Policy for the Acquisition of Technology, revised 2012

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General Information

Centre College provides one computer to each employee whose job duties require such a unit, if that requirement is established by the employee’s supervisor. Also, computers are available for use by employees who, though they don’t require a unit for their primary responsibilities, need a computer to check e-mail, enter time for payroll and leave tracking, or fulfill other ad hoc duties as designated by the supervisor. Information Technology Services is responsible to maintain a current and adequate inventory of computing devices to supply the aforementioned computers.

Information Technology Services is also charged with the responsibility to oversee the acquisition process. The Director of ITS will work with supervisors and budget managers to determine the appropriate platform, operating system, and software applications for each user and shared environment. ITS will acquire, configure, and install all approved computers not only in employee offices but also as designated by CTL in laboratories and classrooms as appropriate. All technology acquired using College funds is the property of Centre College and will be formally processed into the College technology inventory.

Once an employee’s assigned unit ages out of its warranty period or becomes unable to operate efficiently in the software applications environment, the unit will be replaced with a new or newer, more robust computer. There is not a pre-defined time period after which units are automatically retired/replaced.

In order to assure quality and serviceability, the acquisition procedure detailed in this document will be applied to all requests.

Normal Technology Requests

Each year a portion of the existing inventory is replaced. ITS staff review the master inventory, identifying those units (computers, printers, and peripheral devices) eligible for replacement, and the ITS Director informs budget managers of those targets within their area of responsibility; for academic programs, the budget manager is the appropriate division chair. Budget managers then initiate formal requests to acquire new or replacement technology. Computers that interface with scientific measurement devices and equipment originally acquired using start-up funds are included in this category. These requests are initiated during the budget preparation cycle (normally February of each academic year).

The requests are submitted to the senior staff officer to whom the budget manager reports, who sends them to the Finance Office with her/his recommendation. The Finance Office then forwards all capital technology requests to the Director of ITS, who coordinates the acquisition process. The Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning provides guidance concerning requests that are specifically for facilities that support the instructional program. Acquisition usually begins following the Spring Term Board Meeting, at which time the overall College budget is finalized and capital technology funds are made available. The process continues through the summer with the goal to have all new/replaced equipment installed and functioning by the beginning of the academic year.

Emergency Requests

Emergency requests, which are the result of catastrophic failure of existing inventoried devices, are also the responsibility of the appropriate budget manager. S/he, on behalf of the individual or laboratory location, will notify the Director of ITS of the need to remedy the situation. ITS will normally hold a suitable variety of used machines as well as a small contingency fund in reserve to address these situations.

Extraordinary Requests

The College provides, under normal circumstances, a single computing unit for the employee’s use. Individuals may initiate extraordinary requests for additional hardware or software to support the requestor’s research and/or professional development activities. Any such request must include a precise description of the requested device/software, how it will be used, appropriate vendor/model/cost information, and a detailed justification for its necessity beyond the individual’s standard environment. The request is submitted using a form developed collaboratively by the Dean and the ITS Director. To facilitate the submission process, the ITS Director will designate a member of the ITS staff to work with the requestor to identify and recommend equipment and configurations that address the needs of the requestor but also fit well into the existing College technology environment.

The request must also provide the source of funds to cover the cost of acquisition, e.g. the account number of the enabling funds of an endowed professorship, the account number of any grant for which funds are specifically designated to support technology hardware and software acquisition, etc. The requestor then submits the request formally to ITS.

If the request includes a solution that is not compatible with our infrastructure or is not currently supported by ITS, then additional justification will be necessary. ITS will attempt to suggest a solution that will perform the same functions as what is being requested, but that is supported at the College. You will need to justify both how this alternative suggestion is not workable, and how your solution is essential to your teaching or scholarship. Approval for this purchase will be made by both the Director of ITS and the Dean of the College. If approved, the service and support for these acquired items will be the responsibility of the employee, and additional funds must be allocated for outside service and maintenance agreements. ITS will acquire the equipment using normal procedures, and charging the appropriate budget. As with other equipment and software purchased with college funds, these items will be part of the college inventory.

Once approved by both executives, ITS will acquire the equipment using normal procedures, ensuring that the appropriate budget is charged. Once received and, in the absence of any special support agreement, ITS will configure the unit as required. All units will be entered into the master College inventory and delivered it to the individual.

Special Technology Equipment

Requests for tablet computers, including iPads, will be supported for those individuals or departments with a justifiable pedagogical, administrative, or research need. These requests should come through the usual process of approval. Because these will not replace your one college-provided unit, justification for owning such a device must be compelling. If approved, ITS will assist the acquisition process using an agreed-upon source of College funds. Once acquired, the unit will become part of the College's inventory.

Mobile service contracts are not included as part the College’s ownership responsibility. The individual user, or the user’s department/program with approval, will be responsible for any charges related to acquisition of applications for the device or service contracts for cellular data plans.

Important Guideline

Employees are not to purchase technology items with personal credit cards or other personal resources and subsequently request reimbursement for their expenses. Individuals who acquire technology without following established policies and procedures will not be reimbursed for their purchases. They, and not the College, will own the equipment.