Academic Department Computer Purchases

Policy on Academic Department Computer Purchases

The College, with approval from the Provost, purchases one Dell or Apple laptop or desktop computer in standard configurations for use by full-time faculty and staff members.

New Purchases of Faculty Computers: 

All full-time faculty members have one computer (desktop or laptop) that is assigned to them for their use during employment at Barnard College. For adjunct faculty, a desktop is purchased depending on the stipulated and available budget and assigned to an office shared by adjunct faculty. These shared computers will be replaced by either a new or used computer in stock as determined by the Vice Provost’s Office and BCIT.

Requests for full-time faculty computers in non-standard configurations must be reviewed and approved by the Vice Provost.  Faculty with specialized computer needs should bring their needs to the attention of their Department Chair and Administrative Assistant then the Administrative Assistant should contact BCIT and open a ticket requesting advice on a machine that will meet the faculty member’s needs.

Purchases of Replacement Computers:

Faculty members with nonoperational computers are asked to alert their Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant should contact BCIT and start the review and pricing process. These requests should include the following information:

  • The name of the faculty or staff member requesting a new computer (clearly indicate if the request is for a computers shared by several adjunct faculty members)
  • The room location of desktop computers,
  • When applicable, other operational computers the College has purchased for the faculty or staff member.

If it is determined that a replacement computer is needed immediately and funding is available, the Administrative Assistant will be notified via the ticket of the Provost’s approval for the purchase of a new computer. Upon receipt of this approval, the department’s Administrative Assistant may place a purchase order for a new machine.

The Provost has a limited computer budget reserved for unexpected midyear replacement computers. If BCIT determines a faculty member’s computer is operational but beyond the fourth year of service, the faculty member will receive a replacement machine as soon as the budget permits and certainly no later than the upcoming fiscal year.

Annual Requests for Replacing Faculty Computers:

Prior to preparing your annual budget request to the Provost, Department Chairs are asked to survey their faculty and staff with assistance from BCIT to determine computer replacement needs for the following academic year.  In the academic department’s annual budget narrative, please include the names of faculty and support staff with computers that will be in the fifth year of service. Consistent with BCIT’s Hardware Support Policy, the Provost will plan, as the budget allows, for the replacement of computers in the fifth year of service.

Typically, internal or external grant or award funds should be used to cover the costs of the following faculty and departmental computer purchases:

  • Special department workstations for an unusual software application,
  • Dedicated workstations for access to secure websites,
  • Portable computers or electronic devices--this includes a second machine for a faculty member with an assigned computer, or an office machine,
  • A second computer for a fulltime faculty member who has an assigned machine.

Requests for New or Replacement Printers:

Consistent with the recommendations of BCIT and the 2011 Zero-Based Budget Review Print Committee, the Provost encourages faculty to contact Mail and Document Services to discuss the use of Ricoh Multi-Function Printers for their printing needs.  Overtime, the Provost will purchase and locate network printers in areas that can accommodate the needs of several faculty members for which the use of Ricoh printers is unfeasible.

The routine purchase of new or replacement consumer-grade personal printers has been discontinued. Faculty members with nonoperational printers are asked to contact their Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant should contact BCIT and open a ticket, requesting the printer be assessed and serviced if possible.

Administrative Assistants: Ordering Computers or Printers and Requesting Services

In order to purchase new or replacement computers or a department printer, the chair or faculty members must contact their Administrative Assistant. The Administrative Assistant should open a ticket with BCIT, with a copy to Jane Holmes, requesting an assessment of the equipment and advice on a computer that will meet the faculty member’s needs and/or advice on a printer. BCIT will make their recommendations to the Vice Provost, who will make a decision about the purchase based upon the faculty member’s or department’s needs and available budget. The Vice Provost will provide a response in writing via the BCIT ticket.

For other computer needs not discussed in this section, please contact Jane Holmes at or 212-854-2297.

Other Useful Information:

BCIT can assist with an audit of computer equipment in your department, advice on the appropriate computer and software, and information about site licenses for software.

Purchasing handles all of the College’s Purchase Orders, tracks the delivery of equipment from vendors, notifies users when the computers and printers arrive on campus, and arranges payment of vendors.

The buyer’s responsibilities are to identify funding, oversee delivery, installation and securing of the computer, and arrange for the removal of the obsolete equipment following the Recycling Guidelines.

Please be sure to review the new Barnard Apple Support Policy on the BCIT webpage