Hey, what answers do you need?
< All Topics

Faculty Technology Purchases

Computer Replacements

The College makes every attempt to provide faculty members with half-time or greater appointments with a notebook computer (since computers are not provided in classrooms) and software that meets teaching, research, and project requirements within the limits of the budget. Each year computer systems are considered for replacement based on the then-current replacement cycle program for faculty. New faculty members are offered the choice of computing device. Technology Services assists faculty in the use and upkeep of College-issued computing devices.

Faculty Replacement Cycle Cohorts

A (Summer ’25)B (Summer ’26)C (Summer ’27)D (Summer ’24)
Africana Studies
Classical Studies
Environmental Studies
Religious Studies
Political Science
Mathematical/Computational Science
Art/Art History
Chinese Studies
Earth Sciences
Russian Studies

This year Cohort D is due for new laptops for all tenured or tenure-track faculty. Faculty will be asked to identify their teaching and research needs according to one of the following scenarios:

  1. You primarily use office applications, access library databases through the web, present with PowerPoint or some other presentation software, and occasionally edit photos/videos or analyze data.
  2. In addition to the activities in (1), you routinely analyze small to medium-sized data sets, create simple data visualizations, run small simulations, or edit HD video.
  3. In addition to the activities in (1) and/or (2), you analyze large data sets, create complex data visualizations, run large simulations, or edit 4K or 360 videos.

A notebook computer (desktop computers are not provided as part of the upgrade cycle) meeting the needs of the chosen scenario and the operating system preference of the faculty member will then be provided to the faculty member. If a faculty member doesn’t think any of the scenarios apply to them, please contact Jon Breitenbucher, Director of Educational and Emerging Technology at (jbreitenbucher@wooster.edu) to discuss their situation.

If a faculty member would like to use grant funds, start-up funds, or departmental funds to purchase technology, please get in touch with Jon Breitenbucher, Director of Educational and Emerging Technology at (jbreitenbucher@wooster.edu). Information Technology has established partnerships with vendors to offer educational pricing.

Please note the following:

  1. Computer equipment provided to faculty members remains the property of the College and is returned to the College at the end of a faculty member’s contract.
  2. Faculty are responsible for the “safekeeping” of their computer equipment, especially notebook computers and tablets. While the College carries extended manufacturer’s warranties on its notebook computers that cover failure of most components of the system, it does not carry accidental damage or loss insurance (insurance covering repairs of notebook computers that are damaged due to spills, being left out in the cold, being dropped, or negligence; or notebook computers left behind,  lost, or stolen).
  3. Visiting faculty members are provided with a personal computer from the College’s existing notebook and desktop inventory. Faculty on approved research or study leave may take their computers while on leave.
  4. The College’s current cycle replacement program provides for the replacement of College-issued standard computers once every four years. Replacements will occur on a rotating schedule of cohorts of departments. More about the replacement cycle program and schedule can be found above.
  5. When a College-issued computing device is replaced, regardless of the funding source, the original device is to be returned to the College’s equipment pool. Technology Services will assist faculty in configuring the new computing device and moving data files from the old system to the new one as necessary.
  6. Upgrades will consist of a “standard” system, currently HP or Apple.  Faculty will have the choice of a computing device format.  The specifications of the “standard” system are such that it would meet the needs of faculty for their typical teaching and work; faculty would still have the opportunity to obtain more specialized or sophisticated computing equipment for their research through academic equipment requests or grants.  Educational Technology staff will meet with faculty in the upgrade cohort prior to Spring break about their preferences for a system; systems will be distributed to faculty before the end of June.
  7. Faculty on leave may take their computing devices with them (including desktops).  If a faculty member is to be on leave during the year their department is upgraded, Technology Services will work with the faculty member to arrange for delivery of the new computer before the faculty member goes on leave, if possible.
  8. Full-time tenured faculty who retire are permitted to keep their computers on retirement if the computer is at least four years old. Faculty members who are retiring at the end of the academic year in which their departments are upgraded have three options:  (1) not to receive a new computer; (2) to “buy in” to the new computer with credit given for the remaining value of the faculty member’s current machine, as determined by Technology Services, and then retain the computer upon retirement; (3) to receive the upgraded system, then return it upon retirement.  The determination of which option would be made by the Office of Academic Affairs in consultation with the retiring faculty member.
  9. Upon receiving a reasonable request, the Provost and the Chief Information and Planning Officer may make exceptions to these policies.

Start-Up Fund Purchases

Each faculty member with Start-Up Funds will be given an individual account number to use for expenses. The departmental Administrative Coordinator may be given access to your account to assist you.

Equipment (non-technical and technical) and supplies purchased using start-up funds

  • remains College property should the faculty member’s employment at the College end
  • must be registered with the IT department for the College inventory of such items (including but not limited to digital camera equipment, projectors, all computer-related technical equipment and software)
  • must be purchased through the College’s IT department
  • should consider comparison pricing available through the College’s Purchasing department for other types of supplies or equipment

An interim report on the use of the Funds will be due to the Provost by August 31 following each faculty member’s second year. The report (of no more than three pages) should include:

  • A narrative explanation of the research that has been undertaken, including positive or negative outcomes to date;
  • A financial accounting of all expenses (please separate major equipment from consumable equipment);
  • A plan for the use of remaining Start-up Funds during the third and final year; and
  • Your research plans following the third year of Start-up Funds, including potential exploration of other sources of continuing funding.
Table of Contents