1.0 - Purpose
The Computer Exchange Program (CEP) is a system for centralized management of institutional computer resources for inventory control, maintaining schedules and standardization of the desktop computing environment for compatibility and service offering. This CEP Policy will govern the program which will be administered by iTech. The Executive Cabinet of the university recognizes the importance of the goals and objectives of the CEP and supports funding the exchange cycle.
The Computer Exchange Program (CEP) has two primary goals:
- First, to provide equitable access to technology for faculty and staff of the university
- Second, to help ensure that computing resources at Southern Miss are current and adequate for performing work related tasks
The objectives of the CEP are to:
- Help ensure that all faculty and staff members who use computing resources in their positions have access to a computer of sufficient capability to support basic computing needs* in fulfillment of their work responsibilities
- Streamline the specification, acquisition, and deployment of the CEP equipment and disposal of old equipment
- Minimize support costs by providing technology that is current, standard and stable
- Establish a centralized budget which provides basic computing resources for USM employees, thereby providing relief to both department and unit budgets and reducing reliance on year-end surplus and current fund contingency to keep technology current
- Implement minimum standards for computing resources at Southern Miss increasing the supportability of the institution's installed base of equipment
- Review the technology plan and evaluate the CEP annually, monitor information collected through audits, feedback from program participants, external vendor and industry sources, and institutional priorities to make recommendations
- Promote software compliance
- Increase cost efficiencies through bulk purchases
2.0 - Scope
The CEP is intended to provide adequate technology for university employees. The plan, or product lifecycle, intends to replace and / or upgrade equipment once every four years. This lifecycle enables university employees to have the latest computer technology and the most recent operating systems and application versions. Computer standards and specifications will change periodically which may result in adjustments in the product lifecycle. Microsoft Active Directory will be provided at no additional charge to the participating departments and is essential in the successful deployment of these devices.
The equipment available in this program satisfies about 90% of all computer usage across this university. There will be four computer models available through the CEP (PC laptop, PC desktop, Apple laptop, Apple desktop). The specifications for each of these models are listed in frequently asked questions. Departments/units that require variations in the available equipment and/or peripheral equipment may budget for and purchase that equipment through the normal computer procurement process.
The following individuals that require computing resources in their position are eligible to participate in the CEP:
- Full-Time faculty and staff members
- Part-Time permanent faculty and staff members
The following individuals/situations are NOT qualified to participate:
- Individuals employed by a grant or sponsored program
- Departmental or office shared computers
- Students workers (undergraduate and graduate)
- Public computing areas in the libraries and departmental computer labs
3.0 - Policy
The Computer Exchange Program (CEP) shall be administered in two main approaches:
- CEP computers that replace computers no longer supported by their manufacturer (Exchange Computers)
- CEP computers provided to new faculty at the start of each semester (New Faculty Computers)
- As individuals/departments/units evaluate their current computing situation and determine that their current computer no longer meets their basic computing needs, each individual can complete a request for an exchange.
- Persons submitting a request that is eligible will be notified; requestors who submit ineligible request will be notified in an attempt to alter incorrect or missing information.
- At a pre-determined time each week, requests will be evaluated for eligibility.
- The evaluation criteria includes whether the exchange computer was purchased 4 or more years and less than 8 years ago.
- Eligible requests will be fulfilled up to the limit of available funding. Recipients will be notified after prioritizations are made.
- Recipients are asked to watch an information online video about CEP and their computer after which they will be directed on how to schedule an appointment for delivery or pick-up.
- Recipients will have up to 30 days after delivery/pick-up to transfer the exchange computer to Surplus. This provides opportunity to complete the transfer of data from the exchange computer to the CEP computer.
- After data is transferred to the CEP computer, the exchanged computer must be sent to Surplus so it can be decommissioned properly and in accordance with state law.
New Faculty Computers
- Prior to the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters, the Office of the Provost provides a list of new faculty expected to begin in the coming semester.
- After the new faculty has received his/her CampusID and login password, s/he must login to SOAR and enter a request for a new faculty computer. Refer to Section 2.0 Schope, above, for available models from which to choose.
- New faculty computers will be ordered and made available in the normal distribution of CEP computers.
CEP Computers – General Information
- Computers in the exchange program are individually assigned and remain on iTech’s inventory.
- If a CEP Recipient changes jobs within the university, their CEP computer goes with them to their new department.
- If a CEP Recipient terminates employment with the university, the CEP computer (and accessories) is returned to iTech for distribution to another recipient.
- iTech will work with the department that loses a CEP recipient, either to transfer or termination, to help ensure the employee who fills the position has a computer.
4.0 - Enforcement
- Recipients who choose to keep their exchanged computer after the predetermined deadline for sending it to Surplus are subject to have their department budget charged for the cost of the CEP computer.
- CEP computers will remain on iTech’s inventory and will be targeted for replacement as they near the end of their manufacturer’s limit for providing support.
- CEP computers are installed with MS Active Directory and should remain on MS Active Directory for support purposes. Computers that are removed from MS Active Directory without the prior written consent of iTech are subject to have their department budget charged for the cost of the CEP computer.
- Each of the computer models available through the Program has components and operating system software that are the most current versions at the time the equipment was purchased. No changes to either the components and/or the operating system software may be made without the express written consent of iTech. Damages to a computer and/or components that occur as a result of changes made without the express written consent of iTech are subject to have the department’s budget charged for the cost of replacing the computer and/or components.
- MS Active Directory will aid iTech in completing the university’s required annual property audits. If a computer does not connect to the university’s network during a prescribed period of time, that computer asset number will appear on a routine report and could be considered lost or stolen. The ‘owner’ of that computer will be contacted by iTech to verify for audit purposes.
5.0 - Definitions
- CEP – Computer Exchange Program
- CEP Recipient – an individual who requests and/or receives a CEP administered computer
- Exchange Computer – a computer that is no longer supported by its manufacturer
- MS Active Directory – A service that allows iTech to more effectively support desktop technology across the university from a remote location and improves security to help meet State of MS requirements
- CEP Computer – a computer that is provide through the CEP
- Surplus – the university department charged with the disposal of obsolete equipment purchased with taxpayer funds provided by the state
2012-07-10: New Fac & alternate OS mods
2011-09-14: Weekly fulfillment
2011-02-28: Initial publication
*“Basic Computing Needs” include word processing, electronic messaging, Library access, Internet (web) access, spreadsheet, simple database, and basic institutional data access. Other specialized needs, such as secondary computers, advanced hardware, and other specialized capability are available through department/unit funding.