to decreased energy consumption.

In this document, the word “printer” and “device” are used interchangeably and refer to any locally attached device (local), single-function printer (SFP), multi-function device (MFD), or a combination of local, SFP and MFD. (Industry standard is MFP - multifunction printer)


Authorized user– Any person other than university employees who is granted permission to use university print resources, including but not limited to students and consultants.

Critical business needs– Documents and presentations essential to the running and operation of SUNY that the user believes are better suited to be printed vs shared electronically or through administrative processes which, for compliance or regulatory issues, requires a printed document.

Device utilization – The amount of output volume being produced on any given device.  The higher the utilization, the more volume that fixed cost component can be spread over.   For example, if the device has a fixed cost of $100 per month and the volume is 10,000 pages per month, it is better utilized as compared to that same device running 1,000 pages per month.

Print defaults and standards – Pre-set properties on print devices which may include but are not limited to functions such as mono (vs color) or duplex (vs single-sided) pages.  Standards include the characteristics of the devices that SUNY has determined to be most acceptable, which may include deploying devices that only print letter (8.5 x 11”) or legal (8.5 x 14”) vs ledger (11x17” pages).

Secure print devices – The process of requiring user authentication before the features of the output device are enabled.  Once “secured,” the user’s print job is held on a server (either on-premises or in the cloud), or a user’s workstation, and released only when the user is present and authenticates at the device.  Once the user authenticates, their submitted print jobs can be either printed, or deleted, in the event multiple print jobs were submitted.  Print jobs not selected to be printed will be deleted based on predefined criteria. Sometimes referred to as “pull printing” or “follow me printing” as the user can authenticate and release print jobs from any device that is on the campus network.

Duplex printing – Printing on both sides of a sheet of paper.

Total cost per copy (TCC) – The total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes the fixed cost of the hardware (either the lease, rental, or depreciation charge) combined with the cost of supplies and maintenance, divided by the monthly usage of the device (average monthly TCO/monthly usage). Sometimes paper is included in the TCO calculation.

Campus networkThe dedicated network at each campus that the user’s workstation is connected to, either with a wire or wirelessly, that enables their work to be done and print jobs to be submitted and printed.

Locally-attached device (local) – A device that is connected directly or wirelessly to a workstation with only one user mapped to the device.  Also, commonly referred to as a “personal” or “desktop” printer.

Single-function printer (SFP) – A print output device that  performs only one task, most often just printing, as opposed to just scanning or just faxing.

Mono – Black and white.

Multi-function device (MFD) – A print output device that performs multiple (more than one) task such as printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, also known as a multifunctional printer (MFP).

Centralized printing budget (by campus) – The process of assimilating all costs that every department spends on print supplies, maintenance and paper, and bringing it together under one campus budget as opposed to departments using their individual budgets to track, order, and pay for these items.


This policy incorporates and appends the provisions, definitions, and requirements of the SUNY System-wide Print Resource Use Policy #6902 and accompanying procedures. The University will create procedures applicable to the documented acceptable SUNY print practices as stated in SUNY procedures and as determined and directed by the SUNY Office Print Leadership Team. This includes equipment acquisition, in the System-wide Print Resource Use procedure to create print efficiency and optimization (i.e., digital vs paper-based workflows) that complies with privacy, security and regulatory requirements. 


The scope of this policy does not include devices with a primary purpose other than to support the office printing environment, such as specialty printers like label, barcode, wristband, wide-format, or 3D printers.

Printing by students is out of scope of this policy. However, parts of this policy and the associated procedures may affect students.

Operations and Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) have joint authority to implement, and provide oversight in the implementation of, the procedures corresponding to this policy.

The university will create an Office Print Leadership Team to provide oversight of this policy in concert with Operations and ITS. The team will consist of stakeholders from multiple departments. Membership may change as the focus of the team will shift with the maturity of the overall print program.


The university will procure equipment and related supplies (with the exception of paper and staples) only using the SUNY Office Print Services contract. No new print devices will be acquired, installed, or permitted without evaluation and prior approval by the Office Print Leadership Team and must be made from the SUNY standards list for office printing below.

Only university-approved and procured devices and supplies will be used and supported by SUNY Empire State University.  Approved devices are managed by the Department of Operations.

As per SUNY policy, the budget for office printing is centralized through the office of the chief financial officer.  Office printing budget items include the variable cost components to print, such as service or maintenance agreements, and all supplies, including toner, ink, and paper.

All devices must be networked.

Local (non-networked) desktop printers are prohibited.

Employees and authorized users may not bring or purchase their own printers or supplies to use.

MFDs will always be the preferred device of choice with SFPs used to provide increased access when warranted.

Opportunities for the purchase or acquisition of supplies, single function printers (SFP) and multi-function devices (MFDs) using outside funding, through grants or donation, will be reviewed and approved by the Office Print Leadership team and ITS. The University will not support the purchase of equipment, or supplies using outside funding without approval from the Office Print Leadership Team. This includes equipment that is used outside the scope of this policy, in order to ensure compatibility and sustainability of maintenance.


The distribution of print devices (including model and type) will be determined by the Department of Operations based on output volumes and business requirements. Devices will be distributed to ensure:

  1. There is a clear understanding of the total cost of the current print environment (devices, consumables, service and support, owned and leased);
  2. Appropriate utilization;
  3. Business processes and workflows are supported;
  4. Availability of secure/private printing where needed;
  5. Availability to copy, scan, and fax functionality where needed;
    • Availability of color printing where justified (via exception policy); and
    • Device security settings and standards are implemented.

Location of print device(s) will be determined by the number of users, the appropriate distance of those users to the device(s), the distance between print devices to optimize utilization, as well as building HVAC set ups to optimize air quality and remain compliant with certifications where applicable.

The guidelines in these procedures must be considered in all construction (new or renovation). 


  1. All university printers will be configured to have duplex (two-sided) printing and mono printing. In addition: Color printing, due to its increased cost, should be restricted to the most essential communications and used as an exception.
  2. All printers will be secured and enabled with pull-printing, which requires users to authenticate before using print, scan, copy, or fax at the device.
  3. All multi-function printers will be configured for scan-to-email functionality.
  4. The manufacturer default ENERGY STAR settings for sleep and powering down will be retained on all imaging equipment to maximize energy savings.


To optimize device usage and effectively allocate devices throughout the university, preliminary target ratios for cost and the number of users per print device will be determined by the Department of Operations and will align with SUNY requirements.

Employees and authorized users shall report any malfunctioning printer immediately by contacting the vendor.

Employees or authorized users shall not order, buy, or submit payment for supplies.


University employees and authorized users should be mindful of the cost of print and shall keep the usage of print and paper to an absolute minimum by adhering to the procedures set forth in this policy.

Personal printing is prohibited.


Exceptions to this policy and procedures will be extremely limited and only in situations that involve critical business needs, legal requirements (e.g., American Disabilities Act), and instances when the benefits of the exception outweigh the risk of undermining the intent of this policy.

Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis and will require:

  1. A business case justification;
  2. Careful review by ITS for purposes of sustainable support,
  3. Authorization from the requesting vice president or designee; and
  4. Approval from the Office Print Leadership Team in accordance with the policy.

Requests for exemption can be submitted through an ITS Service Catalog and will be forwarded to the Office Print Leadership Team:

Confidentiality, the availability of private/secure print features, or convenience are not valid reasons for requiring a local desktop printer.


All employees and authorized users are expected to be active participants and abide by the procedures set forth in this policy as SUNY strives to print “smart” and print less.


Applicable Legislation and Regulations

SUNY Policy: System-wide Print Resource Use Policy #

NY State Office of General Services instructions for the disposal of surplus property

E-signature and Record Retention (referenced in Print Practices II)

Information security policies (FERPA, GLBA, NYS)

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices


A.      Authorized and Supported Devices

  1. Local university-owned desktop printers currently in service will be removed and replaced with an alternate print solution.
  2. Requests for exemption can be submitted through an ITS Service Catalog and will be forwarded to the Office Print Leadership Team:
  3. To report a service issue, or request support for a device, notify the SUNY Empire location point of contact.
  4. Obsolete university printers will be reclaimed for reuse, recycling, or proper disposal. Disposal of any print equipment will follow the appropriate New York State, municipal and SUNY guidelines. Please contact ITS at and submit an incident response ticket if a desktop printer remains, so  it may be disposed of properly.

B. Device Distribution and Placement

  1. Actual print output device allocation may vary depending on factors such as space configuration, print volume requirements, proximity to other print devices, and clinical/non-clinical needs.
  2. Generally, devices will be placed:
  3. No closer than 275 feet from each other for mono devices,
  4. No closer than feet from each other for color devices or
  5. Based on device usage optimization       
  6. When placing a service call, the location point of contact will need to provide:
  7. Site address and location (where service will take place);
  8. Contact name and phone number; and
  9. The following information available on the label located on every print device:

C. Maintenance, Repair and Supplies

Serial Number

IP Address

Make / Model

Print Device Name

Incoming communications from vendors regarding any university print devices, maintenance, or supplies, should be directed to the senior director of Operations.

D. Print Practices

University employees and authorized users should be mindful of the cost of print and shall keep the usage of print and paper to an absolute minimum by adhering to the following:

  1. Limit the publication, printing, and storage of hard copy documents and presume that information should be provided and retained in electronic format, when permitted by law, and consistent with applicable document and records retention policies and requirements.
  2. Printing:
    1. Only university business
    2. Only what is needed (use print preview prior to printing);
    3. Only when necessary; and
    4. By using the lowest cost printing device and configuration available:
    5. By using duplex, mono (black) printing default settings;
    6. By using draft, economy, or fast draft mode printing;
    7. By using “Shrink to Fit” or “Shrink to One Page”;
    8. Multiple slides or pages from a presentation or document on each page.
  3. Remove unnecessary backgrounds, shading, and graphics from print jobs.
  4. Avoid printing one-page documents (e.g., email and Internet web pages) unless there is a business requirement to do so.
  5. If the total number of pages (number of originals x pages per original) exceeds 100, consider sending the print job to the campus print shop ( At minimum, use alternatives, such as providing a PDF via email or sending to a shared location. Note: If hard copies are required, the use of a high-speed MFD will be the most economical and efficient way to print.
  6. Use print alternatives:
    1. Share and distribute files electronically when possible.
    2. Keep files in the document management system, and view within the application.
    3. Do not print materials or presentations for meetings.
    4. Use conference room presentation technology, web conferencing, or document sharing repositories whenever possible.
    5. Send the information (pre-reads) out ahead of time in electronic format.
    6. Encourage and remind attendees not to print the materials, and inform them you will be displaying the information using conference room technology.
  7. If you must print materials or presentations for meetings:
    1. Use the ‘Handouts’ layout with 2, 3 or 4 slides per page, which provides room for notes.
    2. Make use of duplex and n-up, or print multiple slides per page.
  8. Instruct vendors to comply with university procedures by:
    1. Sharing information with the university electronically; and
    2. When presenting in meetings, do so via conference room presentation technology or web conferencing.