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Computer Purchase and Replacement

This document outlines the Computer Purchase, Support and Replacement Policy of Bates College, administered by Information and Library Services (ILS) for the faculty and staff of Bates College.

Information and Library Services provides one computer and associated peripherals to each employee when computer usage is required by job responsibilities, and provides computers and other peripherals for classrooms, laboratories, public computing facilities and other academic and administrative offices. ILS assumes responsibility for maintenance, upgrade, service and repair of this equipment. Replacement or upgrade of these computers is based on a predictable schedule and a requirements evaluation of the job or function. ILS staff members carry out the work of replacing the computer and transferring Bates related work files to the new computer. Bates staff members do not transfer personal files to the new computer.

ILS sets minimum standards for hardware and software intended for use on the campus. Equipment that does not meet College standards for configuration or warranty will not be installed, networked, repaired or supported by ILS. All computing equipment purchased with College funds (including grant funds, capital funds, startup funds, departmental funds, gifts and endowments) is property of the College. ILS should act as the purchasing agent for all college technology purchases. Equipment purchased with funds other than those of Information and Library Services may not be included in the replacement cycle.

This policy covers the following areas:

  1. Purchase, Support, Replacement and Upgrade of Equipment Funded by ILS
  2. Purchase, Support and Replacement of Equipment Funded by Departments and Gifts
  3. Purchase, Support and Replacement of Equipment Funded by Grants, Startup Accounts or Capital Projects
  4. Printers and Other Peripherals
  5. Responsibility for Equipment
  6. Mobile Computing

A. PURCHASE, SUPPORT, REPLACEMENT AND UPGRADE OF EQUIPMENT FUNDED BY ILS

College-owned desktop computer equipment included in the ILS replacement program is normally evaluated on a regular cycle, with most equipment being evaluated every four years. At the time of the review, the technical capabilities of the equipment will be evaluated and ILS will recommend either a new computer or an upgrade. The upgrade/replacement program is intended to meet the following goals:

  • Assure that the computing resources in College offices and labs are adequate to support the mission of the institution.
  • Maintain minimum standards for computing equipment.
  • Improve performance and support through standardization.
  • Control costs.
  • Coordinate the cost-effective installation of new equipment and environmentally sound disposal of old equipment.
  • Support ILS efforts to deploy staff effectively by retiring equipment that is too costly to maintain.

Computer equipment is replaced or upgraded on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Prior to replacement or upgrade, a representative from ILS will meet with individuals or departments to finalize plans for the equipment. When determining whether to upgrade or replace a computer, the technical capabilities of the computer and the ILS hardware standards will be considered, along with functional requirements.  For new equipment, individuals choose from ILS-approved computer models. Peripherals will be replaced at the same time, if necessary. Certain lab computers and other specialized equipment may be replaced on a shorter cycle, and some may be replaced less frequently. Requests for replacement of desktop equipment on a more aggressive schedule will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Faculty who are retiring will be supplied with computer equipment in accordance with the Computer Support Policy for Retired Faculty. Some equipment is not on the replacement cycle, and may be replaced as it becomes obsolete, or may not be replaced at all.

Unless prior arrangements have been made, ILS will remove the old equipment at the time of replacement. The College’s ability to provide predictable funds to replace outdated computers requires that ILS manage the total number of computers on campus. ILS staff will transfer Bates related work files as a part of the replacement process. However, personal files will not be transferred.

Minimum hardware requirements often change as new software is released. During the expected life of a computer, ILS may upgrade the hardware and/or software when necessary from a technological standpoint. Any off-cycle requests for hardware or software upgrades will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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B. PURCHASE, SUPPORT AND REPLACEMENT OF EQUIPMENT FUNDED BY DEPARTMENTS AND GIFTS

In some circumstances, academic and administrative departments and programs may purchase computing equipment with departmental funds, or may receive computing equipment as a gift. Departments are expected to consult with ILS staff regarding purchases and gifts of computers and peripherals, and reach an agreement regarding its purchase, maintenance, upgrade, service and repair. This equipment will not be placed in the replacement schedule; replacement of this equipment will be the responsibility of the funding department. Departmental and gift funded equipment must meet minimum standards of configuration and an extended warranty may be required. Staff in Computer Sales and Service will advise departments regarding price and availability, and in most cases will act as the purchasing agent. ILS purchases equipment with academic discounts and extended warranties, and recommends equipment that will be consistent with the standards established for other College-owned equipment.

Computing equipment that is purchased with departmental funds or received as a gift will become part of the computer inventory of the College. If the equipment meets ILS standards it will be installed, networked and supported by ILS staff. Equipment that does not meet College standards will not be installed, networked or supported by ILS.

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C. PURCHASE, SUPPORT AND REPLACEMENT OF EQUIPMENT FUNDED BY GRANTS, STARTUP ACCOUNTS OR CAPITAL PROJECTS

Individuals and departments pursuing grants for computing equipment or grants that include computing equipment or who are involved in capital projects should consult with the Director of User Services prior to the purchase. It is in the interest of the College to make strategic use of grant and capital funds for computer purchases. Grant or capital funded equipment is not automatically placed on the replacement cycle. Grant and capital funded equipment must meet minimum standards of configuration and an extended warranty may be required. Staff in Computer Sales and Service will advise departments regarding price and availability, and in most cases will act as the purchasing agent. ILS purchases equipment with academic discounts and extended warranties, and recommends equipment that will be consistent with the standards established for other College-owned equipment.

Computing equipment that is purchased with grants or capital funds will become part of the computer inventory of the College. If the equipment meets ILS standards it will be installed, networked and supported by ILS staff. Equipment that does not meet College standards will not be installed, networked or supported by ILS.

Funding for replacement of grant or capital funded equipment is subject to agreement between the purchasing department and ILS.

Faculty members with funds from research awards or startup funds may use these funds to purchase computers and equipment exceeding the norm of one per employee for office or lab use. The equipment belongs to the College and is not placed on the replacement cycle.

Faculty members are expected to consult with the Director of User Services prior to purchasing computer equipment with research or startup funds. ILS acts as the purchasing agent. Equipment that does not meet College standards will not be installed, networked or supported by ILS.

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D. PRINTERS AND OTHER PERIPHERALS

Individual desktop printers and peripherals will be replaced, if necessary, when the desktop computer is replaced. They will be placed on the same replacement cycle as the computer. Information and Library Services provides networked laser printers in high-use public areas accessible to students and/or employees. ILS also provides shared scanners and other specialized peripheral equipment. ILS assumes responsibility for evaluating the use of these devices and will replace them when necessary.

Information and Library Services encourages the use of shared devices when possible and reasonable.

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E. RESPONSIBILITY FOR EQUIPMENT

Each employee is responsible for taking reasonable precautions in regard to Bates-owned computer equipment. Employees or their departments will be held responsible for damage to such equipment arising out of their negligence or misconduct. Equipment should remain in the location where originally installed unless other arrangements are made with ILS. Individuals or departments experiencing loss or damage to College-owned computers should contact Help Desk Services.

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F. MOBILE COMPUTING

1. For equipment funded by ILS, ILS will consider a mobile device for faculty or staff whose work requires the flexibility associated with this kind of device. Mobile devices purchased with ILS funds become part of the replacement cycle.

The faculty/staff member in question can choose one of the following two configurations:

  1. a desktop machine and a mobile device, such as a notebook or iPad (the choice will depend upon the employee’s requirements)

    -or-

  2. a laptop machine

2. For equipment funded by departments, purchase of a mobile device requires approval of the appropriate Vice President. ILS will act as the purchasing agent, configure the device for the campus network, and make sure it is recorded as College property. Mobile devices purchased with department funds are not part of the replacement cycle.

3. For equipment funded by gifts, grants, research, start-up or capital projects, ILS will act as the purchasing agent, configure the device for the campus network, and make sure it is recorded as College property. Mobile devices purchased with such funds are not part of the replacement cycle.

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Revised—May 2011