Computer Inventory and Replacement Policy

Effective Date
Associate VP for Information Technology
Executive Leadership Team

I. Background

The Office of Information Technology is the sole provider of computing resources for the College.  All technology, including but not limited to computers/hardware, software, mobile devices, software-as-a-service, website hosting, networking, technology subscriptions and services of any kind, must be reviewed and purchased with approval from the Office of Information Technology.  

To maintain a sustainable service to the community, the following guidelines and principles will govern the computing devices used by the College’s employees.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to define how the college acquires, replaces, and disposes of computing devices (including but not limited to desktop computers, laptops, all-in-ones, tablets, etc.) for faculty and staff use.

The policy's primary objective is to ensure computing devices are replaced in an objective, equitable, sustainable, and transparent manner.  It also seeks to establish criteria by which computing devices are replaced based on the age of the device, the condition of the device and other contributing factors.

III. Scope

This policy applies to all full-time, part-time, temporary, and hourly employees and faculty and to the procurement of all computing devices/equipment by the College regardless of funding source or purpose.

IV. Centralized Computer Inventory

All college-owned computing devices are included in the centralized computer inventory for the purpose of recording, tracking, assigning, and managing the devices according to the college’s Appropriate Use of Technology policy and Information Technology Security Program. The centralized computer inventory and computer replacement process are managed by the Office of Information Technology. The Office of Information Technology is responsible for procuring all computing devices for all employees from funds allocated annually by the college for this purpose. No other area of the college may procure computing devices for its employees using other funding sources or budget allocations without prior approval from the Office of Information Technology.

The centralized computer inventory will consist of computing devices assigned to employees and an unassigned inventory pool. The unassigned inventory is maintained to fill the immediate needs of new employees and to replace devices that fail prior to the end of their useful life. The unassigned inventory has both new computing devices and used devices with sufficient useful life for re-assignment. Used devices are added to the unassigned inventory whenever an employee leaves the college.  To maintain a healthy inventory, all computing devices that are NOT assigned to a user as an approved primary or secondary device must be promptly returned to the unassigned inventory pool. Unassigned computing devices may not be allowed to connect to the college’s network or systems consistent with the Appropriate Use of Information Technology policy. (This does not apply to computing devices used in managed spaces, labs or attached to specialty systems.)    

V. Primary Computing Device

The Office of Information Technology will only assign one primary computing device from the centralized computer inventory for each employee position. Users that need a secondary computing device may follow the exception provide in Section X.

VI. Assignment of Primary Computing Device

Computing devices must not be swapped or re-assigned without approval from the Office of Information Technology. If an employee leaves a position, the computing device(s) associated with the position must be returned to the Office of Information Technology. To assess the state of all computing devices, keep them secured and ensure their timely replacement, the Office of Information Technology must evaluate and document all devices and accurately track the assigned user of each device.

VII. Replacement Cycles

Computing devices must be replaced at the end of their useful life or at a minimum every four to six years from the date of purchase (depending on the allocated budget). This is done for several reasons: to provide users with current devices, operating systems, software applications and sufficient performance to do their work; to protect the college’s systems from the security vulnerabilities in older devices; and to maintain a reasonable number of device configurations that can be well-supported.

VIII. Determining Computing Devices to Replace

Following the computer replacement process, the Office of Information Technology will engage in an annual replacement cycle by examining the centralized computer inventory to determine which computing devices need to be replaced. The Office of Information Technology will replace computing devices on a like-for-like basis. For example, if a user position is currently assigned a Windows desktop, it will be replaced with a new Windows desktop of a similar, standard configuration.

The computing needs of faculty and staff and the following factors will determine when a computing device is included in the replacement cycle.

Factors that will be considered in replacement planning include:

  1. The total available funding to replace computing devices each year.
  2. The overall demand for higher cost device configurations (i.e., increase in requests for exception to the standard configuration will result in the total quantity of replaced devices to decrease).
  3. The age of the device.
  4. The devices current level of functionality.
  5. The functions and performance required of the device based on the assigned user’s position needs.
  6. The availability of alternative used devices in the centralized computer inventory.
  7. The risk and liability associated with the device's functions or use (e.g., a device used for processing sensitive data or information or used to support critical college processes that is unable to run a supported or secure operating system would be prioritized over a similar device that doesn't access sensitive data, information, or systems and would result in negligible impact on college operations if it failed).
  8. The material or time costs associated with supporting and maintaining specific devices. This may include whether devices remain under warranty.

IX. Standard Computer Configurations

The Office of Information Technology determines and identifies a standard configuration for all computing devices available from vendor(s) on state of Washington master contracts. These configuration(s) and vendor(s) are evaluated annually for performance, security, pricing, and available options. The Office of Information Technology may change vendor, options, or standard configuration at its discretion. Standard configuration includes the types of operating systems and devices that faculty and staff are provided and may use.   

  • Full-time faculty will be provided either a Microsoft Windows computing device or an Apple macOS computing device based on their teaching needs.
  • Full-time administrative staff will be provided a Microsoft Windows device and are not eligible for Apple macOS computing devices unless a specific business need has been identified and approved by the employee's supervisor per Section X of this policy.

X. Exceptions

  • Staff requests for Apple macOS computing devices

Staff members requesting an Apple macOS computing device instead of a Microsoft Windows computing device must document the specific business need(s) that a Windows device cannot fulfill and obtain approval from their supervisor/Dean and the Associate Vice President for Information Technology. A typical example would be a position that regularly requires graphic design work or uses software requiring a macOS to function optimally.

  • Requests for Non-standard Computer Configurations

 If faculty or staff have needs that go beyond the standard configurations, they are required to document why a standard computer configuration is insufficient for the needs of the position and obtain approval from their supervisor/Dean and the Associate Vice President for Information Technology. If approved, the Office of Information Technology will consult with the user and their supervisor to select/procure an alternative device.

Any cost difference between the non-standard device and a standard configuration may need to be funded by the requesting work unit.

Accommodating non-standardized configurations often require additional staff time and resources. Consequently, non-standard computer configuration requests often cause delays in processing and fulfillment. In such cases, these requests may result in the employee's device replacement being pushed back to a later replacement cycle to provide the necessary time to address the unique challenges associated with non-standardized configurations.

  • Requests for Secondary Devices

Secondary computing devices will be provided for faculty and staff who have an approved Telework Agreement or approval from the position's supervisor/Dean and the AVP for Information Technology. Approval for secondary computing device(s) will be contingent on a secondary device's necessity to the essential functions of the employee’s position(s).

XI. Surplus & Disposal of Computing Devices

Computing devices and computer parts that can no longer be supported by the Office of Information Technology or are no longer supported by the manufacturer must be discarded. These computing devices are a security risk to the College and will be sent to Washington state surplus according to state law or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

XII. Applicable Policies, Procedures, Laws and Acts

Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources

Accessible Technology


Fixed Assets