CCi History

Close view of chancellor Michael Hooker speaking at press conference. In the foreground, a 1998 laptop displays the UNC webpage
In 1998, Chancellor Michael Hooker announces the laptop requirement. Photo by Dan Sears

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Michael Hooker launched the Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) the summer of 1997. One of the first programs of its kind, CCI was developed to ensure that Carolina students, faculty and staff have easy access to high-quality and affordable technology and be able to use it effectively.

At the center of the initiative is the laptop requirement, ensuring that undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill own laptops that meet minimum University specifications. Since UNC implemented the undergraduate laptop requirement in 2000, more than 60,000 Carolina students have chosen to fulfill this requirement by purchasing a CCI laptop package. This consistently high rate of adoption has ensured that all undergraduates have equal access to a minimum level of technology and that instructors are able to incorporate this technology into their required coursework.

A key component of ensuring this equal access is the laptop grant program. The program commits funds to assist undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need. Since 2000, every first-year undergraduate student receiving need-based financial aid has received a laptop grant which covered up to the full cost of the laptop package.

In addition to serving undergraduate students, the CCI program has equipped faculty and staff with the same technology that the students own. Since 1997, more than 15,000 computers have been provided to teaching faculty members, instructors and academic support staff in the College of Arts & Sciences. Thus ensuring that faculty, staff and students are all working with equivalent, high quality technology.

The University, faculty and students receive other benefits from purchases made through the CCI contract, including:

  •  Instructional Innovation Grants for UNC Chapel Hill faculty
  • Donated Lenovo laptops that support the Carolina Covenant program
  • Loaner laptops while their CCI laptops are being repaired
  • Access to research at Lenovo‚Äôs Innovation Centers worldwide