College Computer Equipment
This policy describes the types of computer equipment owned by the College and the conditions and manner in which it is replaced.
This policy applies to all Hamilton College employees.
Policy Revision History
Last revised, November 2019.
Last updated: November 21, 2019
All college computers provided to employees will be configured with automated updates to antivirus software and operating system patches, and full disk encryption. Encryption provides an additional level of protection for confidential and sensitive information that may be stored on computers. In addition, CrashPlan software is installed to provide automated backup of the computer.
Most college computer equipment is replaced every four to five years (see exceptions below). The Goals of the replacement plan are to:
- assure that appropriate computing resources are available in public and departmental computing facilities, classrooms, and college offices to support the mission of the institution;
- assure that each faculty and staff member who uses computing resources in his or her position has a computer of sufficient capability to fulfill his/her responsibilities;
- implement minimum standards for computing equipment on campus; encourage planning, cost-effective installation of new equipment and disposal of old equipment.
Computer equipment is generally replaced during the late spring and summer months (May 1 - August 15). Replacement schedules are distributed annually to departments in February for review and consultation with LITS staff. Hardware configurations for new equipment are prepared in March and individuals with equipment scheduled for replacement are notified of those details.
Generally, individuals will have one college computer provided for them on the replacement plan. By the nature of their responsibilities, some individuals may need to have more than one computer to accomplish their responsibilities - for example, if they must use both Macintosh and Windows platforms in their work. In these cases, department heads/supervisors may request from the appropriate officer of the college (e.g., for faculty, the Dean of the Faculty) that an exception be made.
Computers are essential tools for faculty, even when they are on sabbatical leave. For this reason the college permits faculty on leave to continue to use their computer during that period. Computers will be provided to faculty replacements from a pool of computers designated for this purpose.
Computers are not to be purchased from departmental operating budgets. Only special funds designated for computer replacement or equipment purchases may be used for this purpose. The officers of the college approve such funds. Certain departments or individuals obtain grants or have special budget allocations for computing equipment. Computers purchased with these grants or budget allocations will not be on the replacement plan unless approval is obtained from the officers at the time the grant is received or the budget is allocated.
Hamilton College employees can borrow a Windows laptop computer for up to seven consecutive days for uses related to college business. These computers are enabled for wireless and high-speed internet access. Reservations are required, and should be made at least two business days in advance. For more information, or to make a reservation, call the LITS Help Desk 315-859-4181 or email: email@example.com
All college computers are maintained in a central inventory. At the time a computer enters the inventory the replacement cycle, if any, is designated. Computers that are an integral part of a piece of scientific equipment, or are used primarily for research purposes, are not generally part of the replacement plan. Replacement of such equipment is by a special request to the Dean of the Faculty. Old equipment is sold for residual values through Hamilton's official salvage process and must be returned to LITS.
Individuals pursuing grants for computing equipment should discuss their plans with the Manager, Desktop Integration Services as part of the budgeting process. Computing equipment that is acquired under grants will enter the inventory and be upgraded on a regular replacement cycle only if approved at the time of the application for the grant.
Faculty members teaching in various special curricular programs are, under certain conditions, awarded research, or startup, funds. Some faculty members also have research funds available to them when they hold endowed chair positions. These funds may be used to buy additional computers and printers for office or home use, but the equipment will belong to the college. Such equipment should be ordered through the College purchasing process and will not normally be upgraded or replaced by the college, except through further use of research funds. If this equipment is to be on the computer replacement plan the faculty member must obtain a commitment, in writing, from the Dean and the Vice-President for Administration and Finance indicating this. Otherwise, the equipment will not be on a replacement cycle.
The college provides networked printing locations for workgroup clusters in every department. Individual desktop printers are not normally provided. Other peripheral pieces of equipment such as scanners are also generally provided in clustered locations instead of individual offices. Since these pieces of equipment are usually used intermittently, clustering allows sharing of specialized technical resources.
Each employee is responsible for taking reasonable safety precautions in regard to Hamilton-owned computer equipment. Employees will be held responsible for damage to such equipment arising out of their negligence or intentional misconduct.
For computer equipment on the replacement plan, LITS staff members consult with users prior to ordering and installing new equipment to determine the current and anticipated equipment needs. Computers that are replaced are returned to LITS. LITS then reassigns the computers or sells them through the campus salvage process. Hamilton will not upgrade non-Hamilton computers.
When you retire, the hardware and software that is owned by the College must be returned. LITS staff will help you transition your technology needs to a personally-owned computer. We can advise you on the purchase of a new computer and the software to meet your needs and will help you set up your new computer. In addition, we will assist you in transferring files from your college computer to your personal computer. We will also review with you the status of your email and network accounts and your access to other College resources managed by LITS (e.g. library databases, mass email).
As the needs of each individual vary, we ask that you schedule an appointment and plan for a 30 minute meeting with us. More than one meeting may be required, especially if you need assistance transferring your data. If your situation includes the purchase of a new computer we ask that your initial meeting with us be at least two months before your retirement date.
To schedule a meeting, please contact a member of LITS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-859-4181. During the academic year, please call between 8:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. During the summer, our hours shift to 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.