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Technology Replacement Policy

Download a PDF version of the Technology Replacement Policy (PDF).

Purpose

This policy establishes guidelines for the centralized budgeting, procurement, support, and disposal of University technology hardware assets including computers, audiovisual equipment, and telephones. The goals of the policy are to:

  • Establish guidelines for the equitable and appropriate provision of University technology assets and ensure that University-owned technology equipment is replaced with a consistent life cycle that provides reliability and well-performing devices for offices, labs, and classrooms
  • Mitigate institutional risk by ensuring proper security measures are taken when replaced assets are retained for stock, repurposed internally, donated, or recycled as waste
  • Serve the mission of the University with good stewardship of resources and commitment to community outreach and service
  • Establish an institutional funding model that will ensure these goals are met

Benefits

The benefits of centralized management of University technology equipment replacement includes but is not limited to:

  • Ensuring faculty, staff, administrators, academic classrooms, and laboratories have adequate, well maintained and dedicated technology assets to accomplish their responsibilities
  • Consolidating technology hardware purchases with preferred vendors, to reduce costs and enable select purchasing contracts that include service and warranty support
  • Standardizing models to reduce costs associated with provisioning and supporting technology types
  • Centralizing recordkeeping, to facilitate better provisioning, replacement, and retirement processes associated with University technology hardware

Section 1 – Computer Procurement and Replacement

This section applies to UIW laptop and desktop computers, regardless of how the equipment is funded. In the context of this policy, a “computer” is defined as a complete working computer packaged system. A packaged system includes a laptop with a single separate monitor, keyboard and mouse, a desktop all-in-one device with a keyboard and mouse, or a desktop packaged with an accompanying monitor, keyboard, and mouse. A computer package in the context of this policy does not include e-book readers, printers, other peripherals (including scanning devices), external memory, external disk drives, additional monitors purchased beyond a “packaged system” or software. It also does not cover unique special-use technology gear such as connected scientific lab technologies, broadcast media equipment, meteorology tools, and other single program items.

Provisioning Computers

The University provides one computer for work purposes to each full-time employee who needs dedicated computing capability. Computers are also installed in computer labs, classrooms, conference rooms, and other shared workspaces. The University may provide computers to parttime employees, in shared workspaces, or for student worker positions with a defined need for computing capability otherwise unavailable. Repurposed computers from inventory stock may be used to fill the need for shared computing spaces.

Employees who receive computers will be issued a standard laptop bundle (choice of Windows or Mac) unless otherwise requested by a dean, director, or divisional vice president. The laptop bundle provides stationary “desktop-like” computing while working in a fixed location and adds an element of flexibility to allow employees to continue working from any site in the event of any contingencies.

The University may also provide additional computers (e.g., a computer for specialized needs) if approved by the divisional vice president, academic dean, or director/budget manager. Requests for additional computers must be made within standard UIW budget timelines outlined in this document or be funded through excess departmental funds. The central computer budget has a small amount reserved for contingencies, but this amount is not enough for large out of cycle purchases (e.g., a new lab) or secondary and special-use computers. If not previously budgeted and the central computer budget is exhausted, requests will be delayed into the next fiscal year.

Information Technology will maintain a centralized inventory system of University computers. Requests for new computer purchases should be submitted to the Technology Purchasing and Logistics Coordinator. Detailed instructions will be provided each year during the replacement cycle.

Standard vs. Nonstandard Computer Systems

Computer purchases will be made with the University’s preferred supplier(s) and conform to a set of standard models that will be updated and published annually. The following exceptions apply:

  • Faculty whose teaching and research responsibilities require an alternative to the standard configuration (must be approved by an academic dean)
  • Administrators and staff whose specific technical, environmental, or functional job responsibilities require an alternative to the standard configuration (must be approved by the divisional vice president or director/budget manager)

Additional costs incurred beyond the current year’s standard bundle budgeted amount will be the responsibility of the office requesting the nonstandard configuration. For example, if the standard laptop bundle costs $1,500 and the nonstandard request costs $2,000, the requesting office would be responsible for the extra $500 in cost.

Computers purchased with University funds, including grant-funded purchases, remain the University's property until officially retired from inventory and donated, or disposed of according to University policy.

Replacing Computers

Generally, University computers will be replaced every four years. A computer that has a failure that is beyond repair within the four-year cycle, which our support team cannot repair, will be replaced at the time of failure. In some cases, an academic computer laboratory may be replaced every three years if the academic program's nature requires more recent computer models (e.g., computer animation laboratory). The funding for specialized labs such as these may need to remain within academic or department budgets. The procurement of the devices will be coordinated in accordance with this policy.

Computers older than four years but less than six years will only be used for “non-production” requirements. Non-production requirements are those functions that are not vital to the day to day operations of an office. These machines have limited support. If they fail, the computer will be immediately recycled, and replacement with another computer is not guaranteed. Computers that are required for day to day use must be part of the four-year refresh program.

Retiring Aged Computers

Computers of an age less than six years may be repurposed in consideration of further use for a period not to exceed a device age of six years. Computer equipment that is replaced with new equipment must be returned to IT for processing, without exception. Hard drives will be processed using current Department of Defense data drive standards. According to the following order of priority, computers will be:

  • Returned to general stock for repurposed future use by the University
  • Donated to a non-profit organization through the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and in keeping with the University’s mission of service, or;
  • Responsibly recycled as waste

Computers more than six years in age are deemed unsuitable for continued use and, therefore, will be recycled as waste.

Faculty retiring with emeriti status are permitted to take personal ownership of their office computer and, thus, retain possession of the device and contact the Comptroller’s Office to transfer ownership. The Comptroller’s Office will, thereafter, notify the Technology Purchasing and Logistics Coordinator of the change so that he/she may update the University’s computing inventory records.

Funding University Computers

University computers will be purchased using a centralized budget managed by Information Technology. A central inventory will also be managed that details each computer's location, assigned user, use, and age. The centralized computer purchase budget will be developed each year in coordination with University departments to account for employee and general lab replacement computers meeting the replacement timeline. Additionally, the central budget will account for replacement equipment and contingency units.

  • Grant or Contract Funded Purchases: Computers acquired using grant or contract funds will be purchased using the same guidelines and vendors as other University computers, unless there is cause for an exception as outlined in the Standard Vs. Non-Standard Computer Systems section above. For ongoing grants or contracts, departments should work with IT to include funds for replacement equipment into the central computer budget. If grant or contract funds are no longer available to replace or maintain equipment, institutional funds will be used if it is determined that the equipment needs to be sustained for the University. If the equipment is no longer required to be sustained for the University purpose it was sourced for, it may be retired from use as outlined in the Retiring Aged Computers section above.
  • Dissertation Funds: Dissertation funds are not an approved funding source for new computers. Any requests to use dissertation funds for tablet/mobile computing devices must be submitted to and approved by the Grants Accounting Office.
  • Departmental Purchases for Other Technology: Departments purchasing other technology items such as iPad devices, scanners, and other hardware, should send requests through the Technology Purchasing and Logistics Coordinator to ensure purchase is in compliance with University vendor contracts and agreements and that the IT Department can provide support.

Lost or Stolen Computers

In the event a computing device is lost or stolen, the user should follow the UIW Lost or Stolen Asset Procedure published on the IT website.

Section 2 – Audiovisual Equipment Procurement and Replacement

This section applies to UIW centrally managed audiovisual equipment. The University supports an audiovisual equipment suite in most classrooms and a variety of digital display solutions such as televisions in common areas and other locations across campus. This policy does not apply to specialized audiovisual tools such as athletics broadcast equipment, communication arts broadcast systems, and similar specialized use tools.

Replacing Audiovisual Equipment

To ensure proper maintenance and adequate support, audio visual equipment will be replaced on a five-year cycle. Certain components and individual items may need to deviate from this time frame to ensure ability to fully operate to latest technical specifications and standards. Items included in the refresh include:

  • Digital display units and televisions
  • Projectors (classrooms, meeting rooms, etc.)
  • Audio visual control units (Crestron panels, etc.)

Standard vs. Nonstandard AV Setups

Audiovisual equipment purchases will be made through the University’s preferred supplier(s) and conform to a set of standard models that will be updated and published annually. The following exceptions apply:

  • Configurations whose technical demands and setup merit a different approach for academic and support reasons (must be approved by an academic dean, division manager or budget owner)

Additional costs incurred beyond the current year’s standard audiovisual equipment budgeted amount will be the responsibility of the office requesting the nonstandard configuration.

Funding University Audiovisual Equipment

University audiovisual equipment will be purchased using a centralized budget managed by Information Technology. A central inventory of equipment will also be managed that details the location, use, and age of managed audiovisual assets. The centralized budget will be reviewed and updated on a yearly basis in coordination with University departments to account for new requirements, replacement in accordance with replacement timelines, contingencies, and any other change that will impact the budget in the coming fiscal year.

Section 3 – Telephone Procurement and Replacement

This section applies to UIW telephone equipment and service. The University provides telephone handsets and telecommunication service to full-time employees who require such functionality as part of their job responsibilities. Telephones may also be provided to part-time employees, student workers, common use areas, and other locations that require the ability to make calls.

UIW telephone handsets including conference phones must be compatible with the University’s telecommunication provider without exception. Phone handsets that are not centrally procured are not approved and will not be supported. Requirements for special 3rd party devices such as a unique conference phones or additional phones must be coordinated with IT in advance. The costs of the devices will be the responsibility of the requesting office while the service charge will be built into the central telephone budget.

Any third-party telecommunication services such as bulk dialers, enterprise texting, or other nonstandard services should be coordinated with IT before purchase. UIW IT may not be support services that are not coordinated in advance.

Funding University Telephones

University telephone handsets and corresponding telephone service (long distance, international calling, faxing, & individual line texting) will be provided from a centralized budget. International calling is not enabled by default and must be requested and approved on a per person basis by the dean or department head. The centralized telephone budget will be updated on a yearly basis in conjunction with University departments to account for current requirements as well as additional or replacement equipment and contingency handsets. Telephone handsets are long term use items that will be replaced on a need basis and not on a routine schedule. Hands free headsets and other peripherals are not included in the telephone budget and would be the responsibility of the requesting office.

Section 4 – Applicability and Timelines

Applicability

This policy applies to University offices, employees, and programs. It governs the purchase and replacement of technology hardware including computers, audiovisual equipment, and telephones. University managed high schools will follow similar standards but will be budgeted separately. Requests for technology outside of the standard configurations established in this document will be the budgetary responsibility of individual departments, schools, or budget owners. For example, this includes computer hardware other than workstation bundles (secondary monitors, storage devices, imaging devices, etc), supplemental software, additional audiovisual equipment, or extra telecommunications items such as specialty conference phones. Further guidelines on requesting supplemental hardware and software are published on the UIW Information Technology intranet page.

Timelines

The procurement and replacement of technology equipment and hardware will follow a schedule that allows for accurate budget forecasting, timely distribution of new equipment and the removal of outdated devices. General timeframes will apply each year with specific information published on the IT website.

  • September – October: In conjunction with each University department, IT will conduct an annual
  • inventory of technology equipment and hardware to verify devices, assess current state and plan for the upcoming budget and replacement cycle.
  • November: IT will provide detailed equipment (computers, projector, etc) reports to offices that
  • are scheduled for replacement in the upcoming fiscal year. Additionally, IT will provide a “sixyear and older computer” report to offices. Six year and older machines will be reclaimed at the end of the fiscal year. If the older system now serves a critical function, the office will work with IT to budget for replacement through the computer refresh program.
  • January: The technology equipment replacement list is finalized and centralized budgets for
  • computer, audiovisual, and telephone for the upcoming fiscal year are developed. Hardware not included in planning lists at this point will not be included in funding calculations.
  • March – April: Employees with equipment eligible for replacement submit their selection via
  • online web form.
  • Late May: Replacement equipment is ordered.
  • June – August: New equipment is distributed and installed and old equipment is removed.