University Computing Standards Policy

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 Governance Committee.

Standards allow ETSU 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.

Information Technology will then conduct a review of the specifications and make suggestions to the department.

If a consensus is not reached, an appeal will be reviewed by the PC Standards Committee.

This policy became effective April 1, 2002.  These pages are here to inform the university community about the university standards and numerous available options and upgrades.


Desktop Computer and Laptop Computer Standard Configuration Procedure


Active since: February 11, 2003

I.                   Standard Hardware Configurations

The PC Standards Committee will meet quarterly to review changes in technology.  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. The committee will make recommendations to the university standard configurations.  These recommendations will be forwarded for approval by the Information Technology Governance Committee (ITGC).  Once approved, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) will be charged with installing and supporting these hardware platforms.

II.                Standard Software Configurations

The PC Standards Committee will also review software technology and recommend a basic software image to be installed on each of the configurations.  These recommendations will be forwarded for approval by the ITGC.  OIT will be charged with installing and supporting these software applications on all desktops and laptops.  OIT will work with vendors to have the software image pre-installed, where appropriate, to streamline installation.

III.             Publicizing the Configurations

OIT will be responsible for publicizing the standard configurations.   Faculty and staff will be notified by email when a configuration change is made.  OIT will also maintain configuration information and internal lease and purchasing instructions on their web site ( http://www.etsu.edu/oit).  Whenever possible, OIT will have a demonstration unit available for review by interested faculty and staff.

IV.              Configuration Assistance

The User Services Group of OIT will be made available for appointments to assist in the configuration of desktop or laptop computers.  Faculty and staff can call (9-4OIT) or email ( ) the OIT Help Desk to make this request.  An analyst will schedule a time to visit the employee’s office and discuss their computing needs and configuration options.

V.                 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.  If the computer is one of the standard configurations, a purchase order can be generated immediately.

VI.              Submitting a Requisition for a Variance from the Standard Configuration

The department will complete and submit to the Office of Information Technology a departmental requisition for the computer.  Accompanying the requisition will be a request for a variance from the university standard.  This should explain 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 OIT staff.  If there is not significant reasoning for the variance, the requisition will be sent back to the department with written explanation and a proposed alternative standard configuration.  At that point, the department should consider the university standard or they can consider an appeal of the variance request.

VII.           Variance Request Appeals

If a department feels their request for variance was rejected without consideration, they can initiate an appeal.  These requests for appeal will be reviewed by the PC Standards Committee on a monthly basis.  The committee will report their recommendation to the department and to OIT.  Non-approved requests will not be sent to the Purchasing department.  Records will be kept of variances that were permitted.  These will be used as consideration in adopting new standard configurations. 

VIII.        Departments with special high-end computing needs

Departments with special high-end computing needs will be allowed to obtain computers with capabilities beyond the standard configurations.  OIT 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.  The department will be required to reimburse OIT for this installation by including a budget transfer of $250 to cover this installation at the time of requisition.  This installation is required to 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.  OIT will not be responsible for any hardware or non-standard software maintenance for the computer after the installation.
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Requesting a Variance

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

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

Request for a Variance Form

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