Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Technology

Computer Allocation Practice

Goal
Provide Wheaton College faculty and staff with computers appropriate for their needs.

Objectives

  • System for deploying computers:
  • College standard for computers:
    • Leverage centralized purchasing opportunities that reduce per unit costs
    • Contain and minimize ongoing administrative and support costs
  • Offer staff and faculty choice regarding:
    • Computer operating systems (Windows or Macintosh)
    • Computer hardware (Desktop or Laptop)

Allocating Computers
The college provides access to a computer for each staff and faculty member who requires one for their work. Faculty and staff members are free to express a preference for computers that use either Windows or Macintosh operating systems, or for specialized hardware or software in consultation with the Director of Research and Instruction (for faculty) or Director of Technology Support (for staff) and with the department heads, approval. Director of Technology Support is the ultimate arbiter about which operating system and software a faculty and staff member ultimately receives.

Computers LIS provides to faculty and staff are capable of operating college supported software applications (including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, email, web browsers, etc.). Typically, the hardware and software configurations of computers given to faculty and staff vary from year to year, depending network requirements, market pricing, and budget fluctuations. LIS issues each faculty and staff computer with a standard package of application software supported by the college at time of delivery.

Replacing and Assigning Computers
LIS recognizes the desirability of replacing computers on a predictable cycle of every three to four years. Doing so avoids the risk of faculty and staff relying on computers that have become obsolete for their intended purpose, reduces LIS support requirements, and enhances planning for all involved. However, funding constraints may prevent the college from committing to replacement cycles for computers. Therefore, LIS replaces faculty and staff computers on a case-by-case basis.

When funding permits, LIS also strives to assign new computers to newly hired faculty and staff. If this funding is not available departments will have to fund these purchases or a used computer will be provided if one is available.

All requests for computers must be submitted to LIS Technology Support and must be done at least one to two weeks before the new hire begins their work at Wheaton College. At that time LIS Technology Support will need to know if the new hire will be using an existing computer (e.g. filling an existing open position) or will need a new computer (e.g. filling a new position).

Computer Ownership
Computers issued to Wheaton faculty and staff remain college property at all times. Faculty and staff members ending employment at Wheaton must relinquish all computers issued to them back to LIS Technology Support. All data will be removed according to Department of Defense data removal standards.

Computers allocated to faculty and staff cannot be re-deployed for other purposes at the college without prior LIS Technology Support approval. Computers that are relinquished at the end of employment are returned to the LIS Technology Support allocation pool for refurbishment and re-distribution elsewhere on campus. Replaced computers that cannot meet minimum functionality standards are stricken from the college's inventory and recycled.

Relocating College Owned Computer Elsewhere on Campus
Faculty and staff desiring to relocate college computer hardware to some other campus location (e.g., to another office or lab) must obtain the approval of the LIS Director of Technology Support.

Using College Owned Computer Away from Campus
Faculty and staff desiring to use college computer hardware away from campus (e.g., desktop computers from offices and labs) must receive the approval of their department head and the Director of Technology Support before moving computer equipment off campus. If the computer assigned to you is a laptop and you use it away from campus please keep in mind that security measures should be followed to protect the equipment and the data it holds secure.

SEE ALSO: LIS Loaning Laptop Computers document and Wheaton College Telecommuting Guidelines and Considerations documents.

Computer Maintenance and Support
LIS Technology Support provides support for computers issued to faculty and staff that use Windows or Macintosh operating systems. Such support includes: hardware maintenance and repair, network services, operating system upgrades, consultation on college standard software applications, documentation, training classes, etc. LIS Technology Support endeavors to enable faculty and staff to use applications that require other operating systems, such as or LINUX, UNIX, or Windows NT, but does not provide a full array of standard support services for these operating systems. All computer maintenance and support will be provided on-campus only. It will be the users, responsibility to bring the equipment to campus for servicing when needed or as requested.

Multiple Computers
On a case-by-case basis, and with consultation of the department head, the college may provide, or assist faculty and staff in obtaining, an additional computer(s) for research, instructional purposes, courseware development, laboratory automation, or study abroad, etc. Purchase of additional computers may be funded through external grants, start up funding, or the department as discretionary funds.

In all cases, these additional computers must be ordered and acquired though LIS Technology Support. These computers remain college property and are serviced and maintained by LIS Technology Support. However, these "secondary" computers are not included in an LIS replacement plan unless funds are provided to replace them.

Privately Owned Computers
Faculty and staff may purchase a computer for personal (home) use through the college's Technology Support Sales Program. Wheaton also offers loans for employees to purchase a computer privately through the college. To initiate a private computer purchase or to inquire about loans terms, contact:

Carol Specht
LIS Assistant Coordinator, Technology Support
X5680
cspecht@wheatonma.edu

LIS discourages faculty and staff from directly connecting a privately owned computer to the college's network while on campus, although this is not expressly prohibited. Users who establish these connections do so at their own risk. Wheaton faculty and staff interested in occasionally connecting a non-college computer to Wheaton's network are highly encouraged to contact the LIS Technology Support Department to certify that the computer will comply with Wheaton network standards and to educate themselves about current computer virus suppression practices before attempting a connection. Wheaton assumes no responsibility for non-college computers infected or damaged while connected to its network.

Computers for Leaves
LIS cannot guarantee faculty and staff participating in residence abroad programs will be provided with a college-owned computer during their absence. Decisions to provide computers for these purposes are made on a case-by-case basis with the consultation of the department head.

Computers cannot be issued to faculty and staff on medical leave unless approved by the department head and Director of Technology Support.

Computers for Sabbatical
LIS recognizes the desirability for faculty to use college-owned laptops during their sabbatical leave. Doing so facilitates research vital to faculty's professional lives, and LIS will strive to support these efforts whenever possible. However, funding constraints may prevent the college from being able to provide laptops for faculty during their absences. Therefore, decisions to provide computers for these purposes are made on a case-by-case basis with the consultation of the department head and the Director of Technology Support.

Responsibility of Computers Used Off Campus
It will be the responsibility of the user to be sure the equipment is kept in good working order and if repairs need to be made they are arranged through LIS Technology Support. It is encouraged that equipment used off campus be insured for loss by acquiring an insurance rider through the users home insurance coverage. Loss insurance is not provided by the College.

Reallocating Computers
Computers allocated to individual faculty and staff cannot be re-deployed for other purposes at the college without prior LIS Technology Support approval. Computers that are replaced are returned to the LIS allocation pool for refurbishment and re-distribution elsewhere on campus. All data will be removed according to Department of Defense data removal standards. Replaced computers that cannot meet minimum functionality standards are stricken from the college's inventory and recycled.

Modifications to this Practice: LIS will review this practice semi-annually in January and July with the intention of improving or revising this service.

The Director of Technology Support:
Sue Morgado
Director of Technology Support
x3754
smorgado@wheatonma.edu

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