Is it necessary to purchase the exact same item (model) as was damaged/stolen?

If it is at all possible to replace the stolen/damaged item with the same brand and model that was lost, you should do so.  The State reimburses the University for replacement with the same model or nearest equivalent.  In some cases, it isn’t possible to replace the item with the exact model due to discontinuation of some items.  In those cases, you would need to find the nearest equivalent to the lost or damaged item(s).  If you do this you must provide the specifications for the original item and replacement item.  If you do choose to upgrade the item, instead of purchasing the same item or nearest equivalent, the department will reimburse for the replacement cost of the item minus any cost for upgrades. There is no reimbursement for the cost of warranty.