Business Office Computing Policies

IT Planning & Coordination

This document outlines Yale College standards for purchase, support and disposal of computers, printers and other devices. The guidelines apply to all Yale College Dean’s Office staff, including the Council of Masters administrative staff, residential college masters, deans and their administrative staff.

Computer Replacements Every Four Years

Computers and monitors are automatically upgraded on a four-year replacement cycle. Your desktop support provider (DSP) maintains an equipment inventory log and coordinates each replacement. IT Planning & Coordination (IT P&C) funds the new equipment purchase. Replacements meet university ITS recommendations, found at

If a department wants a computer replaced before the end of the four-year cycle, that replacement requires approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director. In addition, the cost of the replacement is funded by the unit.

All devices (computers, cellphones, tablets, printers, etc.) purchased through the YCDO, are to be returned to the YCDO for redeployment when a staff member leaves the University or transfers to another department within the University.

New Employee Equipment Purchases and Planning

Whenever possible, a newly created staff position will be equipped with redeployed managed workstations. If existing hardware is not available or suitable, the equipment purchase is funded through the IT P&C budget and the new equipment will meet the University recommendations, referenced above. However, if a new employee is hired to fill an existing position, the existing equipment will be re-assigned to the new employee.

A note to avoid delays for new employees:

  1. Please email your DSP as soon as you start recruiting for a new or existing position. The DSP will contact you to discuss any new equipment or services to be ordered. Equipment delivery and configuration may take several weeks from the date the order is placed.
  2. After the prospective employee has accepted your offer of employment, email your DSP again. Provide the employee name and start date. The DSP will work with you to plan the equipment set-up and system access requirements. 

Desktop Computer vs. Laptop Purchase

Each employee is allocated one computer. Desktop computers are standard. If an employee has a frequent need to work out of the office and if that need is verified and approved by the appropriate parties, IT P&C may provide a laptop instead. If only an occasional need for a laptop is identified, the department may consider purchasing a shared laptop. In any case, protection of Yale data is critical and all computers must be configured to meet minimum security requirements. Laptop purchases or an exception to the “one desktop computer per employee” standard requires approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director.

Flexible vs. Standard Workstation Configuration

Yale College adheres to the University ITS recommendations regarding standard workstation configurations, found at Exceptions to a standard configuration require approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director.

Requests for New or Non-standard Equipment

Requests for new or special equipment, such as an oversized monitor or an ergonomic keyboard, require approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director. The equipment purchase is funded by the unit.

Printer Standard: Shared Black & White

In general, one printer should be shared among several staff members in a proximate work area. Shared printers are usually high-speed black & white. An exception to the shared printing model may be justified based on business need, such as a need for continuous printing of confidential material. Personal printers, while usually low-cost at purchase, are expensive to maintain and support. Requests for a color printer, shared or personal, is also based on business need and requires approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director. The equipment purchase is funded by the unit.

Printer Replacement

Printers are retained for their useful life and are replaced when no longer serviceable. Printer replacement requests may originate from within the department to your DSP or it may be requested directly by your DSP. Replacements should meet University equipment standards. Your DSP will coordinate the order and installation of the printer. The printer purchase and supplies are unit expenses. DSPs must be contacted when printers leased from RIS are being purchased or replaced. DSP must be given advanced notice about delivery date of such printers so that they can schedule time to be there on delivery day.

Equipment Personal Use Policy

The University allows de minimus personal use of its property on campus when that use does not involve a disruption to the University’s operations, a conflict of interest or commitment for the user, or additional costs to the University. (University Policy 1110.3 Campus Personal Use of Equipment).

Obsolete Equipment Disposal

Old equipment is re-deployed within the University whenever possible. Re-deployment is coordinated by your DSP. All re-deployed computers will have the hard drive cleared and the Moveable Equipment Inventory updated prior to sale (University Procedure 1610 PR.02 Disposal of Obsolete Computers and Peripherals). If the equipment has no further use within the University, it will be recycled. All electronic materials to be recycled should be referred to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.

Cell Phone vs. Smart Phones

Cell phones may be provided to employees with a demonstrated business need (i.e. on-call responsibilities) at the discretion of the program leader or business office. Smart phones (Blackberrys, iPhones, etc.) may be considered if cell phone function is deemed insufficient to meet the business need. DSPs are available to make recommendations on equipment and carrier options. Cell phone or smart phone purchases must receive final approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director. Any equipment purchase and the associated monthly carrier fees are unit expenses.

In the event of mobile device loss or damage:

  1. If a smartphone is lost or stolen, immediately notify your DSP or the ServiceDesk at 203-432-9000.  DO NOT contact the carrier to terminate service. Users and/or DSPs may be able to locate the device and/or wipe the contents to prevent a data security breach.  The carrier service must be active to provide this support.
  2. During the first two years of ownership, if equipment is lost or damaged, it will be replaced with refurbished equipment. Cell phones are eligible for upgrade every two (2) years. 

Support of Home Machines and Laptops

University policy prohibits dispatch of DSPs off-campus to install, configure, or work on users’ personal or off-campus equipment (even if it is Yale-owned). Any such dispatch would require prior approval by the DSP’s supervisor and the cognizant associate dean or director to meet exceptional needs (e.g., illness). (Yale ITS Policy  Members of the Yale community can walk in for help with computing needs in any of the Walk-in Computer Support locations. Support includes software and hardware support for personal computers and Yale-owned computers. ITS does not charge any money for labor at our centers. However you may need to purchase replacement or upgrade parts to allow us to complete repairs. (

Exceptions to Approved Policy

The policies listed above serve as guidelines. Special circumstances are anticipated. Exceptions require prior approval by the supervisor and cognizant associate dean or director.