Ray Phillips, Director of Information Technology Services
Deadline: Friday, April 29, 2016
Decisions will be made during the next several weeks regarding the allocation of computer hardware to be distributed this coming summer.
For budget and planning purposes, this is the primary request period for computer equipment for the 2016-2017 academic year. There will be only limited opportunities in the fall and winter to have computer equipment needs evaluated and met, although urgent allocations may be available.
This year faculty members may be able to participate in the ITS Faculty Allocation iPad Program. We will allocate a limited number of iPads to faculty members who don’t already have one and do not have access to funds to acquire one. More details are available from your department requester.
The essential steps in the request and allocation process are as follows:
1. Each department identifies an individual to coordinate its requests. These individuals have already been selected by the departments and are listed at this link:
2. All computer hardware requests are coordinated by each department to ensure that the needs of all its members and programs are addressed, and that prioritization of those requests can be made. Individual requests should be forwarded to the person coordinating the department’s request.
3. The current hardware inventory is available to those persons making departmental requests on the web at the following link:
Requests for the coming year will be made on this inventory/request web page. Each member of the faculty and staff can continue to see their computer list used earlier in the inventory verification process, thereby assisting in communication with the request coordinator.
4. If you find errors in the inventory when you access the inventory/request page, please make a note of this in the “Remarks” line available after the piece of hardware in question. If you have any questions about the inventory, please contact Adam Nielsen (firstname.lastname@example.org, 4217) or Marc Cote (email@example.com, 4229).
5. Requests for changes to existing workstations (replacements and upgrades) must be made on the inventory/request web page. This is done via a set of checkboxes, with space available for you to enter comments. New stations, as opposed to upgrades or replacements, will be very limited and will require justification.
6. We no longer specify automatic replacement of computer hardware after a certain number of years. Will your computing equipment meet your needs for the upcoming year? If your answer is no, make the request and include details if possible about what you need. We review every request and will work with you to make sure your needs are met.
7. Each time the department request coordinator visits the inventory/request web page, the request information is loaded from the database. Each time the request information is submitted, this information is updated in the database. Thus, you can visit repeatedly, each time updating your requests until April 29. Whatever information is in the database at the end of the day on April 29 will be used for the allocation decisions!
8. This item is very important: every year we encounter situations where someone has been overlooked in the request process and no computer has been planned for them. Every person’s needs must be included, even if a search for a candidate is still going on or even if the search has not yet begun. If you do not know what will be needed for a person, request a new station, make your best guess as to what will be needed, and tell us in the comment field what date the position is likely to be filled and we will coordinate with you later in the year. Don’t wait until later to make a request or a computer may not be available for the arrival of the new hire.
9. Please remember that allocations are to individuals and to particular labs or other facilities and that when a person leaves the College their allocated computer comes back to ITS for reallocation, if appropriate. Reallocation within a department may not occur unless approved in this request process. A major reason for doing this is to preserve confidentiality of information on computers allocated to individuals. The needs of a person newly hired are evaluated on their own merits in making allocations. The needs of people newly hired are not included in the limitation in number of “new stations” added during the allocation process.
10. Include the needs of those who are returning from sabbatical and other leaves.
11. Include the needs of faculty members going on sabbatical leave. Continued allocation of computer hardware and software is normally expected for those going on sabbatical leave but not necessarily other kinds of leave, where approval will be required. If a faculty member has special requirements during the sabbatical leave beyond their normal allocation, these should be included in this request process.
12. Windows computers distributed this year will be Windows 10. Except in departments where support is already in place, Linux is unavailable.
13. Specialized software for Windows systems being requested as a replacement for a Mac must be included in the remarks box.
14. If major upgrades or a switch to a new operating system (e.g., Macintosh to Windows) are being requested, include a very brief programmatic assessment of the overall impact of the changes being requested. Particular attention should be paid to shared resources within and between departments.
15. Remember that the deadline for your department’s requests is Friday, April 29.
16. Preliminary allocation decisions will be made available to departments in early May for review and possible minor adjustment. Information about the distribution schedule will be made available then as well.
ITS will be purchasing over 500 new computers. A limited number of used computers will be available for reallocation as replacements for even older computers and for allocation to faculty and staff on one or two year appointments. As in the past, we are not advising Mac users to switch to Windows unless there is a compelling reason for investing the significant effort that will be involved.
For both Macintosh and Windows upgrades there is no need to specify requirements unless there is something unusual about how the computer is used. As usual, almost all of the new computers purchased by the College this summer will be of one standard desktop and one standard notebook (for both Mac and Windows), with only a few more advanced computers where clearly justified. This strategy works well because this year’s standard computer is more advanced than last year’s special, advanced, expensive computer and provides a larger number of new computers to be purchased.
Rurik Spence and his PC Support Services group are available for consultation as you develop your requests and to answer any questions you may have. In addition to Rurik’s group, faculty may consult with Jason Parkhill, Director of Academic ITS, or me for advice.
For most people, what is required about once every four years is a standard replacement computer (faster, more storage, more memory, more media capabilities, etc.), or a switch to a notebook computer from a desktop computer or vice versa. Simply requesting “Upgrade Needed” on the form indicates replacement with the significantly more capable current model. If there are special requirements, these should be noted and consultation may be needed.
Requests for a notebook computer to replace a desktop model will again be closely examined and a compelling justification will be required. Unfortunately, the cost of a notebook computer appropriately configured for use at Colby is significantly higher than that of a basic desktop computer, making the cost of portability very high.
General Policies on Allocations
There are some general priorities and policies that can help guide you in your own prioritization of requests.
1. Macintosh OS X and Windows 10 will be the College standards on new machines.
2. Generally, there is only a single College computer allocation to each individual staff or faculty member. There will not be an opportunity to be allocated both a desktop computer and a notebook computer, for example. However, the configuration of a notebook computer, if allocated, will make it comparable to a standard desktop computer through the addition of a flat panel display, external keyboard and mouse for ergonomic reasons.
3. Computers and other equipment purchased with grant, endowed chair, department or other funds are not eligible for upgrades or replacement through this allocation process without prior approval. It is strongly recommended that when a grant proposal is being developed to purchase computers to be used extensively by students, that the Dir. of ITS be involved to determine whether future replacement can be incorporated in the regular ITS-funded replacement cycle instead of having to obtain external funds for replacements. Likewise, a request to include computers previously purchased using non-ITS funding in the ITS-funded replacement cycle may be similarly submitted. Because of the long term cost of replacements, approval will require significant justification, including documentation of direct student use in the academic program. The Academic and Administrative Vice Presidents will review the request and the ITS recommendation prior to making a decision.
4. All computers, computing devices (including iPads/iPods), or software purchased using any College funds must be purchased through ITS and included in the College inventory, and will be supported, repaired and maintained by ITS. If you have questions about a purchase, please contact the ITS Purchasing Technician at 4201.
5. Priority in allocations for academic areas are: (1) activities directly involving students, (2) faculty activities involving the curriculum, (3) scholarly activity of the faculty, and (4) administrative activities of the faculty.
6. Priorities in allocations for administrative areas: (1) enable high priority tasks within the department, (2) increase efficiency and/or productivity, and (3) other needs.
7. Hardware needs arising throughout the year should be communicated through the request coordinator to who. It may be possible to make additional allocations of upgrades during the year.
8. If you have questions about this overall process, please send me e-mail (Ray.Phillips@colby.edu) or call me (4209). For advice on what or how to request, contact Rurik.