Computer Lifecycle Replacement Policy


The use of current technology contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the University community. Older computers have a higher operational and support cost that negatively impacts faculty, staff, and student productivity. This policy is intended to ensure that computers are replaced at a regular interval and older machines are retired and removed from service so that they do not continue to create an increasing burden for support staff.


This policy applies to the lifecycle replacement of Wilkes-owned computers,primarily desktop and laptop machines that were issued and deployed by Information Technology Services (ITS).

This policy does not apply to peripheral equipment, office phones, cell phones, printers, scanners, Audio/Visual equipment, servers, or other IT-related equipment. This equipment is replaced by ITS according to need, condition, and budgetary resources based on their analysis and judgment, support contracts, and established best practices.

This policy also does not apply to departmentally-purchased and grant-funded computers and equipment. Departments should budget to replace this equipment as needed. (This equipment is still subject to the Technology Purchasing Policy.)


Wilkes computers that have been designated as part of the lifecycle will be maintained and supported by ITS until they are replaced after a designated period of service. The current period of service for Wilkes lifecycle computers is five years.

Each year, a percentage of the lifecycle computers will be replaced according to the ITS lifecycle inventory list. Faculty and staff who are due for a replacement in the next fiscal year (starting June 1) will be notified by email near the end of the spring semester to fill out a form with their choice of computer for the next lifecycle. Users are offered a selection of standard desktop and laptop machines selected by ITS as the computers that best meet the needs of the majority of faculty and staff and will last for the lifecycle period of service. (See the Technology Standardization Policy for more information on why ITS standardizes equipment.) Faculty and Staff machines will then be deployed over the summer and fall. ITS will also replace a portion of the classroom, lab, and open-access computers each year.

ITS recognizes that some faculty, staff, and students have different computing needs. Academic labs with specialized computers will be built into the lifecycle budget when possible. Faculty and Staff who require a non-standard machine that exceeds the cost of a standard lifecycle computer will be required to obtain departmental approval and their department will fund the difference in cost.

Faculty and Staff may choose to opt-out of a lifecycle replacement when they are due. ITS will forward their eligibility to the following year and contact them during the next lifecycle replacement period.

The lifecycle budget, controlled by ITS, will be used to fund only a single computer system replacement for each full-time Wilkes employee. Departmental approval and funding must be secured for any additional computers. ITS must also approve these additional non-lifecycle computer purchases from a support perspective. (See Appendix A: Non-Lifecycle and 2nd Life Computers).

Part-time employees, including adjunct faculty, are not provided with a Wilkes computer. ITS will work with departments to determine special cases where a part time employee requires the use of a dedicated computer. Adjuncts may be given access to departmental resources in a shared area.

When computers are replaced, the old computer must be returned to ITS during the deployment process. ITS will hold this computer for a period of two weeks to ensure that all data was transferred properly during the deployment. When possible, users may be given the option to purchase their old computer for fair market value determined by ITS. These purchases are “as is” and the machine must be wiped of any Wilkes software and data before it is turned over to the individual.

In some cases, computers may be reused or redeployed to other locations on campus at the discretion of ITS. These computers are designated as “2nd Life” during that time, tagged as such, and taken off the lifecycle schedule (See Appendix A: Non-Lifecycle and 2nd Life Computers).

Departments should notify ITS of the intention to move any lifecycle computers so that ITS can maintain an accurate inventory location. Computers should not be reassigned or redistributed without notifying ITS and obtaining approval.

When an employee with a lifecycle asset departs the University, ITS should be notified by the department and by Human Resources. The employee’s computer should be returned to ITS unless the department is given permission to hold onto it. In most cases, this computer will be redistributed to the next employee hired in that position.

If a lifecycle computer breaks and is unable to be repaired, ITS will replace the computer with a new machine (as long as budget is available). That computer then becomes the lifecycle machine for that employee with the lifecycle period beginning at the time of the new deployment.


  • ITS will be responsible for the planning and administration of the computer replacement lifecycle in accordance with this policy and in consultation with the Information Technology Committee.
  • ITS will maintain an accurate list of lifecycle computers and share specific inventories and replacement schedules with departments as requested.
  • ITS will determine which equipment is replaced each year based on the allotted operating budget dedicated to the lifecycle for that fiscal year.
  • ITS will determine the standard machines and peripherals offered each year based on input from the campus community and budgetary restrictions. This equipment may change from year to year.
  • Employees and their departments will be responsible for ensuring that all lifecycle computers are returned to ITS after a new deployment or when an employee departs the University.
  • ITS will be responsible for redistribution, selling, or recycling of all computers removed from the lifecycle. ITS will ensure that all University software and data is removed from the computers before they are released.

Non-Lifecycle Computers


Non-lifecycle Computers are computers that are purchased by the University, but are not on the ITS lifecycle. These computers are designated “non-lifecycle” in the ITS inventory.


Non-lifecycle computes, including departmental and grant-funded equipment, will be supported normally by ITS with two exceptions. First, if computers are not standard, ITS will provide “best effort” support. (See the Technology Standardization Policy for a definition of “best effort” support and further explanation of support for non-standard equipment.) Second, if a machine has reached a number of years of service equal to the lifecycle period (currently five years), ITS may decide to provide only “best effort” support to this machine if its hardware and software has become unsupported and/or out of date and it continues to remain in service.

2nd Life Computers


2nd life computers are machines that have been replaced during a lifecycle period, but have been left in service or re-deployed to another location on campus for continued use


2nd life computers will receive “best effort” support (as defined in the Technology Standardization Policy). At the time of re-deployment, they will be tagged as a 2nd life asset. If the computer becomes a security risk or support burden as it continues to age, ITS reserves the right to remove the computer from service permanently. Computers removed in this way or 2nd life computers that break beyond repair will not be replaced unless a suitable replacement is available. ITS will determine the distribution and replacement of 2nd life machines.

Effective: 05/14/2008
Updated: 04/16/2016