Revision: April 2021
Commitment and rationale
Union College is committed to providing each faculty member, staff member and administrator with the necessary computer to do his or her job. For faculty, staff and administrators, the College will provide one standard configuration, networked, College-owned computer. These purchases will include 3-4 year warranties, technical staff time for setup and support, and basic software licenses. In order to best meet the needs of the Union College community, standards for hardware and software have been set. Each year these standards are reviewed and revised to reflect industry and higher education trends. This is done to insure that hardware and software that is supported is up-to-date, cost effective and fit to the task.
Desktop or Laptop Computer
Faculty, staff or administrators may elect to have either a desktop computer or a laptop computer as defined by the Union College Desktop and Laptop Policy. Each year Information Technology Services (ITS) will select standard models for purchase. ITS has funding to provide for the replacement of faculty, staff or administrator computers and it is the goal to replace computers on a regular basis, usually on a timetable from 4-6 years depending on need and availability of funding.
ITS maintains an inventory of all College-owned computers. It is this list that will be used to generate a list of computers for replacement. Working with departments and individual faculty, staff or administrators, a replacement schedule is drafted and in general, those with the oldest computers are moved to the top of the list. Each year replacements are scheduled for those deemed to be most in need.
The current standard supported models are located at
College-owned computers assigned to faculty, staff and administrators will be purchased from approved vendors and configured with a standard set of software licensed by the College. The standard software is listed at https://www.union.edu/information-technology-services/supported-software.
ITS will configure College-owned computers and will be responsible for ongoing maintenance and support. Beginning with the standard configurations, departments may select (at their expense) upgrades to the standard configuration.
College-owned computers are to be used primarily for College-related work and should not be used regularly by other people (e.g. family members). Software not related to your work should not be installed on your College-owned computer and if it is installed, it will not be supported.
To ensure virus protection and other security patches are current, College-owned computers will be configured to automatically update Windows critical patches and virus protection software. In addition any computers that connect to the College's network must have up-to-date virus protection.
ITS staff are trained to troubleshoot hardware problems on the standard computer configurations. Standard 'disk images' are maintained for a limited number of configurations. All College-owned computers are managed centrally through utilities that have the ability to remotely push out patches and software applications. The supported vendors for College-owned computers are located at http://its.union.edu/supported-hardware-and-software/supported-hardware. ITS will provide limited support for the Ubuntu distribution of Linux (https://union.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/KB/ArticleDet?ID=59560).
All College-owned computers are set up with an ITS Admin account which is used to effectively troubleshoot issues with College-owned machines. This account is managed internally by ITS and follows IT security best practices. Only ITS professional staff have access to this account. This account is not to be deleted – if it has been deleted, then resolution of any issues on your College-owned machine will be delayed and/or prolonged due to the need to have you present to allow access to the machine for an ITS professional staff. ITS professional staff will not physically enter any faculty/staff/administrator office without prior notification.
ITS supports all College-owned computer equipment that is being utilized for College business. ITS will provide support for College-owned computer equipment no matter where the faculty, staff or administrator is located while conducting College business.
If a College-owned computer is compromised by a virus/malware, the faculty, staff or administrator may be required to view an IT Security Awareness Training Video prior to receiving the computer back after removal of malware or virus.
ITS does not troubleshoot problems on privately owned computers although general support will be given, especially if the computer has been purchased from one of our standard vendors.
ITS will provide support (including troubleshooting, configuring, etc.) for the standard software that is loaded on a College-owned computer. ITS will make a "best-effort" to assist with support that is related to a faculty, staff or administrator’s work. In most cases the best support for special purpose or special use software will be provided by the vendor of the software.
When using College hardware and software, all faculty, students, staff and administrators must abide by the Policy on Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources.
Information Technology Services is responsible for making sure that Union's computing facilities and network is available on a 24-hour, 7-day a week basis. ITS is also responsible for making sure that Union's faculty members, students, staff and administrators have the computing resources necessary to do their work in a productive and efficient manner.
The above policies have been established to insure that these goals are met in as efficient, effective and cost-effective manner as possible.