Computer Replacement and Purchase Policy

December 2016


The purpose of this policy is to outline the process by which Wesleyan University acquires, replaces, and disposes of computer hardware equipment.


This policy applies to faculty and staff regarding the purchase of all computer equipment issued by the university regardless of university funding sources.

Computer Equipment Purchases for the University:

All computer equipment purchases must be coordinated with Information Technology Services before any purchases are made.  ITS maintains an inventory of computer assets owned by the University. 

Computer Replacement Cycle:

Full-time faculty and staff positions will be assigned only one primary computer. The computer assigned to a user as their primary system will be supported by ITS staff and covered under the computer replacement cycle. Those users with non-primary computers may either be upgraded out of the ITS computer redistribution pool or by other departmental funds. The general guidelines for replacement of primary systems are:

Faculty: Wesleyan purchases a computer (laptop/desktop) for each new tenure-track, tenured, or adjunct faculty member at the beginning of her/his appointment. While the computer remains the property of the University, the computer is dedicated to the exclusive use of the faculty member as long as s/he is employed at Wesleyan University. Replacement is on a four-year cycle from date of assignment.

Staff: Evaluation after four years from the date of computer assignment.  At this time, a machine may have core components upgraded, be replaced or deferred one year.   

Classrooms and computer labs:  Five years from the date of computer assignment.

Computers needed for part-time visiting faculty/staff, student worker positions, temporary positions, and machines needed for projects or other temporary uses will be furnished out of the ITS redistribution pool of computers.

Computers that are part of the ITS Computer Replacement Cycle will be replaced with a new standard computer of either platform.  Standards are reviewed annually.  Information Technology Services will also cover the costs of a new standard machine requested for a newly created position.

Standard Computer Configurations:

A standard configuration will be established by Information Technology Services on an annual basis. Any upgrades to the hardware configuration beyond the scope of the standard configuration will be charged to the requesting department.

Full-time faculty and staff (with the exception of administrative assistants) have the choice of a Windows or Macintosh laptop or desktop, based on a standard configuration.  In some cases, supervisors or departments may require a specific platform to conform to business processes.

Some faculty and staff members' teaching, research and professional work warrants computing power beyond the standard configuration. Upgrades and additional computers will be approved on the basis of need and the added costs must be funded from sources such as start-up funding, grants, departmental funds, etc. (the central budget only covers the standard configuration).

To request an upgrade, contact Academic Affairs or Desktop Support with a simple statement of the research/pedagogical need and the funding source (see procedure below). Once approved, the Desktop Support Specialist will receive authorization to manage the order and installation.

Pre-approval is also required to purchase peripherals that are already provided centrally by the University (we don’t allow printers or scanners (printers, scanners, copiers, etc.) as well as all other electronic mobile devices (iPods, iPod Touches, etc.).


To purchase computing equipment other than (or in addition to) the University's standard-issue machine, a faculty member must first send a request to Joy Vodak by email, prior to placing an order, that includes: 

  • A brief statement of the research and/or teaching needs that the upgrade or additional machine will fill. This step is required regardless of payment method (e.g., PCard, Computer Store charge) or funding source, (e.g., start-up funds, faculty research accounts, departmental endowments, grants, ploughback, etc.).
  • Identification of the source of funds and smartkey that will be used to pay for the equipment.

Once a request is approved and notification is received by your Desktop Support Specialist, your purchase must be made through the Wesleyan University Computer Store. All computers and peripherals purchased with University funds (i.e., any Wesleyan smartkey) must be purchased through the University's Computer Store. Making purchases through the Computer Store benefits Wesleyan overall through volume discounts, allowing us to purchase standard-issue machines at lower cost. The store provides competitive pricing, capital images/Wesleyan software, and offers competitive warranty and repair services. ITS staff are only required to support equipment purchased through the Computer Store.

Faculty may request an exception to this policy by submitting a request to Joy Vodak prior to purchase.

Return Upon Replacement/Refurbished Hardware:

Any staff replacement personnel will inherit the computer used by the previous holder of that position, unless that computer was purchased or has been in use for four years.

Computers must be returned at time a new replacement is provided.  ITS maintains a pool of refurbished hardware that is in heavy demand.  These refurbished machines are tracked in an inventory management system.  ITS must satisfy the demands of the entire campus with its refurbished pool.  Additionally, aging computers pose a security risk as operating systems become unsupported.  Desktop data is backed up and restored to replacement machines.  Beyond a brief transition window, there is no need to stockpile old machines. 

When a refurbished machine is requested, Desktop Support Specialists will have the machine re-configured and deployed for that purpose. 

Option to Purchase Upon Leaving

Desktop Support can assist in facilitating the purchase of your computer upon leaving the University.  The computer store will establish a buy-out price based on market value.  Computers are sold “as-is”. Any additional hardware upgrades will be additional cost.  Purchases are processed through Cardinal Technology Store.  Machines that are purchased must be wiped of University software by the Service Center.  This ensures that the University maintains license compliance.