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Principles of Computer Distribution

Principles of Computer Distribution

IT is dedicated to providing all faculty and staff with up-to-date information regarding the current budget process. If you have any questions contact your IT Support Specialist or Liaison.

Computing Hardware Upgrade and Replacement Planning

As part of its strategic planning efforts, the Division of Information Technology has established a cycle and a process by which personal and laboratory computing hardware is upgraded and replaced. Currently, the College owns and maintains approximately 2,200 personal or laboratory (desktop or laptop) machines. Our goal is for the College to purchase enough machines each year to replace or upgrade somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of the active machines. (The exact percentage will depend in part on decisions about specific computing laboratories and classrooms.)

As you may know, in the past new machines have been allocated primarily to general purpose laboratories and classrooms. Consistent with the College’s commitment to its students, we have given these areas priority. However, computing power is now increasing at a rate that outpaces most software developments. Most of the software that students and faculty use can be run quite well on several generations of machines. The current generation offers more speed than most all of our applications require. Therefore, it no longer seems necessary to upgrade the general purpose laboratories and classrooms every year. Rather, it seems important now to ensure that faculty and staff also have sufficient computing speed to handle the software applications most commonly used.

For these reasons, and after discussion with the Information Technology Advisory Council, the Planning and Priority Council, the Academic Leaders, and the Vice Presidents, we are recommending the following set of principles and processes for the allocation of computer equipment (replacements and upgrades).

All computers assigned to individuals will be upgraded on a 4 year cycle. There will be a yearly evaluation process to address special situations.

General purpose laboratories and computer classrooms will be upgraded on a 3 year cycle. There will be a yearly evaluation process to address special situations.

All general departmental equipment is generally lower end computers and will be upgraded each year as equipment permits.

Replacement plans will include a more frequent cycle for replacement of special situations. That does not mean, however, that some users will always have the highest power machine or even a machine with more speed than other user in a given year.

Newly hired faculty and staff will receive machines according to their specific needs. They will not necessarily receive a new machine, but they will receive a machine adequate to their needs.

TCNJ is primarily a “PC” shop. That is, of our 2,200 active machines, 2,000 are PC-type. We do support Macs as well. However, in the current marketplace, Macs and laptops cost approximately twice as much as a desktop PC. In order to stretch our computing dollars as far as possible, we will continue to purchase Macs and laptops based on legitimate requests/needs.

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