Computer Policy for Faculty and Staff
The Office of Information Technology is the sole provider of computing equipment for the college. For standard equipment – computers, printers, etc – all purchases go through OIT. In some cases purchases are identified through the programmatic needs of a specific department, but approval is still routed through OIT prior to acquisition.
In order to maintain a sustainable service to the community, we have developed the following guidelines and policies governing computing devices and peripherals.
Primary Computing Device
The College through OIT provides a single primary computing device. For administrative staff, this is a desktop computer, running Microsoft Windows, with a single monitor, keyboard and mouse. OIT identifies a standard configuration for all such computers from a vendor of our choosing. We evaluate this configuration and vendor annually. Administrative staff are not eligible for Apple Macintosh computers.
We do not provide individual printers or scanners to any users.
Tablets or other mobile devices are available to faculty provided it is used primarily for research and teaching purposes. Faculty are required to report on the efficacy of the tablet as a teaching tool after the first year of use.
In very specific situations and only with approval from one’s Director, VP and OIT, a laptop with docking station may be provided to administrative staff. There must be a proven administrative need for a laptop. Examples include, but are not restricted to, a requirement to travel or be available outside of normal business hours. For those that need a laptop only on an intermittent and irregular basis, OIT maintains a pool of units available for short term (1 week or less, longer if needed and approved). Requests can be made through the Support Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Faculty by default receive the same Microsoft Windows desktop computer as administrative staff. Faculty may request and receive approval for a Microsoft Windows laptop and/or an Apple Macintosh desktop or laptop computer through one’s department chair and the Provost. We require that a user requesting an Apple Macintosh computer demonstrates existing familiarity with the operating system.
Starting with fiscal year 2016-2017 primary computing devices will be on a 5-year replacement cycle, consistent with peer institutions and in recognition of the processing capabilities within even our most basic computer configurations. We make best effort to match computer with user and will attempt to accommodate staffing changes. However, note that computing devices will not be replaced out of cycle in order to minimize inventory issues.
A new computer will be purchased only if a new full-time faculty or staff member has been hired for a position that did not previously exist, and if another current machine cannot be located. New employees filling an existing position will assume the computer already allocated to that position. Health checks will be performed by OIT to ensure computers are cleared for reallocation.
Separate policies govern the provision of certain peripherals. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but does represent the common requests OIT receives. Note that departments are responsible for the cost of all peripherals that exceed our standard configuration.
Each faculty and staff member receives a single monitor of a current design and specification with the aforementioned primary computing device. This includes recipients of laptops.
There are specific requirements to receive a second monitor. There must be a demonstrated administrative and/or scholarly need for a second display. Approval is not based on preference or past work environment. Examples of these needs include but are not restricted to:
- Working with multiple large-format documents simultaneously that cannot fit onto a single screen in any configuration
- Working with very large spreadsheets where a large number of rows and columns must be visible
- Working with multiple applications that require regular cross-reference and input simultaneously
Each computer is provided with a wired keyboard and mouse of a configuration standard to that computer and/or vendor.
Wireless keyboards will be approved on a case-by-case basis on administrative need. OIT will purchase the items but costs will be borne by the department. Departments are responsible for all ongoing maintenance including batteries.
Please note that ergonomic accommodations are made through Human Resources.