Computing Refresh & Replacement Guidelines

Active as of April 2018

The goal of this guideline is to outline the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) standards and practices for replacing the computing equipment provided to faculty and staff.

A process that regularly replaces equipment will minimize overall expenses and time that is devoted to problem solving by the HCDE Information Technology (IT) Department.

General Replacement Cycle

HCDE will follow a 4 year computer refresh cycle. Systems should have at least a 3-year warranty (potentially covered by a fee based extended warranty) and equipment should ideally last 4 years.

Faculty Replacement

Faculty will be allowed to choose a laptop or desktop computer model and manufacturer that meets their needs within a $3000 limit. If the faculty chooses a machine over $3000 the balance over $3000 can be covered on a university budget that would normally allow the faculty member to purchase equipment. The faculty member can also opt to allocate their computing refresh budget to other technology such as additional monitors, software, or a tablet.

This policy does not cover tablets nor server class equipment.

Faculty who have multiple systems will only be able to have one new computer replaced by the Department. The Department is only providing one new device during each refresh cycle. When replacing a computer, faculty may opt to continue using their old system as a backup or may request to have it follow the Replaced Equipment Recycling policy below.

Staff Replacement

Standard staff computing equipment will be a desktop computer selected by the HCDE IT Manager. The department standard is two monitors per desktop workstation. Staff may request to have one monitor.

During a replacement cycle, a staff member may request a laptop computer. However, laptops will only be issued if the job requires frequent mobility or work outside of the office. The IT manager will solicit input on the need for a staff laptop from the direct supervisor of the staff member requesting the laptop. If a laptop is issued a docking station may be requested for the employee’s workspace.

Replaced Equipment Recycling

Upon replacement, an older computer will be cleaned of data and re-imaged with a current operating system. Older equipment is available for use internally in this priority order:

  1. faculty research projects
  2. administrative special projects
  3. addition to the student check-out pool

Any unused systems may be donated to other departments on campus or sent to UW surplus.