ITS Workstation Refresh Policy

1.   Overview

The University of Akron (UA) Information Technology Services (ITS) department is committed to managing its technology resources in an organized, deliberate, and cost-effective manner.  

2.   Purpose

Adequate computer hardware is essential to the delivery of instruction in today’s education landscape.  The ITS department must maintain a well-managed, systematic, program for addressing technology life cycles.  This includes upgrading and replacing aging computers, peripherals, and other technologies.  This policy outlines the ITS workstation refresh plan.

3.   Scope

This policy applies to the primary device for all UA, full-time, faculty and staff at all UA campuses.

4.   Definitions

  • Classroom Computers – Computers that reside in classroom areas for instructional use.
  • Lab Computers – Computer equipment used in computing labs and other general, shared, use areas across the university.
  • Legacy Equipment – Primary devices and peripheral equipment that has been refreshed by ITS.
  • Peripheral – Equipment that is used to augment the primary device. Examples include, but are not limited to cameras, keyboards, mice, etc.
  • Primary Device – The workstation, provided by ITS, that is intended to be the primary computer resource for completing work-related activities.
  • Secondary Device – A workstation provided by the employee’s department or a grant, that the employee uses in addition to, or instead of, the primary device provided by ITS.

5.   Policy

  • ITS provides each employee with a single primary device.  ITS will manage the life cycle replacement for primary devices.
  • Devices purchased by the department or any funding source other than ITS are considered secondary devices.
    • ITS does not manage the replacement of secondary devices.
    • The department or other funding source shall manage replacement of secondary devices.
  • Standardization of Technology
    • ITS has a standard workstation build for the university that meets or exceeds standard computing requirements for the typical workloads of the university.
    • In situations in which the standard workstation build is not suitable for a UA employee, exceptions may be made.   Such purchase requests should be minimized as much as reasonably possible. 
      • The purchase request for non-standard technology components must be justified by the existence of special circumstances that require it, and include approval from the requester’s supervisor. 
      • The requester’s department will be responsible for any costs that exceed the cost standard workstation build.
      • In rare situations, a non-standard technology may exceed ITS’ support capabilities.  In these instances, the requestor will be required to provide documentation on what support is required, how the technology will be supported and how support will be paid for.
  • Refresh Plan
    • Primary Devices
      • Standard Build
        • This category of device includes all faculty and staff workstations using ITS’ standard workstation build.
        • These devices shall be replaced every five (5) years from the date of issuance.
        • In very rare instances, there may be cases in which the five (5) year replacement cycle cannot be met.  In these instances, ITS will communicate with the individuals and/or departments affected detailing why the fresh cycle cannot be met and what the mitigation plan is until the refresh can take place.
      • Non-Standard Build
        • This category of device includes any faculty or staff workstations not using ITS’ standard workstation build.
        • The life cycle for devices in this category will vary depending on the type of device and its intended use but will generally be replaced five (5) years from date of issuance.
        • In very rare instances, there may be cases in which the replacement cycle cannot be met.  In these instances, ITS will communicate with the individuals and/or departments affected detailing why the fresh cycle cannot be met and what the mitigation plan is until the refresh can take place.
    • Peripherals
      • Monitors shall be replaced as needed based on normal wear and tear.
      • General peripherals such as keyboards and mice shall be replaced at the same time as the primary workstation or as needed based on normal wear and tear.
  • Out of Cycle Replacement
    • Primary devices may be replaced before the planned life cycle if either of the following conditions are met:
      • The workstation is out of warranty and repair is not feasible; or
      • There is adequate justification that the workstation does not meet the requirements for the employee’s job.
    • Requests for Out of Cycle Replacement
      • Requests for primary device replacement outside of the planned refresh cycle must be submitted in writing to the Director of IT Support Services for approval. 
      • These requests shall identify the user impacted and the justification for the replacement, as well as written approval by the requester’s supervisor. 
      • If requesting a non-standard technology, the request will follow the process identified in section 5.3(b) of this policy.
  • Return of Legacy Equipment
    • Individuals will have 30 days to return legacy equipment that have been refreshed to ITS.
    • If the legacy equipment is not returned to ITS within 30 days, the department will be charged the full price of the refreshed equipment.
  • Reallocation of Workstations
    • If an employee or department wishes to reallocate a primary device and/or peripherals, they must submit a support request to ITS requesting the reallocation.
      • The request must include who the device is being reassigned, a justification for why the reallocation is being requested, and identify if the reallocation is temporary or permanent.
      • Requests for temporary reallocations must include an end date.
      • If the reallocation request is for a student employee or temporary employee, the device shall no longer be considered a primary device and becomes a secondary device.  Refresh of secondary devices is the responsibility of the department.
    • No primary devices or peripherals supplied by ITS shall be reallocated without approval from ITS.
    • ITS must know who the device is assigned to at all times.

6.   Policy Compliance

  • Roles and Responsibilities
    • ITS is responsible for maintaining this policy, as well as maintaining the refresh program by supplying primary devices and peripherals in accordance with this policy.
    • Departmental employees are responsible for understanding this policy and adhering to the guidelines established herein.
    • The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for enforcement of this policy.
  • Non-Compliance
    • Anyone who knowingly violates this standard may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action or sanctions.
  • Exceptions
    • Exceptions to this policy shall be submitted, in writing, to the CIO.
    • Written requests for exception shall include substantiated justification documenting the need for the exception.

7.   Related Documents

University Rule 3359-11-10: Acceptable Use Policy
University Rule 3359-11-10.3: Information Security and System Integrity Policy
ITS: Data Access Policy
ITS: Secure Access and Data Storage Standards

8.   Policy History

Approval Authority: Chief Information Officer
Policy Manager: Chief Information Security Officer
Effective Date: 03/27/2023
Prior Effective Dates: NA
Review Date: NA

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