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Statement and Purpose

Table of Contents

The Central PC Pool is administered by CIS to ensure that campus owned computers in faculty, staff, and administrative offices remain up-to-date, well-configured, and supported for university use.  At the same time, the Central PC Pool saves the University thousands of dollars a year by formalizing the bid and purchase process, establishing standard configurations and vendors, and buying in large bulk quantities. 

Permanent budget funds are allocated for each device in the Central PC Pool to fund software licensing, hardware maintenance, and future upgrades/refreshes for each device. CIS maintains standard configurations for these computers. All computers should be purchased through CIS. All peripherals should be purchased based on CIS recommendations and in coordination with CIS.

Download Policy as PDF 

Reason for Policy

This policy is designed to:

  • Ensure that university funds and purchases of computer equipment in offices and departments are authorized, supportable, and properly configured. Desktop or laptop computers to be installed in offices are not to be purchased outside of the Central PC Pool.
  • Establish standard hardware configurations that appropriately balance technical requirements, durability, vendor support, and price.
  • Properly purchase, install, and inventory all computers installed in faculty, staff, and administrative offices.


Version: 1.1

Effective Date: July 12, 2002
Last Updated:  January 15, 2019

Responsible Office:
Computer & Information Systems
Responsible Executive:  
AVP of Technology Services/CIO 

The Central PC Pool

Covered Devices

These computers are managed through the Central PC Pool:

  • Individually assigned faculty/staff computers in academic or administrative offices
  • Shared workstations used by adjunct professors and student employees located in academic or administrative offices
  • Kiosk computers used in public areas or within a department
  • Some program-specific open access computers, and conference room computers
  • Computers purchased with external grant funds - that are installed in offices or departments.

Some employees are provided a secondary device (a desktop permanently installed in their office, plus a laptop for mobility). All devices are permanently funded in the Central PC Pool and decisions (and funding) for secondary devices are made at the departmental level.

Devices NOT Covered

Computers installed in instructional classrooms (classroom podiums and computer-based classrooms) are NOT covered under the Central PC Pool, but by other designated funds and policies.

Computers installed in academic labs (open labs, general purpose labs, special discipline specific labs) are NOT covered under the Central PC Pool, but by other designated funds and policies.

See CIS Support for Computer Labs for more information about service and support for those devices.

Adding a Computer to the Pool

All computers installed in faculty, staff, and administrative offices will be purchased through the Central PC Pool.  Adding a new computer to the pool, whether it be a laptop or a desktop, requires a department to fund both a: 

  • one-time costs to purchase the computer and any peripherals (the direct cost, plus taxes for the equipment cost)
  • permanent budget transfer of $400/per computer for inclusion and support in the Central PC Pool 

New computers purchased with "restricted budget account funds" (such as external grants) are still purchased and deployed in the same manner as other systems in the Central PC Pool – however, departments are allowed three years before a permanent budget funding source is required to be funded.

Contact the CIS HelpDesk for assistance in adding a computer to the Central PC Pool.

(Note: Effective July 2016, the permanent budget transfer for all Central PC Pool nodes is set at $400/per device.  There is no longer a budget cost difference between desktop and laptop form factors.)

Your request will get routed to the necessary individuals for approval. If we have inventory for the computer requests, we can deploy the computer immediately.

Removing a Computer from the Pool

Should you wish to retire and fully remove a computer from the Central PC Pool, your department will be refunded the $400/per computer permanent budget cost.

Contact the CIS HelpDesk to remove a funded computer device from the pool.

(Note: Effective July 2016, the permanent budget credit for all Central PC Pool nodes is set at $400/per device. There is no longer a budget cost difference between desktop and laptop form factors.)

The computer being removed must be returned to CIS.

Device Choices

The campus standards for computer form-factor, operating system, and hardware configuration are used to meet functional requirements, long term support and durability, and deliver university "best value."  

Laptop vs. Desktop vs. Tablet

Individually assigned faculty and staff computers are gradually moving toward laptop-based devices to encourage mobility where needed and desired. Laptops allow employees to use their computer in meetings, off-campus conferences, or for working from home.

Desktop systems are still deployed for employees that perform their work in fixed office locations or desire larger sized monitors. 

Two-in-one Tablets are an emerging standard that provide a light weight, small form-factor, full "touch-based input and keyboard" device.

The current system specifications for the standard laptop, desktop, or tablet are available from CIS on request.

CIS no longer requires a different permanent funding level between desktop, laptop, or tablet-based computers (effective July 2016). Additionally, if your desktop is due for upgrade and you choose switch to a laptop, there is no longer any additional cost to do so.


The Central PC Pool pool covers one monitor per computer.  With laptops, the covered monitor is the built-in monitor that comes with the laptop. Any additional monitors or peripherals must be paid for by the department.

Mac vs. Windows

All computers purchased are generally Windows-based computers. An exception is made for situations where a certain functions, applications and databases that do not have an acceptable Windows equivalent. An example would be faculty research contained in a proprietary Mac database that cannot be converted to a Windows equivalent. Even if you qualify for a Mac computer you may want to consider a Windows device – particularly if you are in a position of leadership. Many of SPU's enterprise resources are Microsoft-based resources. As a result, functions such as calendar scheduling and file sharing can be quite frustrating to try to accomplish on a Mac, yet are quite simple on a Windows computer.

University Owned iPads

All iPads should be purchased through CIS. While iPads are not part of the Central Pool, all iPad purchases must be made in coordination with CIS. You will benefit from the discount we are able to provide, additional management and security we're able to provide, as well as a central inventory record of your iPad in the event it is stolen.

Upgrade/Refresh Cycle

CIS has a fixed budget that we use to manage the Central PC Pool. Prices on new computers and the value of the funds we receive from selling old equipment is variable. Replacement cycles for computing equipment are noted below, however the cycle is dependent on available budget. There is no guarantee of particular upgrade cycle for a given computer.

  • Laptops: the upgrade goal for laptops is three years. Laptops are mobile and often take a beating while in use and need to be upgraded frequently. 
  • Desktops: the upgrade goal for desktops is five years. Some mid-term upgrades (RAM or hard drives) may be made to extend the useful life.

CIS keeps inventory records on all equipment in the Central PC Pool and can provide an estimated refresh cycle if requested.

Computer Surplus and Disposal

All equipment that is purchased and funded in the Central PC Pool is managed by CIS from the time of purchase until the time of disposal.  Used equipment is sold and proceeds from the sale of outdated equipment is reinvested into the Central PC Pool budget to fund the purchase of new equipment. All surplus equipment goes through data and software removal.

All surplus equipment is sold through a fixed bid process and sold in bulk quantities. CIS DOES NOT make surplus equipment available for departmental.

Faculty/Staff Purchase of Used Computers

As of October 2018, faculty and staff have the option to purchase the laptop or desktop that was issued to them from SPU when it is replaced. In doing so, ownership is transferred from the University to the individual, institutional data is removed from the computer, and the hard drive is decrypted.  The computer is no longer supported by the University and may not be used for university business or store Institutional Data.

If you believe you are due to receive a computer hardware upgrade for your SPU-issued device soon and you would like to purchase your old device, please refer to the following steps:

  1. Email CIS-Purchasing@spu.edu or help@spu.edu with the network name and/or serial number of your device. A member of our accounting team will confirm its age and eligibility to be purchased from the University.
  2. When determined your device is eligible for personal purchase, our accounting team will provide you with the purchase price of the system.
  3. If you would like proceed with purchasing your old system after learning its price, you must then provide a personal check addressed to SPU for the total amount and fill out a Transfer of University-Owned Equipment form. The form will need to be signed by yourself and your department head.
  4. After the personal check and paperwork are received, your old system must be given to the CIS HelpDesk. All university data and university licensed software will be removed, and the hard drive will be decrypted. When these steps are completed, the HelpDesk will return the device to you to begin using as a personal computer.

SPU Related Policies and Procedures

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