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Desktop Replacement Cycle

One fourth of all University desktop machines assigned to full time employees and those designated as mission critical are replaced each year according to a published inventory and original date of purchase. Replacement machines will conform to the University standard. If costs related to replacement of a non-standard computer exceed the per-unit cost of a standard machine, the additional cost must be borne by the department, program, or project which procured the original non-standard system.

A. Annual Desktop Computer Replacement Process for Full Time Employees

In the spring of each year, using a base value of $1200, a system including a new display, based on input and discussion in the Academic Computer Planning Committee, is configured and proposed to the VPAA and the committee. The selection of non-consumer professional systems guarantees the institution a consistent quality, durability, reliability, and serviceability of product. Included in each system is a minimum of a three-year warranty on all parts including the display. For this base value, CNS is able to configure the systems with a high level of features and performance levels so as to optimize the likelihood of achieving a full four years of utilization.

Once the system is configured and selected, CNS submits a bid to a vendor or vendors and requests a quotation of unit price based on a quantity order. The quantity order typically saves the institution approximately $100 per unit, thus maximizing the quantity of systems to be purchased. Concurrently with the system specification and unit price quotation, CNS generates a spreadsheet of all university employees who have an FTE value greater than zero from the institutional HR system. From CNS records of system deployments, each entry is then coded with the age of each person’s assigned computer. Next, a report is generated which sorts employees according to four classes: support, administrative, faculty, and graduate assistant. This report is then sorted by FTE value and age of machine assigned. Finally, the sorted report is circulated to all vice presidents with an indication that all full time employees who have a four-year old (or older) computer are scheduled to receive a new computer. Vice Presidents may respond to CNS if they wish to make adjustments to the planned distribution of replacements.

B. Yearly Replacement Process for Mission Critical Desktop Computer Systems

In the spring of each year, the inventory of mission critical systems, also referred to as the computer deployment list, is updated with previous year acquisitions and other changes where directed by the VPAA and/or President’s Senior Staff. Once updated, the total number of systems needing replacement is determined.

C. Funding Strategy for Annual Computer Replacement Process

With the various inventories and summations prepared, a proposal is developed and submitted to the VPAA prior to engaging in the purchase, delivery, configuration, and installation of replacement systems. In the context of a fixed budget, the cost of the mission critical systems are deducted from the total funds available for replacements, thereby leaving a sum for replacement of full-time employee computers. If the total cost of full time employee replacement systems exceeds the remaining budget, a source of one-time funds to “bridge the gap” is sought in order to complete the annual replacement cycle for that year. In the past, CNS has found bridge funds so that future years are adequately funded. Because we also engaged in a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) instead of CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) program, CNS stopped replacing displays on a yearly basis. This reduced the unit cost approximately $200 and allowed CNS to replace more systems than were scheduled during a given year. Even though LCD technology does last longer, the cost of new displays will ultimately need to be factored into the annual unit replacement cost. It is imperative that departments and offices which own computers not on the replacement cycle identify a funding source, other than this fixed budget, to replace their systems so that these systems remain current and operable.