Desktop and Laptop Computers
This section describes the general practices adhered to with regard to desktop and laptop deployment. These include the formal CPPAS program and individual faculty purchases with Duke funds.
Full time faculty and staff salaried under the regular budget are covered under the CPPAS program (Computer Purchasing Program for Arts and Sciences). This program provides for regular replacement of one computer per person. Program eligibility is determined at the Trinity College administrative level.
Notification of whom is currently eligible for a CPPAS upgrade is provided bi-annually to the IT manager. The manager coordinates directly with the employee on the selection of a replacement machine. There are a limited range of replacement choices from Dell, Lenovo or Apple. Trinity Technical Services regularly participates with the Duke Computer Store to establish the price points and update the configurations that are available. The objectives of the program include the following:
- cost containment
- uniformity of hardware, operating system configuration and baseline software to ensure ease of administration
- best practice choice of hardware vendors and hardware features
- extended warranty coverage for the full period of use
Desktop or laptop configurations are available under the program. Laptop options are more expensive and not available to all staff under the terms of the program.
The refresh cycle for desktops is currently set at 4 1/2 years. A refresh does not include the monitor. Monitors are replaced when they fail or degrade to an unusable state.
The refresh cycle for laptops is currently set at 4 years.
Computers can be ordered with additional or enhanced features, but the cost of those features is not covered under CPPAS. When a CPPAS machine is refreshed, the old machine must be returned to Trinity College. The department or user of that machine does not have the discretion to deploy the machine elsewhere and the user cannot purchase it for personal use. Incoming faculty are provided a budget for startup equipment. The first office machine they receive is considered a CPPAS machine, which is replaced and must be returned to Trinity College at the end of its deployment cycle.
CPPAS machines are delivered by the Duke Computer Store to Trinity Technical Services. TSS images the machine according to TTS standards. Machines are then delivered to the department. Sociology IT staff adjusts the software installation to meet the specific needs of the user and physically installs the machine. Sociology IT staff must have administrative access to CPPAS machines and are responsible for ensuring (particularly with desktops) that they are patched in a regular and timely fashion.
Faculty Computer Purchases
Faculty may have grants, contracts or Duke-provided research funds that can be used for purchase of desktop or laptop PCs. Common uses of such funds are to purchase laptops and home desktops. The IT staff works with faculty to specify and configure systems best suited to their needs. Faculty are encouraged to consider options available through the Duke Computer Store because of the better quality of the equipment and assurance that warranty issues can be addressed through Duke Computer Repair. That said, faculty are free to purchase what they want. The IT manager is available to consult and to handle procurement. The IT staff configures machines for use.
Machines purchased in this fashion may be used by the faculty member until they fail or cease to be useful. Because they are purchased with Duke funds, they formally remain the property of Duke university. Faculty members who terminate employment with the university must return such equipment or formally request release of equipment to them. Release provisions should be coordinated in consultation with the Chair and appropriate Trinity College administrators.
All Duke-owned laptops purchased under CPPAS or with other university funds must now be encrypted. Encryption is performed by the IT staff. Windows laptops are encrypted with BitLocker; MacBooks are encrypted with Filevault. Encryption ensures with reasonable certainty that data cannot be recovered from a stolen laptop or from a laptop drive slaved to some other machine. Encryption provides important institutional and personal protections. Users are also strongly encouraged to encrypt personally owned laptops.