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Laptop computers

Laptops are an option for persons whose jobs require regular off-campus work or whose jobs require mobility within the campus environment (i.e. ITS staff doing network support). Laptop assignments beyond these categories will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Requests should be made through the normal budget process. As a general practice, users are not permitted to have two University-owned computers assigned to them personally. Exceptions will be rare and made on a case-by-case basis.

Laptop Priority:
  • Only full-time, permanent members of the University community are eligible for consideration for laptops. Efforts will be made to allocate laptops to users based upon job responsibilities and need.
  • Management team members will identify any key staff that is to be considered for a laptop.
In general, users must choose either a laptop or a desktop. Laptops may be equipped with a docking station or port replicator such that they may be connected to a full size monitor, keyboard, and other peripherals (replicator, monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc. are to be provided by the department or office of the laptop caretaker). Faculty or staff who are assigned laptops are required to keep them on campus while at work. Because of the need for specialized equipment or software, laptops may not be adequate or cost effective for some users. In these instances, users will continue to be assigned desktops.

Laptop Security Policy

Laptop computers provide important functionality, allowing University faculty and staff to have computing resources available in meetings or classes, during travel on University business, and for those who occasionally work from home. With this convenience comes additional responsibility. Laptops present an increased level of risk to both the user and to the institution. In requesting and accepting a laptop from the University, users are acknowledging their acceptance of this risk and agree to make every attempt to follow the steps outlined below to reduce it.
This policy applies to all faculty and staff who use a University-owned laptop. These individuals are hereinafter referred to as "caretakers." Each caretaker of a University-owned laptop is responsible for the security of that laptop and the data contained therein, regardless of whether the laptop is used in an office, at one's place of residence, or in any other location such as a hotel, conference room, car or airport.
All laptops should be protected with “hard” passwords. Confidential or “covered” information stored in files on the laptop should be individually pass-worded with secure “hard” passwords that are different from the laptop access passwords. Users who do not follow these guidelines are putting the institution at risk and may also be personally liable for any disclosure of covered information.
When you receive a laptop, you accept personal responsibility for safeguarding it and the data it contains.
Please observe the following guidelines:
  • Employ provided network resources for regularly backing up data from your laptop. Because laptops are mobile computing devices, they are much more prone to equipment failure. Regular backups performed by the user are a critical responsibility. If you cannot do this, you should not accept a laptop.
  • Install personal software cautiously; if your laptop needs support, one of the first step will be to restore it to its original configuration. This is another compelling reason to complete regular file backup.·
  • When leaving your workspace overnight, store your laptop in a locked office, drawer or cabinet.
  • If you have a private office, close and lock the door if you leave during the day.
  • If you take your laptop home, be sure to lock all doors when you go out. If you have a home security system, be sure it is on when you leave.
  • If you are staying in a hotel, lock your laptop in a safe if your room has one. If no safe is available, lock your laptop in a suitcase when you go out.
  • Keep laptop in your sight when going through airport checkpoints. Many travelers find it helpful to tape their business card to their laptops. This will help you identify your laptop in airport security.
  • If you are traveling by car, lock your laptop in the trunk when you park.
  • Do not use the computer in locations that might increase likelihood of damage.
  • Keep food and drinks away from the computer.
  • Do not leave your laptop plugged into the docking station or power adapter after it is fully charged. This shortens the ability of the battery to maintain a charge. Replacement batteries are the responsibility of the individual user or their department.
  • Users are responsible for purchasing padded carrying case your laptop.
  • If laptops are lost, stolen, or otherwise damaged such that they cannot be restored to normal working order, they will be replaced with desktops from the pool of available cascaded computers. These computers will subsequently be upgraded according to the University’s lifecycle refresh plan for desktops. At that time, users may be request for consideration for another laptop. Caretakers are responsible for reporting a loss or theft to appropriate law-enforcement agencies, as well as reporting the loss to ITS and campus police as soon as the loss occurs.

Offices or departments will be required to share in the cost of a lost or stolen laptop. Since most laptops are leased, there is a financial commitment that must be covered. Please do not request laptops if your office or department cannot assist in covering the cost of lost equipment.

Users are encouraged to check their home insurance policies regarding coverage. The University will evaluate the circumstances of the theft or loss on a case-by-case basis to determine if individual reimbursement will be required.

To ensure that virus protection and other security patches are current, laptops must be connected to the campus network at least once every two weeks. Users who are off-campus for more than two weeks must contact the ITS Help Desk before reconnecting their laptops to the campus network. In the case of a significant security alert, users may be contacted by e-mail and/or voicemail, to bring in their laptops to the helpdesk to ensure proper security is enabled on the laptop.

ITS support of University-owned laptops will be equivalent to that provided for University-owned desktop computers. Direct support will only be provided while laptops are on campus.

Users will need their own ISP accounts if they wish to connect to the Internet from home, and may install any drivers or other software required by their ISP for remote connectivity. Users who will be accessing private, covered information (see Covered Data Security Policy) must use a VPN client to connect to University computer resources.

Because laptops are provided for University-related work, personal software should be installed very cautiously. If personal software is installed and the laptop comes to ITS for servicing, the laptop will be returned to its original configuration. Personal software or data will not be recovered.