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Stanford University Print Policy

Cardinal Print is Stanford’s required print program. For more information, review the policy FAQs on the Cardinal Print FAQ page.

Approved by Randy Livingston, Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer

Effective February 1, 2021


This policy outlines the objectives and practices of Cardinal Print which are to be followed with regard to printing at Stanford.

I. Objectives for Printing at Stanford

This policy supports the University’s stated long-term objectives regarding administrative functions including improving user experience, increasing efficiencies, mitigating security risks, achieving sustainability goals, and efficiently using financial resources. Specifically, with regard to printing, this policy promotes:

  1. Reducing the quantity of printing to lower overall costs and the environmental impact associated with excess paper usage.
    • Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to print only when necessary; instead of printing, documents can be viewed and stored electronically.
    • When printing is necessary, two-sided, black and white printing is strongly encouraged; single-sided and/or color printing should be used judiciously.
  2. Printing on multi-functional print devices with lower carbon emissions and recyclable toner cartridges.
  3. Securing networked print devices approved for high risk data, including protected health information (PHI); personal print devices will not be allowed on the University network.
  4. Enhancing the user experience by using a managed print service allowing authenticated printing at any Cardinal Print device.
  5. Support and maintenance for print devices that will be delivered based on service level agreements, and include:
    • vendor sourcing, implementation, and accounting for printing
    • proactive delivery of supplies such as paper, staples, and toner cartridges
    • monitoring of printer and supply utilization
    • consulting to eliminate paper-heavy business processes
    • elimination of “local” administrative staff time.

II. Printing Practices: Cardinal Print

A. Mandate

In 2019, Stanford implemented Cardinal Print, a managed print service, to meet Stanford’s long term objectives, described in Section I above. Based on the success of the program for those units that adopted Cardinal Print, effective February 1, 2021 the Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO mandated that all schools and units must implement Cardinal Print as their print solution.

This mandate does not include Copy Centers, standalone special-purpose scanners, or specialty printing devices such as plotters, check printers, high resolution/publication printers, handheld printers and other devices which require non-standard supplies and servicing.

This mandate stipulates:

  1. All schools and units must obtain any new printing-related equipment and services from the Cardinal Print service.
  2. Schools and units with other printing-related contracts or commitments must move to Cardinal Print in a timely manner when those agreements expire.
  3. Purchasing new or used multifunctional devices (MFDs) outside of the program is prohibited. Schools and departments may continue to use owned legacy equipment until retirement, provided it does not represent a security vulnerability on the Stanford network. All services, maintenance and/or consumables, and costs related to legacy equipment shall remain solely the department’s responsibility.
  4. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO.

Increased security is a foundational goal of the Cardinal Print program, and printers are responsible for 30-40% of the current device vulnerabilities at Stanford as measured by the Information Security Office (ISO). Therefore, personal print devices may not be connected to the Stanford network. Where special accommodations are necessary and a personal print device is warranted, any department or individual user who wants to purchase and use a directly-attached, non-networked personal print device must have approval from a Senior Associate Dean, Dean, or Vice Provost/President.

B. Transition to Cardinal Print

As part of the University’s transition to Cardinal Print, all budget units may be asked to participate in a physical needs assessment when contacted by the program. The physical needs assessment requires access to all department locations and print devices, and will be facilitated and conducted by the Cardinal Print program team. The assessment includes a review of floor plans and onsite interviews to identify any department-specific print needs. Departments are responsiblefor providing information regarding specific print needs, current print costs, existing service and/or lease agreements,and other applicable considerations.

Following the assessment, program staff will provide a comprehensive proposal and related cost estimate outliningequipment, and layout recommendations. The estimate will be based on university standards, the department’s unique site requirements, and the strategic goals and objectives of the University as outlined in Section 1.

Upon delivery of the proposal, the program team will work with the budget unit to validate and finalize the recommendations. This includes incorporating feedback regarding device layout and total number of devices. In accordance with the University's long term sustainability and financial savings goals, all program recommendations will focus on optimizing the number of devices and gradually implementing digital workflows. Cardinal Print will provide an implementation plan once agreement is reached regarding the total number of devices and locations.

As part of implementation, Cardinal Print will provide a change management and communications plan tailored to the department's unique end user population, as well as end-user training for device usage.

Cardinal Print is responsible for ongoing assessment of print needs and will conduct periodic assessments as a part of the service. As the needs evolve, it is possible the current printing environment may no longer meet departmental requirements due to reorganizations, growth, relocation, etc. Such departmental changes may require a change in the current MFD or the addition of a new MFD to meet new printing volumes within the shared workgroup. All changes to the current MFD placements will require a re-assessment of the space and print needs at no additional cost. Changes may include the relocation, upgrade, downgrade, removal, or replacement of a print device, and could affect ongoing costs.

III. Definitions

Term Definition
Managed Print Services (MPS) A program responsible for the management of all print services at the University.
Single Function Device (SFD) A single-purpose printer, scanner, or fax machine that is generally used by one person or a limited number of people.
Multifunction Device (MFD) Any network-capable, document production device that performs at least two of the following tasks: print, copy, fax, and scan.
Personal Print Device A printing device that is assigned to a specific individual and is not widely shared or connected to the University network (e.g., inkjet printer, small laser printer, etc.).
Duplex Printing Printing or copying on both sides of the paper. Duplex printing is encouraged to reduce the volume of paper used. It is the University approved print standard.
Simplex Printing Printing single-sided. Not a University approved print standard.
Default to Black and White Multifunctional devices will default all printing to black and white. If color is needed, the user must manually select that option for each print job where color is required.
Consumables Toner, staples, and paper for printers or multi-function devices.
Print Drivers Printing defaults set at the computer and user level; these will be set to University print standards.
Pharos The University’s chosen print management software. This is used to manage printing, scanning, and copying.
Authentication The process of verifying identity by swiping a Stanford ID card or entering your network credentials (SUNet ID andpassword).
Cost per Copy (CPC) The cost of printing which is set by Cardinal Print and charged to schools and/or departments based on their annual print volume.
Impression This is a print from an output device which refers to ink/toner applied to a side of paper.
Last modified February 20, 2024