Provisioning of Faculty/Staff Computers and Computer Replacements

Revised March 2012

Bryn Mawr College is dedicated to providing one computer or appropriate access to a computer for each employee with a work-related need. Those staff members with no work-related need may use public computers and kiosks around campus to access staff resources which may be available only online.

Computer Replacement Program

The College Computer Replacement Program supplies new computers to faculty and staff members as per the terms below.

Full-Time Faculty and Staff Provisioning and Replacement (formerly "Cascade")

Full-time permanent staff (or multi-year appointment), and, tenure-track, tenured and CNTT faculty are eligible to receive new computers. This fund provides one computer (and necessary peripherals where applicable) for primary use where job requires regular computer use. For those who do not qualify, computer provisioning is described in the section on "Other Computer Replacements" below
  • Computers are typically scheduled for replacement every four (4) years. If an individual seeks replacement prior to scheduled replacement, early replacement may be subject to a cost-sharing contribution.
  • A list of replacement models and options will be offered to those individuals with computers due for replacement each year. If job needs or faculty demands require a custom configuration, this fund contributes a value toward a supportable model which qualifies as a primary computer (varies from year to year), department, grant, or other funding supplies the remainder.
  • Staff members will be offered Windows desktops or laptops – Macs can be provided only as supported by specific job needs (e.g., graphic artists). Faculty members may choose either platform.
  • Staff members choosing a laptop may need supervisor or department head approval indicating that the selection is necessitated by job requirements.  This is especially true if choosing to replace a desktop with a laptop.
  • Laptops are not provided with docking station, new display or Keyboard/mouse. If these items are needed or desired, these are a departmental cost.
  • Selection of some models requires a contribution to be paid by department, grant, or research funds. Individuals will need to secure funding for upgrades to a standard computer model, peripherals for a laptop, or the contribution cost for some models.  contribution costs may vary from year to year; as of this writing, selection of any Mac laptop incurs a charge. These costs are solely based on the purchase prices relative to the other offered models.
  • If a staff member departs and the position is re-hired promptly, the new staff member will be expected to use the previous staff member's computer (or equivalent replacement) and will receive a replacement when that computer reaches the end of its scheduled life. If this equipment is not applicable for the new hire, the department should approach IS for a replacement; some replacements may incur a cost. Newly created positions may be offered new hardware, or available hardware which is still within its scheduled life as available and appropriate.
  • When a new faculty member is hired, his or her first computer is funded by the individual's start-up funds or other funds granted by the Provost. New faculty members are offered that year's standard hardware selections and information about this program.
  • Grant-sponsored fellows may be provided new, grant-funded computers if grant funds permit.  If no grant funds are available, they will receive "upgrade" computers (see below).  In either case, these return to IS for campus use after their departure.
  • When a faculty or staff member departs the College, his or her primary computer must promptly return to the central College equipment pool regardless of departmental contribution; these computers are re-used throughout the College. 
Please note that regardless of any early replacement, Mac laptop, or custom specification differentials paid by individuals or departments, the computers which are part of this program return to the central pool when replaced.  No personal funds can be accepted for cost differentials

Other Computer Replacements ("Upgrade" computers)

Visiting and interim faculty, part time and temporary staff, student workers, etc.  are assigned "upgrade" computers.   These are usually 3-4 years old and are replaced when they reach 6 years of age (sooner if stock is available).  The department may choose to pay for a new computer for temporary faculty, staff, or student workers if the one provided does not meet that individual’s needs see Departmental Needs.

IS works with the Provost's office on the office locations for visiting and interim professors and will remove computers when these are not inhabited. When a location is no longer in use, or a temporary or part time staff member leaves the College, the computer must promptly return to the central College equipment pool. These computers are not department equipment and may not be re-allocated without agreement from IS as these computers are part of a central pool that is used to meet needs throughout the College.

Before these computers are delivered, they are confirmed to be in good physical condition and working order, and are provided a fresh software configuration. 

Displays and Printers

The Computer Replacement Fund will provide a networked black and white printer for each work group in work locations that are not already serviced by a College-provided multifunction device (Copier/Printer). A "work group" is guided by factors such as number of college employees in a geographic space, distance between printers, presence of stairs, etc.  If a department or work group needs additional networked printers to meet department operational needs, these can be purchased through IS using department funds.

Networked printers are generally replaced at the end of their useful life. For planning purposes we are projecting that end of life for supported laser printers will occur at approximately 7 years or 1 million pages, whichever comes first although this will vary by model. Copiers are leased through the CAO's office and are replaced as per the lease cycle.

Displays are often replaced on the same cycle as computers (as above), but IS reserves the right to postpone the replacement of displays, and/or will sometimes ask those who feel their needs are being met by an older display to postpone requesting replacement.  Historically, there have been times when display technology has moved more slowly than that of desktop computers and displays have had a useful life of 5-8 years.