Computer Replacement Program

Program Overview

Arts & Sciences employs a computer replacement program to provide routine replacement of faculty, staff, conference rooms, and classroom/lab computers. The intent of this program is to provide a reasonably robust computing environment for faculty and staff on campus while ensuring that the pool of computers in service remain reasonably supportable.  

A&S provides each faculty and staff member with ONE computer. That computer will be defined as the primary computer for the purpose of this replacement program. Faculty and departments can purchase additional machines from department funds, research accounts, grants (as applicable), or reserves.     

A&S periodically replaces primary computers based on the age of the machine, the capabilities of the machine, security reasons, and budgetary availability. Primary computers are replaced roughly every five years.   

Using the computer inventory compiled and maintained by A&S Computing, determinations will be made for replacement eligibility. Department Chairs and administrators, in consultation with their desktop support personnel, will request the replacements through the annual budget process. Primary computers assigned to faculty and staff that are below threshold will be strongly considered for replacement.   

To obtain optimal pricing, computers will be ordered in bulk by A&S Computing. This approach will allow for long-term viability of the computers and consistencies in support.   

Computers purchased for faculty and staff are the property of A&S. If a faculty member or staff member leaves the university, the primary computer, and any computer purchased with university funds, must be surrendered to A&S Computing. A purchasing option is available. 



The Computer Replacement Program applies to faculty and staff regarding the purchase of their primary computer issued by the university. The program also covers the replacement of computers located in computer classrooms, computer labs, and conference rooms.    

The Replacement Program does not cover shared generic departmental computers, laptops for department checkout, digital signage equipment, printers, or other peripherals. Replacements and repairs for these laptops, screens, printers, and peripherals are to be funded using departmental sources.  

Replacement of research computers is the responsibility of the department and/or the primary investigator using startup, research accounts, or appropriate grant funds.    


Computer Replacement Cycle

A&S periodically offers replacement of primary machines based on the age of the machine, the capabilities of the machine, security reasons, and budgetary availability. Machines are replaced roughly every five years. Accepting a replacement offer is elective (not mandatory), but acceptance is an agreement to all other terms of replacement.   

Exceptions to the program can be directed to Larry Kuykendall and Ken Keller.  


Computer Return Upon Replacement

A condition of receiving a replacement computer is the surrender of the replaced (old primary) computer to A&S Computing. These computers will be used at the discretion of A&S and may be used to upgrade student workers’ computers, outdated research computers, general department use computers, etc.  

When replacing a faculty or staff computer, A&S Computing will reclaim the machine being replaced and keep that machine’s data preserved for a minimum of (2) weeks to ensure successful transition. By default, the used disk drives of older devices will be retained intact for a period of less than 6 months before data is securely destroyed within industry best practices for the specific kind of technology involved (electron release, encryption, wiping, and/or physical destruction). Faculty may request data be wiped on a more rapid timeline.  


Option to Purchase Upon Leaving 

In nearly all cases, it is most advantageous to both the individual and the University for computers to be prepared for return to IT before final day employed in HR.  

However, A&S Computing can assist in facilitating the personal purchase of a faculty or staff member’s computer upon leaving the University. A&S Computing will establish a buy-out price based on current fair market value. Computers are sold “as-is”. Any additional hardware upgrades or peripherals will be additional cost. Purchases are processed through the A&S Dean of Faculty Office. 

All computers that are purchased must be wiped of all University software by A&S Computing.  This ensures that the University maintains license and information security compliance.  Please note that the university’s Microsoft licensing agreement might not allow ownership transfer for certain operating systems (like Windows).  A&S Computing and Washington University hold no responsibility of any kind to the devices once ownership is transferred.  

If When purchase is desired, the standard process for purchase requires that A&S Computing staff wipes all data, and applications, and operating system resetting the computer back to a default or new user state before releasing the asset. If a nonstandard approach is desired and more staff time is required to assist with any sort of additional transition of data or applications, additional hourly charges may apply to offset the additional costs involved.  

What kind of computers are available?

Standard Configuration

A&S Computing will establish standard configurations on an annual basis. Any upgrades or customizations to the hardware configuration beyond the scope of the standard configuration will be charged to the requesting department.  

Two standard configurations are established each year and are referenced in the budgeting process as Tier 1 and Tier 2.  Some examples of the difference between Tier 1 and Tier2:  Tier 1 computers will always come with new monitors. A&S Computing will attempt to reuse monitors on Tier 2 deployments.  Tier 1 might have large capacity Solid State Drives. Tier 2 may have smaller capacity Solid State Drives.  Tier 1 computers might be ordered with 32 GB of memory while Tier 2 may be ordered with 8 GB.  

In most cases, Tier 1 is configured for most research and teaching activities.  Tenured and tenure track faculty, most full-time lecturers, and computer labs/classrooms will be assigned a Tier 1 computer.  

In most cases, Tier 2 is configured for administrative support and general computing needs. Most administrative staff, visiting lectures, conference rooms, and some adjuncts will be assigned a Tier 2.  Departments can opt to upgrade a Tier 2 machine to a Tier 1 standard or full custom order using departmental funds.  

In most cases, Emeriti are not covered by this process.  

A choice of Windows or Apple will be available for both tiers.  

Exceptions to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 assignments are made on a case-by-case basis and consider the computing needs of the user and available budget.  

Computer Swap Pool

A&S Computing maintains a pool of refurbished computers, monitors, keyboards, and mice.  These refurbished computers, or swaps, are used to upgrade student workers’ computers, outdated research computers, general department use computers, etc.  Departments can request swaps through the annual budget process. Generally, these computers are 4-8 years old, but still serviceable with upgrades.   

New Faculty 

New tenured or tenure track faculty should purchase their initial technology needs, including their first primary computer, from their startup funds.  

If a new adjunct, instructor, or post docs is filling a pre-existing position, A&S assumes the computer used by the former occupant of that position will be used. The computer will be wiped of previous data and software will be reinstalled. If the department wants the new instructor to have a new computer before scheduled replacement, the department must provide the entire purchase cost of the new equipment.    

New Staff

If the new staff hire is filling a pre-existing position, A&S assumes the staff member will use the computer used by the former occupant of that position. If appropriate, the computer will be wiped of previous data and software will be reinstalled. If the department wants the new staff member to have a new machine before scheduled replacement, the department must provide the entire purchase cost of the new equipment.     

Conference Room Audio/Visual Upgrades

Departments, Centers, and Programs can request audio/visual component replacement or upgrade for conference rooms or department owned classrooms.  A/V components are on a 6-10 year cycle depending on the component.  

If the request is approved, A&S will cost share the replacement or upgrade costs with the department based on usage patterns that include: percentage of time room is in use; type of usage; and ability of other A&S departments to utilize the room.  

The following can be used a guideline to determine the maximum level of cost share A&S will provide:  

  • Room dedicated to undergraduate courses:  100%  

  • Room dedicated to undergraduate and graduate courses: 75%  

  • Mix-use room comprising of courses and department administrative activities like meetings or job talks:  50%  

  • Room primarily used for administrative activities with an occasional course:  25%  

  • Room used for administrative activities only:  0%  

These are the MAX contributions. Actual funding levels will adjust based on available annual budget.