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Index > Campus Workstation Policy

Campus Workstation Policy


RISD’s Information Technology Services (“ITS”) and Finance departments have developed a Campus Workstation Program (“CWP”) that centralizes the purchase and refresh of RISD faculty and staff computers. The CWP is designed to replace all out-of-warranty computers, create replacement cycles for all computers, establish campus standards for computer configurations, and provide a centrally funded budget, managed by RISD ITS for the purchase and refresh of all institutionally managed computers.


Parties governed by this policy include all faculty and staff.

Policy Statement

RISD has established the CWP to guide the selection of appropriate hardware as well as the retirement of equipment that is no longer serving the needs of the college. The program serves several purposes, not the least of which is providing the ability for RISD to deliver a financially prudent approach to ensure that all RISD faculty, staff, and students have access to current tools in order to engage in a technology-enabled work, teaching, and learning environment.

The major objectives of the program are:

  • Eliminating the burden on departments to plan, fund, order, and coordinate computer workstation upgrades on an individual basis
  • Increasing reliability and availability of computer workstations
  • Reducing support cost by retiring obsolete equipment
  • Achieving cost savings through volume discounts and the strategic sourcing of campus computers
  • Improving data protection and information security
  • Reducing support costs and mitigating information security risks through identifying unused or rarely used computers and, where appropriate, removing them from inventory.


Computer -- a desktop or laptop

Lifecycles -- The CWP program will refresh computers in accordance with the following computer lifecycle:

  • Laptops -- replaced every 3 years
  • Desktops -- replaced every 4 years.

End-of-Life -- a time period that describes the end of a computer’s useful period. For laptops, this is generally three years past date of purchase; for workstations, this is generally four years past date of purchase.


The CWP is a partnership between RISD IT Services and each RISD division/department. Following is a list of key responsibilities for each partner to ensure successful program implementation:

RISD IT Services Responsibilities

  • Maintain accurate inventory records in the college’s inventory system, Desktop Central
  • Provide for computer support, service, and maintenance (in partnership with RISD departmental/divisional IT service/support personnel) during the computer life cycle
  • Annually establish, in conjunction with appropriate advisors or advisory bodies, the computer workstation purchasing standard.

RISD Departmental Responsibilities

  • Assist RISD IT Services with the collection of computer inventory information and maintaining accurate records to include the installation of the Desktop Central asset management and inventory software
  • Notify RISD IT Services when new positions (requiring the use of a computer) are created
  • Notify RISD IT Services when faculty/staff who are assigned a RISD-owned computer leave the College/Department
  • Assume costs associated with purchase of additional items such as external display, laptop docking station, etc.
  • On an annual basis, each Division/Department may be given a listing of computers to verify their location and return to RISD IT Services for inventory verification and reconciliation.

How the Program Works

The central CWP budget will provide for the purchase and replacement of each eligible faculty and staff desktop or laptop computer. Desktop and laptop computer configurations are chosen to allow diversity in brands and operating systems, yet provide enough similarities that support can optimally be maintained. Standardization also reduces cost through volume purchasing discounts and vendor agreements. One of the below desktop or laptop configurations will be recommended for each eligible RISD faculty or staff based on their individual software requirements and the nature of the RISD work they perform.

  • Only one computer per full-time faculty or staff will be purchased and subsequently refreshed at the current standard
  • All-in-one desktop systems will be encouraged for all personnel, unless their specific job warrants frequent mobility
  • Laptops may be issued to personnel whose jobs require frequent mobility
  • Tablets (iPads, etc.) may be purchased with department head approval but will not be included in the CWP or subsequently refreshed with CWP funds
  • Desktop and laptop computers purchased through the CWP will be purchased with a 3- or 4-year manufacturer warranty as applicable based on the available manufacturer warranty for specific computer make/model and each device’s anticipated campus lifecycle
  • Costs associated with the necessary replacement or repair of computers or accessories lost, stolen, or damaged beyond normal usage wear and tear or warranty coverage will be the responsibility of the department assigned the equipment
  • Computer systems purchased or leased outside of the scope of this policy will not be supported or serviced by RISD IT Services and risk not being processed, paid, or reimbursed
  • All computer systems purchased, reimbursed or leased with RISD funds, regardless of the source or dollar value, remain the property of RISD or the leasing company.


Appropriate Desktop and Laptop Configuration Selection

Employees shall have the following options when purchasing/replacing their RISD computer. Faculty and staff whose positions require the use of software that is only available for the Windows OS, and does not run natively on the Mac OS, may not have the option to choose an Apple desktop or laptop.

Position Criteria

Option 1

Option 2

Position does not require mobility

Windows-based all in-one desktop

Apple iMac all-in-one desktop (if appropriate)

Other Specialty Configurations – considered on an ‘as needed/as required’ case-by-case basis

Refresh of Existing Systems

  • Computer systems will be refreshed within the fiscal year in which they are determined to be end-of-life.
  • Tablet devices (iPads, etc.) are purchased outside of the CWP with departmental funds and are not refreshed through the CWP.
  • The IT Services department will maintain a website that will allow faculty and staff to determine when their equipment will be due for replacement.
  • The current recommended and supported computer models can be found on the ITS website, Only these models will be used for the CWP program.
  • A computer will be refreshed on a one-to-one basis only. Any old system must be returned to RISD IT Services for proper disposition. Replacements for any systems stolen or lost will be purchased with the assigned department’s operating funds. The assigned department will be responsible for paying any remaining balance or penalty associated with the computer lease agreement. Stolen or lost computers will not be refreshed until payment is made by the department to pay the lease balance or replace the lost or stolen items as applicable.

New Employees

When a new full-time faculty or staff member is hired to fill a new position that hasn’t existed before, the hiring department’s funds will be used to initially purchase a new computer system. Thereafter, the system will fall under the CWP budget for refreshment.

All computers must be purchased with the approval of RISD IT Services and through the CWP.

Adjunct Faculty and Temporary Staff

Adjunct faculty and temporary staff may not be supplied with a personally assigned computer. If required, shared systems are available to be checked out by Adjunct Faculty and temporary staff on a temporary basis through RISD IT Services.

Disposition of Computer Equipment

For computers due to be refreshed and those assigned to departing employees (including temporary employees):

  1. All computer systems purchased, reimbursed or leased with RISD funds, remain the property of RISD or the leasing company.
  2. RISD will not sell or transfer ownership of computer systems to present or departing employees.
  3. For computers due for refresh, RISD IT Services will proactively schedule the installation of the new computer and the removal of the old computer with each Department / assigned end-user. This will include advanced notice and end-user instructions for timely data backup and transfer preparation.
  4. Departments must notify RISD IT Services when faculty/staff leave the college/department.
  5. All computer systems must be scheduled to be removed by RISD IT Services within seven days of an employee’s departure. NB: If the time between a departing employee’s last day of service and the new employee’s start date is less than 30 days, RISD IT Services may choose to leave the existing system at the workspace instead of removing it.

Lost, Damaged or Stolen Items

  • Any computers or accessories that stop functioning under normal operating conditions and not due to misuse or accident will be repaired/replaced by manufacturer warranty or the central CWP budget.
  • Any computers or accessories that are lost or stolen must be replaced via department funds of the department assigned the original equipment. If the lost or stolen device is a computer, the department will be responsible for paying the remaining balance of the computer lease or applicable penalty as determined by the lease agreement. These items will not be refreshed until payment is made by the department to pay the lease balance/penalty or replace the lost or stolen item(s).

Non-Compliance with this Policy

RISD may restrict the use of its computers and network systems when presented with evidence of violation of college policies, or federal or state laws, or when it is necessary to do so to protect the College against potential legal liability. The college reserves the right to limit access to its information technology resources, and to remove or limit access to material stored on college technology resources.

All users are expected to conduct themselves consistent with these responsibilities. Abuse of computing privileges may subject the user to disciplinary action as established by applicable college policies.

Revision history

This policy was last reviewed/modified on: 4/12/2001

Next scheduled review: To be reviewed biannually beginning January 1, 2023


Issuing Office

Information Technology Services

Responsible Officer

Chief Information Officer

Individuals/offices required for review and changes

Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration