Keeping up with the advances in computer technology is a never-ending struggle. No matter how much money an institution spends on computer equipment, that equipment is eventually out of date. Our University is not immune to these struggles.
Previous efforts to standardize specific computer hardware have met with some success, but budgets have restricted the purchase to only a few computers per department per year. The result of this restriction has been a mixture of hardware and software that has inhibited the ability to use technology efficiently. The Computer Replacement Program is an effort to counteract this trend through centralized management of institutional computer resources and standardization of the desktop computing environment.
The Computer Replacement Program will be evaluated annually and revised as necessary. This evaluation is accomplished through information collected through administration of the program, feedback from program participants, external vendor and industry sources, and institutional priorities.
The overall goal of the program is to ensure that computing resources on campus are up-to-date and available to all staff and faculty. The goals of the Computer Replacement Program are to:
The Computer Replacement Program was originally developed by the Information Services Staff as the Three Year and Out Program. It was renamed the Computer Replacement Program. We have completed the first phase of replacing machines campus wide. We began the second phase in 2006.
The initial phase of the program began in June 2002, and was budgeted in the amount of $250,000. Schedule placement in the program was determined by age of departmental computers.
Computer Resource Standards
The specifications for standard computing resources are developed each year by Information Services. All faculty and staff will be given a standard configuration desktop. Faculty members may choose laptops. Staff members who travel regularly for work-related reasons may also choose a laptop.
The following specifications will be developed and the will be published each year:
Configuration Enhancements (Upgrades)
Beginning with the standard configurations, departments may select (at their expense) predefined enhancements to the standard configuration.
These upgrades must be specified when a platform (PC or Macintosh) is selected, and are funded by the department. Because computers with configuration enhancements deviate from the standard models, hardware repairs may result in a greater than normal turn-around time, since like hardware may not be available for system exchanges.
In the event that standard equipment does not meet a specific computer resource requirement, such as in the requirement for a specific hardware platform or a required LCD display, the department may request an exception to the standard. Exceptions must be funded by the department, and are granted on an as-needed basis at the discretion of the department head or dean.
The program seeks to provide adequate technology for employees. It is generally expected that equipment will be replaced once every three years. The volatility of the computer industry and system prices may require lengthening this lifecycle. As such, it is difficult to say definitively that a three-year cycle will be strictly observed.
Provided that they require computing resources in their position, the following individuals are eligible to participate in the Computer Replacement Program:
Once the computers that will be replaced have been identified, department heads responsible for those areas will be notified that equipment has been targeted for replacement, and provided with a list of the currently available standard configurations. The Director of Technology Support Services will meet with each department head to discuss orders and scheduling of replacement.
Department managers are encouraged to discuss the standard configurations with the employee who will be using the equipment and to choose a configuration that will most effectively meet the business needs of the user.
The standard configurations include Macintosh and PC platforms, both of which are fully supported by the Technology Support Services. The choice between Macintosh and PC should be motivated mainly by the applications that are required. In the event all required applications are available on both platforms, departmental and personal preferences should be weighed.
The standard configurations include both desktop and laptop models. While desktop computers have higher performance, laptop models are highly portable. Technology Support Services provides full support for both. The following guidelines should be used to assist in the choice of equipment:
Computers are purchased by Information Technology. They are charged against the CRP budget. Enhancements are charged to departmental budgets. The computers are delivered to the Hardware department. They will install the standard image and process the computers for campus use, which includes recording serial numbers and assigning asset numbers.
At their own expense, departments may purchase additional accessories from Information Technology. Several common accessories and their estimated prices are included on the web page.
Computing resources placed through the Computer Replacement Program are installed by Technology Support Services on a priority basis. Every effort will be made to provide a flexible installation schedule that causes minimal workflow interruption.
Redeployment and Disposal
Computers that have been replaced will be disposed of by Information Technology. They will be sold at an on-campus auction held twice a year. To receive a new machine, users must turn in a functional machine. Removing upgraded components will most often render the machine non-functional. Computers are received as-is. They will be sold. See the ACU Computer Auction for more information.
All net revenues recovered from the sale of used computing resources will be returned to the CRP Fund for future purposes.
Abilene Christian University neither condones nor tolerates the unauthorized copying of licensed computer software by employees or students. The unauthorized use of software is a violation of Federal Law, and may expose the individual and the University to legal processes. The University must adhere to its contractual obligations and comply with all copyright laws, and expects each member of the Abilene Christian University community to do the same. Anyone who violates this policy may be subject to internal discipline and could possibly face additional civil or criminal liability.
If you have any questions about whether particular activities are permissible or violate this policy, please contact the Helpdesk at Ext. 4357 before proceeding.
Service and Support
The Helpdesk is available for call-in and walk-in assistance during hours. Emergency assistance can be obtained 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by calling the Helpdesk at Ext. 4357, or from off-campus, 325-674-4357, and following the voice mail prompt.
Initial requests for attention should be directed to the Helpdesk. Occasionally, the problem can be resolved over the phone. If necessary, the Helpdesk Technician will enter a work-order to have a Computer Support Specialist come and inspect your computer.
The Helpdesk is located on the main floor for the Library in the Learning Commons.