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Kalamazoo College

Equipment for Instruction and Research

Equipment Acquired through the Provost’s Initial Research Account

Equipment obtained through the Provost’s initial research account is the property of the faculty member’s department, purchased to enable the faculty member to carry out instruction and research as a member of the Kalamazoo College faculty. Equipment purchased through this account, including computing equipment, will be the responsibility of the department to maintain.

When faculty members who have had initial research accounts leave the College, the status of any equipment purchased under said account is negotiated with the Provost. Normally, the College retains ownership of the equipment. However, if with the departure of the faculty member the equipment is of no further use to the College, the Provost, in consultation with the department chair, may decide to let the departing individual take the equipment.

Equipment Acquired through Other Research Accounts

Faculty members who purchase equipment through other College research accounts (for example, accounts associated with holding an endowed chair) are responsible for the repair and replacement of the equipment. If funding for the equipment has multiple sources (e.g., a chair holder's research fund, an external grant, and College funds), the Provost and faculty member will establish in writing who is to be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the equipment.

Office computers purchased either by Information Services or through the Donna and Thomas W. Lambert Faculty Development Funds will be added to the Information Services inventory and maintained by Information Services.

Equipment Acquired through External Grants

Equipment purchased through external grants and processed through the College's budget belongs to the acquiring department of the College. The department is also responsible for the maintenance of this equipment. In the unlikely event that a faculty member obtains equipment via an external grant that is not processed through the College's budget, the status of the equipment should be negotiated with the Provost to determine ownership and responsibility for repair and replacement. Faculty are encouraged to seek outside funding to augment, upgrade, or replace their research equipment. The Office of Institutional Support and Research is committed to working with faculty to develop proposals for research and teaching equipment. Equipment grants usually require an institutional match, and faculty should consult with the Provost early in the process about the availability of matching funds.

Special Considerations for the Acquisition of Computing Equipment and Software

Information Services supplies desktop office computers, computer teaching labs, and, in conjunction with funding from the Provost’s Office, start-up computing resources for new faculty. In addition to the above policies on equipment, which apply to hardware and software, the following policies outline additional considerations regarding computer equipment and software; library collection purchases are also addressed.

Computer Equipment and Software Purchased through External Grants

Faculty should consult with Information Services staff and obtain the Director’s signature on the internal Proposal Routing Sheet for grant proposals that involve any computer hardware or software or equipment requiring a computer interface. Information Services can help faculty identify the best hardware and software products and estimate costs for proposal budgets.

Purchasing Software
Information Services provides an array of supported software on office Macs and PCs and in computer labs and classrooms. A list of this software is available upon request. The Information Services Computer Support Policy lists additional software that IS would support if purchased, and the document "Software Blues" explains how to request new software for labs and classrooms.

Faculty are generally expected to work within the framework of the software products that the College owns and supports. When a faculty member or a department purchases unsupported software, it is the responsibility of the faculty member or the purchasing department to maintain and upgrade it.

Computer Teaching Classrooms and Open Computer Labs
Information Services provides several computer teaching classrooms and open computer labs, and funding for such general-use labs and classrooms resides in the Information Services budget (i.e., this funding will not normally be found in a departmental budget). It must remain, however, the responsibility of department chairs to work with the Director of Information Services, or her designee, to plan and maintain the functionality of those facilities for use in teaching and research. Individual departments are responsible for budgeting for specialized software and may need to provide knowledgeable teaching assistants or monitors to assist student users. When necessary, external funding should be sought to upgrade facilities.

If a department creates its own computer lab, it is responsible for maintenance and upgrades for hardware and software. Departments should consult with Information Services for assistance in planning such facilities.

Office Computing Needs
Since 1997, the College has equipped each faculty office with a computer, software, and connectivity sufficient to support word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, and Web access. Information Services manages a budget with a goal of a five-year replacement cycle. Departments need not make requests through the budget process to replace basic office computer hardware and software covered within the replacement cycle.

Network-based printing is also supported, with one network printer typically provided for each department. The College does not have the resources or staffing to provide and maintain printers for individual faculty offices.

Additional and/or Advanced Applications Needs
If a faculty member or a department requires special computing equipment, replacements, or upgrades not normally covered by the Information Services replacement cycle, the department chair should address those needs during the annual budget process. For example, faculty in the sciences or social sciences who need more powerful computers than the standard issue to support basic instruction and research should articulate those needs through the departmental budget process. Faculty who require high-end research computers should seek external grant support.

Limitation on Information Services Responsibilities
Individuals who damage College equipment through attempts to make unauthorized repairs, whether the equipment is maintained by Information Services or by a College department, will be held financially accountable. Information Services will assist departments in identifying qualified repair persons when needed.