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Print Management Policy

Print Management Policy - August 2021

In July 2020, SUNY launched an initiative to manage printing across all campuses, with a goal of saving $12m/year SUNY wide. To achieve this, they aim to reduce print volume by half, and eliminate inefficient and costly desktop printers. SUNY has identified Purchase College’s share of that savings target as $127,627. A local Print Management Team has been tasked by Purchase College leadership to promote efficiency and realize those savings through reductions in print volume and supplies.

During the last full year prior to the pandemic, Purchase College spent $322,708, printing well over 2.2m pages (a figure that excludes desktop printers.)

The pre-pandemic print cost of $322,000 is enough to cover the full cost of 10 full-time NYS resident students living on campus. Every year.


Over the course of one year, 2.2 million pieces of paper were not printed - equivalent to saving 26 trees. Making paper uses a lot of energy and chemicals that have been avoided in addition to the savings in transportation and recycling costs. The College has signed onto working towards United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals which responsible production and consumption is one of the goals.

Don’t Start Printing Again

As we return to campus, we encourage everyone to avoid returning to old printing habits. Most of us haven’t printed at all for the last 18 months - finding ways to use electronic documents instead.

Before printing, please remember to follow best practices, when possible.

  • Use available collaboration tools and digital documents (Contact CTS for assistance)
  • If you must print
    • Print B&W (grayscale)
    • Print double-sided (duplex)

What can Faculty do?

Assignments and handouts can be distributed through Email, Web and Moodle. Encourage students to turn in assignments and papers electronically through Email or Moodle.

When documents are distributed electronically, there are no more lost handouts or assignments. Students will always have access to a digital version. Every course has a Moodle Shell.

Use the Comments function or change-tracker to do electronic markup of student work instead of a red pen on paper.

Academic Printing

The SUNY Print Initiative covers all documents printed in standard sizes (letter, legal, and tabloid.) The SUNY Print Initiative does not cover specialty printing – which is explicitly defined as “label printers, bar code printers, wide-format (plotters), or 3d printing.” The SUNY Initiative also does not address creative printing - where the printed artifact is an essential curricular requirement - Graphic Design being one obvious example.

We will need to “explicitly identify, acknowledge, and protects students’ access to specialty printing of studio artworks necessary to fulfill their curricular work and degree requirements” as our faculty suggest. Those creative printing needs are supported by Course Fees that must be calibrated to the amount of printing required to complete the assignments and achieve the documented Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).

When a student registers for a course that includes creative printing assignments, their print allocation for that class must match the amount required to cover the print assignments.

We will need assistance from individual faculty and academic program leaders to identify these curricular printing requirements for each class.

Need Print-Avoidance ideas?

If you have a task that you think requires printing any meaningful number of pages, please reach out to the Print Management Team or to the CTS Helpdesk. Together we may be able to come up with a print-avoidance strategy that meets your needs.


Our new Strategic Plan calls for renewed emphasis on inclusivity and accessibility. Electronic documents can be made accessible to the visually impaired, paper documents cannot.

If you do end up distributing a paper document, you also need to make an electronic version available for the visually impaired.

Best Practice – Use digital documents

Handouts for meetings can be shared online through Zoom and MS Teams, and through collaboration tools like SharePoint Libraries that hold all Purchase College committee, Department, and Task Force materials. Email is a last option for sharing documents (but still better than printing).

All Purchase College Committees, Task Forces and Departments should use SharePoint to securely store, share, and collaborate using electronic documents. Committees and workgroups documenting their agendas, meeting notes, procedures, and annual reports in SharePoint also promotes transparency and participation – and provides an invaluable archive for periodic accreditation reviews like Middle States and for Strategic Planning efforts.

Print if you must

We encourage everyone to continue using electronic documents wherever possible, and to only print things that must be on paper. For example, legal contracts must be signed with a wet ink signature by our CFO.

Some things do still have to be printed – for now. One of those things - for the time being - is Procurement documents (Requisitions, POs, Invoices, and P-Card Plot Sheets) which must be submitted on paper with wet ink signatures. We are pursuing another SUNY Initiative to implement the Jaeggar electronic procurement system, but that will take some time. Look for Jaeggar news updates in 2022.

Print Management Oversight

In fall 2020, SUNY required all campuses to install the Pharos Beacon print monitoring client. This cloud-based Beacon system collects meta-data on print activity (user, page count, print type) visible to SUNY and the campus, and will be used to monitor our progress.

This fall, a new local print management client will be rolled out to all Purchase College workstations. For twenty years, Purchase has used Paper Cut to manage student printing in the library and computer labs. When you print a document, the client shows you the actual cost of the print job - and prompts you to choose double-sided and B/W with option to change color and duplex settings, if needed.

What’s my print allocation - and how do I get more?

Each employee will receive an annual “Print Allocation” that will be enough to print what they need. The Print Management system tracks print usage, and usage reports will be circulated to department heads.

Since print needs vary, department heads will be able to request print allocation increases when needed. For example, a staff assistant responsible for Purchasing/Procurement documentation may need a larger allocation - as well as some faculty engaged in research with higher print requirements.

Shared Printers and QR-Code Print Release

Later this year, a reduced number of multi-function scanner/fax/copier/printers will be retained and/or purchased for each building, and placed in shared locations for faculty/staff usage.

Privacy concerns are a priority, therefore, each shared printer will provide security through QR codes for Print Release. Your document will only print once you arrive at the printer and scan the printer’s QR code on your smartphone.

There’s an upside to the QR codes too. When you send something to a printer, the Print Management Client uses a cloud-based universal print driver. Since the print job is not directed to a specific printer, you can scan the QR code to print on any printer that you happen to be near.

QR-Code Security

QR codes have become popular recently due to their “touchless” nature. But like everything else today, “Eyes Wide Open” is the rule. QR Codes simply take you to a website that is encoded in the image. Just like in an email link, you have to look at the URL and think before you click.

On Android phones, when you point your phone camera at a QR code it will display the website destination and ask you to tap the screen if you want to proceed. For Purchase College Print Services, the URL should be “”.


You have to watch the URL you tap on so that you don’t get sent to an inappropriate or dangerous website - you can get “Rick-Rolled” or worse if you’re not paying attention.


I-Phones only show the domain “” (without the server name “VSPrint01”).


There are a variety of Phone “Apps” for Android and Apple that can read QR codes – but some of them may eliminate the verification tap to proceed, which could be dangerous. Skip the app and stick to the camera.

Elimination of Desktop Printers

Desktop printers are convenient, but they are the most expensive way to print, costing about $0.50 or more per single-sided page. In contrast, SUNY’s goal for Multi-function printers in the new contract is $0.01 per B/W double-sided page. Due to that dramatic difference, the SUNY Initiative calls for the elimination of all desktop printers (there will be Accessibility Waivers for those with mobility issues).

If you would like to retire your desktop printer and start saving now, contact CTS for pick up.

Thank You for Your Support
We appreciate your cooperation with this SUNY initiative that will save Purchase College money while improving our sustainability posture and preserving our shared natural resources (trees, water, CO2, electricity, and ink.)

The Print Management Team