Computer Provisioning Policy


In an effort to minimize the total cost of ownership for desktop, laptop computers across the campus, Babson standardizes on a limited number of supported computer models. Currently the IT Service Center supports one desktop model and two laptop models with Microsoft Windows. An optional desktop and laptop model are also available for approved research purposes. The IT Service Center will fully support the hardware and Babson supplied software on these standard models. The IT Service Center will also provide limited hardware and software support for Apple desktops and laptops. Apple hardware must be sent to Apple for repairs.

All desktop and laptop computer hardware must be purchased through the IT Service Center. The College goal is to utilize only EPEAT Gold rated equipment. When required, limited purchases of EPEAT Silver and/or Bronze may be allowed on a case by case basis.

Organizational Scope

This is a College-wide policy and applies to all faculty and administrative staff including the Executive Conference Center and the Executive Education office. The IT Service Center will be responsible for tracking desktop/laptop computer assets owned by the College through the use of asset management software. It is the responsibility of managers/supervisors/Human Resources to notify the ITSC of any change in location or employee associated with the computer hardware.


For purposes of this policy, unless otherwise stated, the following definitions shall apply:

Babson Standard Computer:  Any model desktop or laptop computer with a Microsoft Windows operating system selected by the IT Service Center as suitable for office, classroom, research or other use.  Any desktop or laptop computer that does not carry the exact type and model number as the Babson standard computer is considered non-standard. This may also include Apple hardware approved on a case by case basis (see Apple Computer below).

Desktop computer:  A personal computer (PC) in a form intended for regular use at a single location, as opposed to a mobile laptop. Desktop computers come in a variety of styles ranging from large vertical tower cases to small form factor models that can be tucked behind an LCD monitor. Babson desktops are supplied with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse. A second monitor is allowed for purchase by the Division or Department.

Laptop computer:  A laptop is a small mobile computer, typically weighing 3 pounds. Babson laptops purchased for individual computer use may be supplied with a port replicator, additional power supply, external monitor, external keyboard and mouse at an additional cost to the department/division. Tablet devices are not considered standard laptop computers and may not be a substitute for one.

Apple computer: A personal Macintosh computer, either a desktop or a laptop model, manufactured by Apple. Some examples include the iMac and the MacBook Pro. For the purposes of this policy, there is one standard Apple desktop model and one standard Apple laptop model. The cost differential for these computers (as compared to standard Windows hardware) is covered by the end user’s department/division. Apple hardware must be approved for purchase by the IT Service Center.

Individual computer:  The computer used by a single person (desktop or laptop) in an office, at home or while traveling. The hardware is not a shared resource and becomes the responsibility of one individual.

Instructor Workstation: A desktop computer installed in a media-equipped classroom which is centrally managed and funded. Classrooms are those rooms which are used for teaching and which are managed and maintained by Media and Production Services.

Lab Workstation: Desktop workstations with a full software load, located in either teaching or open-access areas. These computers typically have area specific software applications loaded and they are managed and funded centrally.

Port Replicator:  A device containing common PC ports such as HDMI, Display Port or USB ports, which allows the user to attach a portable computer to standard, non-portable devices such as a printer and monitor(s).

Public Workstation or Kiosk: This is a desktop or laptop computer placed in a public location and designated for access by anyone on the Babson campus.

Replacement Cycle:  The frequency in which desktop and laptop computers are replaced at Babson. Laptop computers are replaced every three (3) years, desktop computers are replaced every four (4) years. Apple computers may be replaced within the same cycle as Babson standard Windows computers.

Shared computer:  This is a computer used by more than one individual in a department or office. Users may be either full-time or part-time, student staff, faculty sharing an office or a laptop shared by members of a department. Shared laptop computers do not include the port replicator or external accessories.

Policy Content and Guidelines

All standard computer hardware is selected to provide a high level of computing power at a cost-effective price with an EPEAT Gold rating. This standard computer hardware is purchased, maintained and replaced through a centrally funded ITSD budget cost center. Central funding covers the replacement of the following types of computers: Individual Computer, Shared Computer, Instructor Workstation, Lab Workstation, Public Workstation and Kiosk. Any additional computers required by a department must be approved by the IT Service Center and purchased using departmental funds. Apple computers are a special case and their purchase must be approved by the IT Service Center. All associated cost differentials (as compared to standard Windows hardware) for Apple hardware are billed to the appropriate department/division.

Note that many repairs are not covered under warranty. Any costs for parts replaced as the result of damage not covered under warranty, up to and including full replacement, are billed to the respective department/division. If a desktop or a laptop is not returned as requested at end of lease, the department/division will be responsible for the lease buyout cost of the hardware.

Individual/Shared Computer for Existing Position

Each existing position at Babson that requires the use of a computer should have an appropriate computer allocated. When an existing position is open and then filled, the new employee is expected to use the previously assigned computer. If for some reason, other than unrepairable hardware, the computer previously assigned cannot be given to the new employee, the department will be responsible for the full cost of a new computer. When the hardware reaches the appropriate age, the computer will be replaced as part of the next centrally funded replacement cycle. Request for an Apple computer at the time of refresh must be approved by the IT Service Center. The cost differential between the Apple hardware and the Windows hardware will be funded through the department. Departmental funding for the cost differential will be required for each cycle. All Apple laptops will follow a three-year replacement cycle while a desktop will follow a four-year replacement cycle.

New Position

When a new position is created which requires the use of a computer, the full cost of the new computer will be borne one-time by the department. Any request for an Apple computer for a new position must be approved by the IT Service Center, and the cost will be fully funded by the department. When the hardware reaches the appropriate age, all Windows computers will be replaced at no charge to the department as part of each centrally funded replacement cycle. All Apple hardware will follow a three-year replacement cycle and the department must cover the cost difference between an Apple computer and a comparable Windows computer.

Non-Standard Computers

Non-standard computers, while allowed on the network, will only receive limited, best-effort support from the IT Service Center. Non-standard computers will not be replaced as part of the centrally funded replacement cycle.

Off-Cycle Purchases

The IT Service Center will attempt to keep all standard computers in synch with specified replacement cycles. However, needs may arise between cycles. In those cases, the IT Service Center will use its discretion as to when the computer should be cycled next. Regardless of the timing of the off-cycle purchase, the IT Service Center may recommend an upgrade to the computer (additional memory, hard drive, etc.) in lieu of replacement. Off-cycle purchases will, in general, not be funded centrally. Departments must seek their own funding.

In certain cases, departments may purchase Babson standard computers with their own funds for a very specific and required need. The IT Service Center will support these computers in the same way as centrally funded computers for as long as the computer model is considered a Babson standard. Once the warranty has expired, the department will need to replace the computer with a current standard model in order to maintain campus support. Replacements of these computers will not be centrally funded but will be the responsibility of the purchasing department.

Approval Agency:

Vice President and CIO

Approval Dates:

This policy was originally approved on:   1 July 2005

This version was approved on:  1 August 2022

This version takes effect from:  1 August 2022

This policy will be reviewed by:  1 August 2023


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