I. Scope

This policy covers computer and computer-related technology equipment issued to employees; general access computers (classroom, student computing labs, public access labs, special services, loaners, etc.); central servers supporting administrative and academic needs; and audio-visual equipment in classrooms.

II. Policy Statement

Information Technology Services (ITS) purchases, maintains, replaces, and upgrades computer and computer-related technology equipment used on campus for faculty and students. The purpose of this policy is to establish end user computing and replacement cycle standards. This policy will ensure Earlham College optimizes use of available resources and provides end users with adequate computing resources to accomplish the College’s strategic priorities.

When the College provides full-time employees with multiple computers, ITS will designate the laptop as the “primary” computer. ITS will consult with the faculty member, department convener, department or division head, and/or area Vice President as appropriate to validate and approve any exceptions to this designation. Exceptions should relate to specific faculty roles and remain largely static over time. ITS will inventory and track primary computers as part of the standard replacement cycle.

Earlham encourages employees to consult with ITS regarding both hardware and software needs, including technology purchases considered for any purpose. This will help ensure all technology purchases meet both faculty needs and campus standards, while also optimizing use of Earlham’s resources.

Computer and computer-related technology includes, but is not limited to:

  • Desktop and laptop computers in offices
  • Desktop computers and workstations in student computer labs, public use computer labs, and similar areas
  • Computers used to provide unique services and/or functions (e.g., kiosks)
  • iPad and tablet devices
  • Loaner equipment
  • Network equipment
  • Central servers supporting the administrative and academic needs of the College
  • Audio/visual and other electronic classroom equipment

III. End User Computing Standards

Earlham College provides laptop computers for full-time employees within the following framework:

  1. Earlham College will issue one laptop computer to each employee.
  2. Earlham will provide a standard laptop configuration as defined by ITS. The laptop will include up to two external monitors, a docking station (as needed), keyboard, and mouse.
  3. Earlham’s ITS website will list standard laptop configurations as well as other standard end user computing equipment.
  4. If a standard laptop configuration or a single device will not support the needs of a faculty/staff member, ITS will review and discuss functional requirements with the department convener, faculty and/or area Vice President to develop a sufficient, reasonable, and necessary configuration based upon current technology standards, and will leverage existing vendor purchasing agreements to acquire the equipment.
  5. Departments must fund the excess cost for approved exceptions to the standard configuration and/or additional equipment.
  6. Departments must fund the purchase of any other consumables or peripherals.
  7. Earlham College will assume ownership of the equipment, support the equipment, and include it in the technology inventory database.
  8. When faculty members become eligible for an upgrade, they must return their currently assigned device to ITS prior to receiving a new computer.
  9. Earlham’s President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Information Officer may authorize exceptions to these end user computing standards.

IV. Insurance

  1. In case of a computer damaged due to negligence, the College may charge the repair cost to the negligent employee.
  2. The College assumes no other responsibilities or liabilities than those listed here or required by applicable law.

V. Computer Replacement

  1. Employees – Information Technology Services maintains an inventory of primary computers issued to employees. ITS endeavors to replace primary computers every 4 years pending resource availability. ITS establishes primary computer standard configurations to meet the needs of most employees. ITS will replace failed computers as quickly as possible, primarily by maintaining a modest pool of spare equipment.
  2. ITS may upgrade an employee’s primary computer out of cycle due to hardware problems or specialized software needs.
  3. Classrooms and Labs – IT also endeavors to replace classroom and student-use computers on a 4-year cycle.
  4. Departmental Labs and Resources – ITS will regularly upgrade equipment used for departmental labs, faculty research labs, work-study students, and other department resources. Due to resource constraints, equipment used for these upgrades may be repurposed from other areas such as faculty, staff, classroom and/or lab upgrades.

VI. Software Replacement

Software used across campus falls into three broad categories:

  1. Operating System – Operating systems are programs that manage all other application programs on a computer (e.g., Windows, Mac OS X, Linux). ITS will fund annual maintenance for and consistently upgrade operating systems. ITS will only assume responsibility for upgrading College-owned computers. Earlham College’s ITS website will list currently supported operating systems.
  2. Standard Software – Standard software includes large scale enterprise applications that support the entire organization as well as personal productivity tools (e.g., Microsoft Office). ITS will fund annual maintenance for and consistently upgrade standard software applications. ITS will only assume responsibility for upgrading College-owned standard software on College-owned computers. Earlham College’s ITS website will list currently supported standard software.
  3. Academic (Discipline-Specific) Software – ITS does not directly fund most academic (or discipline-specific) software. Faculty members and/or departments must allocate appropriate resources to purchase and license these applications. Per the College’s IT Purchasing Policy, Earlham prohibits acquisition of unsupported software. Employees and departments who seek to acquire and use new applications must consult with ITS to gain approval and official support.

VII. Policy Review and Approval

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Chief Information Officer. Amendments will be adopted with the approval of the Chief Financial Officer.

Policy specifications

Last revision: 01/26/2024
Responsible office: Information Technology Services
Responsible party(ies): Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Approved by: Chief Financial Officer
Approval date: 01/26/2024
Effective date: 01/26/2024
Related policies: Acceptable Use Policy
Business Expense Policy
Employee Handbook
Associated division(s):
Associated audience(s):
Associated container(s):
Policy home: https://earlham.edu/policy/end-user-computing-policy