Hardware Replacement

Hardware Replacement Policy

(Note: Italicized text reflects changes from the latest revision)

1.0 Overview

College-owned individual-use computers are “generally” replaced every four years. This is done for several reasons: to provide community members with the current operating systems and sufficient power for the latest software applications; to protect our campus network by updating the security protections that come with more recent operating systems; and to maintain a reasonable number of hardware configurations that can be well supported by limited staff.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the replacement of all College-owned hardware, outline LTS recommendations for standard configurations, and establish responsibilities for departments wishing to exceed those configurations.

3.0 Scope

This policy applies to all Wellesley College-owned individual-use computers, including desktop and laptop computers, and Thin Clients, in use by faculty (tenured, tenure-track, ISLs, PERA professors of the practice, lecturers, and leave replacement) and administrative staff (working a minimum of .5 FTE for 9 months or more in a year), and shared department computers for use by temporary help (student employees, temporary employees, or teaching assistants).

4.0 Policy

Library & Technology Services (LTS) will engage in an annual replacement plan by examining existing inventory of all College-owned hardware, making an initial recommendation for replacement based on the needs of various faculty and staff members and the funds that are available for hardware replacement. The Department Chairs or Administrative Department heads will then review these recommendations to make the necessary adjustments to arrive at the final plan. Depending on the adjustments made, allocations of hardware are likely to be changed, particularly if there are funding constraints within the department. For example, if the initial recommendations from LTS included fewer laptops than the final number requested, then the total number of computers that can be replaced will be less to compensate for the higher cost of laptops over desktops.

Individuals will be notified prior to the replacement of their computer and will be given an option to request delaying their replacement by no more than one year. This extension will be granted if the computer meets the needs of the individual for another year, and if the operating system and other software will be supported for another year.

The plan will take into consideration the budget constraints and the academic cycles of various academic and administrative departments to schedule the purchase and replacement of hardware. LTS staff will contact the Chairs or the Administrative department heads in advance of replacement for consultation, scheduling and training.

LTS will assist users in the transfer of data from the old computer to the new one. LTS will also assist in the installation of any custom applications that the user needs. However, LTS cannot assist in transferring any custom applications that are not supported by the College that the user had installed on their own on the older computer. In many cases, these installations will require original CDs or DVDs and serial numbers for which the user is responsible.  Therefore, any reinstallation of these applications is the responsibility of the user.  After the data has been transferred to the new computer and the user confirms that everything has been transferred correctly, LTS staff will remove the older hardware usually within a day or two.

LTS maintains customized software images for the following standard configurations:

  • Thin Clients (starting in Fall ‘11) - Appropriate for administrative staff that use the computer for basic use such as email, Office applications, basic Banner access and the web.

  • Intermediate Windows Desktop Computer  - This will be the standard computer for faculty who want a Windows desktop computer. This is also appropriate for an administrative user who uses all functions listed above as well as other custom applications such as R25, Adobe suite of products, and advanced reporting.

  • Windows Laptop - Ideal for anyone who travels a lot, and for use in both office and home.

  • All-in-One Mac “Desktop” - This will be the standard computer for faculty or staff requesting a Mac.

  • Mac Laptop - Ideal for anyone who travels a lot, and for use in both office and home.

For more detailed information about the configurations, go to: http://www.wellesley.edu/lts/techsupport/configurations

In addition, LTS will recommend advanced, custom configurations for Windows PC Desktop, Windows PC Laptop, Mac Desktop and Mac Laptop, if requested. If a faculty or staff member eligible for replacement needs an advanced configuration, they are eligible for an allowance if they agree to purchase an LTS-recommended advanced configuration. In these cases, LTS will provide an allowance equal to the base price of a machine with the same operating system and the faculty or staff member would identify the funding source for the difference.

If a faculty or staff member requires more than one computer, they are required to identify funding for such purchases.  Such machines will be identified in the inventories separately and will not be eligible for replacement through this program.

LTS will not be responsible for supporting any machines that a faculty or staff member purchases that is not on the list of approved configurations. However, LTS will be happy to refer the faculty or staff member to contact other professionals to diagnose and fix problems.

Newly-hired faculty

Each new tenure-track faculty member will be provided with a standard desktop or laptop Windows or Mac computer at the beginning of their first year.

Current faculty

All tenured, tenure-track, ISLs, PERA professors of the practice, and lecturers on continuing appointments are eligible for an appropriate Windows or Mac notebook or desktop computer when their existing computers are due for replacement.

Leave replacement faculty

Leave replacement faculty are eligible for a desktop computer.   LTS will provide a temporary desktop for the leave replacement faculty.

Part-time faculty

Faculty working part-time are eligible for a desktop computer.

Permanent administrative staff of .5 FTE or greater

All administrative staff working a minimum of .5 FTE for 9 months or more in a year are eligible for one of the LTS suggested configurations.  LTS will recommend a configuration (e.g., thin client, desktop, or laptop) based on the staff member’s position requirements.  If a department would like to contribute toward a higher priced configuration such as a laptop instead of a desktop, LTS will provide an allowance equal to the base price of a machine with the same operating system and the employee’s department would identify the funding source for the difference.

Shared Computers

There are many offices that require additional computers for their student employees, temporary employees, or teaching assistants. LTS will assess the need in these areas and provide the minimum number of shared computers.  LTS will manage these requests by purchasing some of the base desktop configurations as well as use some of the computers that are being replaced for this purpose. In the long run, we will use Thin Clients for this purpose, resulting in a far more functional and cost effective solution.

Donated Computers

LTS recycles computers responsibly at the end of their life cycle.  LTS reviews desktops and laptops to determine if they are still usable for basic computing purposes (e.g., editing documents, web viewing, etc.)  LTS has a process for receiving requests for donations to charitable organizations and for student projects. Once a computer is donated, LTS is no longer responsible for repairing the equipment.  This includes upgrades and repairs to the operating system and hardware.  In good faith, LTS will remove all College-licensed software and install the version of the operating system that was purchased with the original equipment.

Damage to Equipment

Faculty & Staff who receive a College owned computing device (such as a computer or laptop)  are expected to return it to LTS at the end of its life cycle.  In the event a computer is damaged (e.g., water spilled on laptop), the department will be responsible for the repair or replacement of the computer.  In these cases, LTS will provide the most cost-effective solution taking into consideration factors such as the age of the computer and the extent of the damage.

Loss of Equipment

If the equipment is lost on College property, it should be reported to the Campus Police immediately and LTS will find an appropriate replacement computer for the faculty or staff who lost the computer. If the equipment (such as a laptop or tablet) is lost outside the College property, then the department is responsible for the cost of replacing the equipment with an appropriate device.

5.0 Effective Date

This policy was implemented June 7, 2011, and updated January 23, 2015.