Computer Rotation Practices

These practices are based upon Administrative Polices AP-05-102 and AP-05-103.  

This document is intended as a guide to help everyone know how new computers are purchased and what factors are used to determine these replacements.

Computer standards are set based on state contract computers.  Expenses in excess of the standards are the financial responsibility of the department or college.  DoTS will work with you to determine what your position needs.

Faculty and staff may choose:

  • Macintosh or Dell
  • Desktop or laptop

Teaching faculty are encouraged to choose either a MacBook Pro or Dell laptop so they have a computer available to take to conferences, workshops, or to classrooms.

Apple and Android based tablets are also available.  Tablets and tablet accessories are the financial responsibility of the college or department making the purchase.  Technology Services Staff will work with you to determine the best purchasing decision for your needs.

Q:  What are the computer specifications?

A:  The standard specifications change as the state contract changes throughout the year.  We update the configurations regularly to stay current and to stay within the state contract offerings.  If you have a specific question or needs please send an email to dots@uwrf.edumail.

Q:  Is my computer on rotation?

A:  Yes.  All University-owned computers are on computer rotation plan.  For LTE, part-time, and student employee, see "I am an LTE, emeriti faculty, or part-time employee, or student employee; will I get a computer?"

1.  Faculty and staff computers on the GPR rotation plan selecting a standard computer are funded by the “computer rotation fund.” 

2. All other computers are funded by the department.  This includes secondary computers, special use, Program Revenue and employees.

Q:  Am I eligible for a new computer? 

A:  All GPR full-time faculty and staff are eligible for new computer paid for out of the computer rotation account.  Positions that are PR (Program Revenue) are still on rotation but the funding must come from the department or college.

Q:  How often are new computers purchased?

A:   New computers for eligible employees are purchased every 4 years.  The “bulk” purchase of eligible computers happens in the fall.

Q:  When I get a new computer can I keep my old one too?

A:  No, the purpose of purchasing new computer is to eliminate the need to support old / outdated hardware.   DoTS will transfer any documents, settings, printer, configs, etc. from your old computer to your new one.

Q:  What if I don’t need DoTS to support my additional “old” computer?

A:   DoTS is responsible for supporting all computers on campus and determines what computers are supported. 

Q:  I got a grant or need a computer for a special function.  Can I just purchase whatever computer I want?

A:  No.  All computer purchases must go through DoTS.   

Please contact DoTS BEFORE writing a grant that includes a computer.  

The department is financially responsible for replacing or updating this computer to keep the computer at the standards supported by DoTS.  The computer can be kept for no more than 6 years at which time the computer will need to be replaced at the department's expense or will be removed from service.

Please send an email to dots@uwrf.edumail.

Q:  I want to purchase a computer from my department account, program revenue, recruitment and retention account, gift to my department.  Can I purchase it?

A:  Maybe.  All purchases must go through DoTS.  Please send an email to dots@uwrf.edumail.  If the funding comes out of any University account, it becomes property of UW-River Falls that thus must be approved by DoTS.

Q:  I am an LTE, emeriti faculty, or part-time employee, or student employee; will I get a computer?

A:  If your supervisor or department chair approves, you will qualify for a refurbished computer. A refurbished computer is typically 5-6 years old. It has been upgraded to meet the minimum hardware requirements that DoTS can support.

Q:  I’m getting a new computer and I want my old computer to go to someone else in my department.  Should I just give it to them?

A.  No.

  1. Once you receive a new computer your old computer come back to DoTS and is held untouched for 2 weeks.  This two week waiting period gives you time to see if any documents, settings, configurations were missed during the initial transfer of data.
  2. If someone else in your department needs a newer computer, please send an email to to make that request.  If the person qualifies for a refurbished computer, DoTS will find the best available computer we have.
Q: What happens after my computer is purchased?

A: After your computer has been ordered it can take 6-8 weeks for the computer to be delivered to campus and then installed on your desk.

Below is the process for a typical computer install:

  1. Computer is ordered, at this point should be able to expect the computer to be ready for you in 6-8 weeks
  2. When the computer arrives on campus, DoTS staff will verify everything has arrived.  If so, you will be notified that the computer has arrived.  You will be provided some details on what we will be doing, ask for any special software, and let you know that you should expect the computer to be ready in no more than two weeks from the time we get the software confirmation.
  3. After we have done the work we need to get the computer ready, you will be notified that the computer is ready to be installed.  You will be provided details on what to expect during the install as well as be requested to contact DoTS to schedule a time for the install.
  4. During the install a technician will set everything up as requested and verify that all is working as expected, these appointments are scheduled for two hours to provide time to move data to the new computer and ensure you have what you need on your new computer.  You only need to be available for the last portion of the install, which can also be scheduled for another date.

Please note that steps 2 and 3 are automated processes.  You may be asked for software needs, which were already provided and we just didn't catch the process before it ran.  You may also be set as the contact, even though the computer is for someone else. 


Q: What are my options for new employees?

If you are hiring a new full-time, permanent Faculty or Staff member they are eligible for a new UWRF base configured computer.  Note that it can take 6-8 weeks for the new computer to arrive.

If you are hiring a new LTE, Adjunct, or new student employee position, DoTS will provide a refurbished computer.  Please provide 2-3 weeks notice to ensure the computer is setup in time for your new employee.

Q: I need a computer for vendor provided equipment, what are my options?

A:Please contact DoTS so that we can work with you from the beginning.  We want to ensure that the option chosen will work on our network and can be supported by DoTS if needed.

Below are three common options:  

  1. We can work with the vendor and assist with the purchase of a Dell or Mac that would meet the requirements.  DoTS would then fully support the computer hardware and operating system.  We would also work with the vendor as needed for support of the specialized software.
  2. The vendor can provide a fully "vendor managed" computer.  With this DoTS would only support the network connection (if the computer is on the network.)  The computer would be required to be on a separate network that office or lab computers are not on.  This would be done to prevent a computer that we don't have control over for antivirus, os patches, etc from potentially compromising the campus network.
  3. The vendor can provide a computer and DoTS can do some of the management, including antivirus software, patching, and putting the computer on our domain.  Under this setup, DoTS and the vendor would jointly manage the computer and we would be able to provide a higher level of support for you.  With this option, if the computer is on the network, students, faculty, and staff could login to the computer with their Falcon Account if needed, you would have access to network printers and network storage locations as well.
Q: What happens to my old computer?

A: DoTS will keep your hard drive or computer for two weeks.  If you notice any missing data during this time we will be able to get that data back if it was on the old computer.

1.  Computers that are less than 6 years old will be re-used on campus

2.  Computers that are 6 years old or more will be recycled.