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University Computing Standards pdf version of this page

an Information Technology Services Policy


Provides information and guidance on ordering desktop and laptop computers that abide by pre-approved standard configurations. Policy includes process for requesting hardware or software that is not covered by standard configurations.


To make the most efficient use of university resources, all desktop and laptop computers acquired by the university should be based on standard configurations approved by the Information Technology Council (ITC). Standards allow Information Technology Services (ITS) to provide better and more efficient support for the university, efficient acquisition, and the most cost-effective pricing available. The standards include both Windows and Macintosh platforms. There is at least one desktop and one laptop model available for each platform.

Departments with needs not met by the standard configurations can request a variance in writing to Information Technology Services. ITS will conduct a review of the specifications and confer with the department to determine the best course of action. ITS will work with the department to address the needs identified in the variance request. In the event the variance request is not approved, the requestor may appeal the decision to the Chief of Staff & Associate Chief Information Officer. If necessary, further appeals may be made to the Information Technology Council.

Desktop Computer and Laptop Computer Standard Configuration Procedure

Standard Hardware Configurations

The ITC will review changes in technology to ensure upgraded technology is being purchased to support teaching and learning at ETSU. Consideration will be taken to configure quality desktop and laptop computers that meet the vast majority of computing needs at the lowest possible cost to the university. Standard configuration upgrades will be included to give flexibility to the configurations and allow additional uses. Recommendations will come to the Information Technology Council (ITC). Once approved, Information Technology Services (ITS) will be charged with installing and supporting these hardware platforms.

Standard Software Configurations

The ITC will also review software technology and recommend a basic software image to be installed on each of the configurations. ITS will be charged with installing and supporting these software applications on all desktops and laptops. ITS will work with vendors to have the software image pre-installed, where appropriate, to streamline installation.

Publicizing the Configurations

ITS will be responsible for publicizing the standard configurations. ITS will also maintain configuration information and purchasing instructions on its web site ( 

Configuration Assistance

ITS’s Computing Technology Services group will assist in the configuration of desktop or laptop computers. Faculty and staff can call (9-4648) or email ( ) the ITS Help Desk to make this request. A customer support specialist will schedule a time to visit the employee’s office and discuss their computing needs and configuration options.

Submitting a Requisition for a Standard Configuration

The department will complete and submit to the Purchasing department a departmental requisition for a desktop or laptop computer through the eBucs procurement system only. ITS must approve all desktop and laptop computer orders placed through eBucs. Computers, desktop or laptop, cannot be purchased with a university Procard.

Submitting a Requisition for a Variance from the Standard Configuration

Departments requiring equipment that is not available as a university standard configuration may complete and submit a variance request form to Information Technology Services The submitted form should include an explanation addressing why the university standard configuration is not appropriate for their needs. This can be the result of incompatibilities of required software or hardware or a vendor requirement. This requisition and request for variance will be reviewed by the appropriate ITS staff who will consult with the requestor to determine if the variance request will be approved. Records will be maintained for approved variances. These will be used as consideration in adopting new standard configurations.

Variance Request Appeals

If the variance request is not approved the requestor will be supplied with the reasoning and justification for the decision. The requestor can appeal the decision to the Chief of Staff and Associate Chief Information Officer, who will consult the Chief Information Officer and/or the Information Technology Council if necessary. Non-approved requests will not be processed.

Departments with special high-end computing needs

Departments with special high-end computing needs can obtain computers with capabilities beyond the standard configurations. ITS will perform a basic installation of the computer by loading a supported operating system (Windows and Macintosh platforms only), virus protection and the standard office productivity suite. This installation will ensure the computer is properly communicating on the ETSU network and has no known vulnerabilities. When received, the computer will be specially tagged by Central Receiving indicating it is a non-standard computer. ITS will not be responsible for any non-standard hardware or non-standard software maintenance for the computer after the installation.

Requesting a Variance

Any department requesting a variance from the standards will need to complete and submit a departmental requisition for the computer to Information Technology Services.

A request for a variance from the university standard must accompany the department's requisition.

Request for a Variance Form

Approved: Information Technology Council
Reviewed: February 2017
Active Since: April 2002

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