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Technology Budget Planning FAQ

The following are questions (and answers) that have come up in the budget planning process.

Computer Replacements

Additional Computers




Smart Classrooms & Smart Spaces

Other Technology Requests

Budget Process and Time Line

How can I find out when my computer is supposed to be replaced?

In order to assist you with your technology budget planning, we are providing a computer replacement report of all computers in your department along with their replacement schedule and replacement details. Once you open the file, you can scroll to your department or use the bookmark index on the left.

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May I keep my computer longer than 3 years?

Because a computer’s level of service diminishes as it gets older, we encourage all primary workstations be replaced after three years. These workstations will then be used for a second cycle of two years for less-demanding uses. Throughout these five years, Calvin receives useful service from all our workstations.

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The computer replacement information is incorrect. How can I get it changed?

If you notice incorrect or missing information in the computer replacement report, please contact Rick DeVries with the correct information. With over 7,700 items and 7,800 people and lab station names in our database, keeping everything current is a challenge. We appreciate your help in providing corrections and updates.

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May I request a laptop instead of a desktop?

Requests for laptops are only approved in cases of a pedagogical need for mobility, such as regular travel, presentations, or a need for a laptop in the classroom. A desktop computer has better system performance and fewer maintenance issues, as well as being less costly and less prone to physical damage and theft. Because of this, we do not approve requests for laptops in order to allow faculty and staff to work from home.

Additional Considerations to Think About with Laptops:

  • A laptop that is damaged beyond use, lost, or stolen will be replaced with a comparable used laptop from CIT's available stock. If a comparable used laptop is not available, CIT may provide a desktop system as a replacement.
  • If a user has a second laptop stolen or damaged due to carelessness, Calvin will not provide any funds for its replacement. The user will be asked to pay for its replacement from his or her own pocket.
  • With every laptop deployed, CIT provides a carry case, mouse, and security cable. The technology budget does not provide for external monitors, keyboards, docking stations, extra batteries, or additional power supplies.
  • Users are expected to secure their computer at all times. This includes locking it in offices and especially when traveling.
  • If you are storing confidential information on your hard-drive or any portable electronic device, it MUST BE protected using encryption. To add data encryption to your device, please call the HelpDesk at x6-8555 or email.

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May faculty switch from desktop to laptop if they pay the difference?

Unfortunately, we cannot enter an arrangement whereby they are paying for a portion of the laptop. It opens too many questions on rights of ownership, software licensing, and shared costs for repairs and upgrades.

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May I request a Mac instead of a PC?

Requests for a Mac instead of a PC will be approved based on several factors, but not compatibility between office and home computers. Your request is more likely to be approved if:

  • There is a long-term need to create multimedia content on a regular basis.
  • The need cannot be met by making changes to a Windows workstation or by using the CIT’s Digital Studio.
  • You demonstrate proficiency in developing materials using Mac-only tools.
  • You hold a tenure track position or a multi-year assignment.
  • The change will have limited negative impact in the unavailability of Windows applications.

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What does "NF" mean on the computer replacement report?

"NF" stands for "Not Found" and is used internally in CIT to flag computers that have not been located in our most recent physical inventory. Machines that are flagged as NF may be removed from the automatic replacement schedule if they cannot be located.

If you know the whereabouts of an item flagged as NF, please contact Rick DeVries with the updated information.

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May I buy my old laptop?

Calvin is not able to sell used computer equipment to employees or students. Most of our equipment is used on campus for 5 years before disposal. We recycle our computer equipment with a local firm who specializes in computer recycling.

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How can I request an additional computer or workstation?

If you have a need for an additional workstation in your department, please include this in your budget request. Please explain the need through answering the question, "What has changed in your area that requires another workstation?"

Keep in mind that even second-cycle computers are not without cost to the college. CIT must provide licensed software on each computer, a network connection, and on-going support via the HelpDesk. These costs can approach $1,500-$2,000 per workstation.

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How do I include unconfirmed new/additional people in our deparment in the budget?

Please include this information in your budget requests. CIT can earmark funds as tentative, pending approval of the position.

Likewise, if you have incoming faculty but are not able to disclose their name (e.g. a job offer is pending), you can include an item in the budget for "New Faculty #1" in order to make sure that budget money is allocated for this position.

Please indicate whether this is a new position or a new employee in a present position. Those filling a vacancy will be given the computer of the person who formerly held the position, unless the existing computer is not suitable. Please include this information in your budget, along with an explanation.

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When is our printer scheduled for replacement?

The useful life of a printer varies greatly depending on the model of printer, how much it is used, and other environmental factors. Therefore, department laser printers are not on an automatic replacement schedule. If your department printer is no longer meeting your needs, please include a request for a new one in your budget.

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How have the multifunction devices (MFDs) affected office printer replacements?

In 2008, Printing Services provided campus offices with multifunction devices (MFDs) that copy, print, scan, and fax.

CIT is monitoring usage of the MFDs and laser printers and will use this information in determining appropriate replacement decisions when your laser printer is reaching end of its useful life.

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Is our office multifunction device (MFD) included in the technology budget?

MFDs are managed by Printing Services and are not included in the technology budget. Please contact Printing Services with questions about MFDs in your office area.

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May I request a personal printer in my office?

Most users are expected to print to their department MFD or laser printer. CIT will provide a personal printer to meet ADA accommodation requests with proper documentation and approval by the Director of Human Resources.

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May I request a color printer?

Color printing should be directed to Printing Services or the select number of color printers on campus. If you have sufficient need for color printing which cannot be met with existing color printing solutions, please include your request and rationale in your budget request.

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Must I request an upgrade to my software or does this happen automatically?

Automatic updates include only software commonly used on campus, including MS Office, Groupwise and any other software qualified to receive Level 1 HelpDesk support. Any other campus software will only be updated by request or when necessary. We will communicate these software upgrades using the I.T. Connection or a direct e-mail to those affected.

If you are not certain if your software is planned to be upgraded, please include your request in your budget. If you need your software to be upgraded sooner than the budget process allows, please contact the HelpDesk directly and put in a service request.

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Do I request software for my classroom in the technology budget?

Yes, please include software requests for Smart Classrooms and computer classrooms in your department requests. Reminders about deadlines and other information.

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May I request a second monitor (dual display)?

Our approval of these requests depend on the activities at the workstation and the physical capabilities of the workstation for running two displays. CIT fulfills approved requests with used equipment from available stock so as to reduce the impact on the budget. Please include requests for dual displays in your budget.

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May I request a scanner?

Office MFDs come with the capability to scan multiple page documents directly to PDF and save to a network folder or e-mail. CIT encourages the use of these devices rather than purchasing additional desktop scanners. If the MFD does not meet your requirements, please include a request for a scanner in your budget.

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Which peripherals are included in the budget and which ones are not?


  • printers
  • scanners
  • external hard drives
  • monitors

We consider all other computer peripherals and non-computer items to be the responsibility of each department.

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Do I include Smart Classroom requests in the technology budget?

Yes, requests for technology related to Smart Classrooms should be included in your budget requests. This includes:

  • requests for new Smart Classrooms
  • equipment additions, changes, or upgrades
  • instructor station furniture changes

Smart Classroom requests will be handed over to CIT's Smart Classroom team for review and processing. They will communicate with you directly and independently from the technology budget process once they receive your request.

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What is a Smart Space? Can I request it in the budget?

CIT has identified Smart Spaces as meeting areas other than classroom spaces where presentation technology is needed. Examples include large and small public meeting spaces such the CFAC auditorium and Meeter Center Lecture Hall. Other examples include "private" departmental conference rooms. Limited funding for Smart Spaces is provided by the administration and managed by CIT. Departments requesting a Smart Space may be asked to share the cost to equip the Smart Space. You may include Smart Space requests in your budget and we will contact you to discuss your needs.

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How do I request CalvinWireless in my department area?

CalvinWireless is currently available in a number of campus wireless hotspots. CIT will continue deployment of CalvinWireless this year according to campus needs.

If you would like to request CalvinWireless, please include this in your technology budget request. We will pass your request on to the correct people in CIT for consideration. Approval and communication of your CalvinWireless requests will be handled separately from your other technology requests.

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How do I use the Budget Entry Tool?

More information about the Budget Entry Tool.

Instructions for using the Budget Entry Tool.

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I closed the Budget Entry Tool. Where did it get saved?

The Budget Entry Tool can be found by opening the CITBudget folder on your Desktop. All changes are saved automatically as you type, which is why there is no “File > Save” option.

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What is the deadline for submitting my technology requests?

We ask that you return your budget requests no later than March 8, 2013 and encourage you to return it as soon as it is completed.

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Who reviews and approves the budget requests?

Academic budget requests are reviewed by Rick DeVries and Rob Bobeldyk with the assistance of the Technology Integration Services team. Those recommendations go to the academic deans for review and input before they are finalized.

Administrative budget requests are reviewed by Rick DeVries and Matt Jeltema with the assistance of others in CIT. Those recommendations go to the CIT Leadership Team and the Vice President for Information Services for review and input before they are finalized.

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When will I find out if my requests are approved?

If all goes well, we expect to communicate with you in early May on your budget requests.

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When does the new budget go into effect?

The budget being planned is for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2013. In the event that CIT has funding available at the end of the current fiscal year, we may be able to fund a limited number of budget requests prior to July 1. Please contact Rick DeVries if you have time-critical needs before July 1. All needs will be prioritized against available funding.

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Comments on any of these issue are welcome. Please contact Rick DeVries by March 8, 2013.

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