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All faculty will be provided with one computer via the computer replacement cycle.  The standard computer is a laptop, which will be replaced every four years.  ITS will support this computer, assuring its stability and reliability, and will repair it if necessary. Faculty laptops purchased by ITS are replaced every 4 years.  When a computer is replaced via the computer replacement cycle, the old computer will return to ITS and will be securely recycled.

Faculty have the additional option of purchasing a second computer that is paid for with faculty allowance funds.  This should be coordinated with ITS to assure that the system will be supportable and sustainable.  This second machine will not be automatically replaced; however, ITS will notify the faculty when the system should be replaced.

Machines older than four years will only be supported from a software perspective.  When such systems physically break down, they will not be repaired.

Faculty who do not already have two office monitors will receive a second monitor during their next computer replacement.


ITS will provide laptop computers to all staff who are in departments which do not have their own computer replacement budget.  By default, this will be a standard laptop.  It will be replaced on a five year cycle.  When a computer gets replaced via the computer replacement cycle, the old computer will return to ITS.

Some departments maintain kiosks, or loaner systems.  In those departments where they do not have their own computer replacement budget, ITS will maintain and replace these computers as part of the computer replacement cycle.

The following equipment is also available upon request:  one docking station, two standard-sized monitors, one wired keyboard and mouse, one webcam, one wired headset, and a phone handset.  Please contact the ITS Service Desk at 617-495-0722 or by submitting a ticket via the HLS Services Hub to request any of this optional equipment.

Restricted Departments

While restricted departments have different funding and pay for their equipment, the ITS support policies are the same as for non-restricted departments.  ITS computer support policies are as follows:

  • ITS supports one device per person (e.g. employee, temp, interns)
  • ITS supports one shared departmental laptop
  • Computers should be replaced every 5 years
    • ITS will reach out to restricted department users (cc’ing the department’s IT Contact) to remind them of their replacement date and to get the bill code to use for the replacement
    • Replacement desktops and laptops average approximately $1000.  We therefore suggest budgeting $200 per user per year in order to maintain ideal support conditions.
    • Computers will not be supported after 6 years due to incompatibility with our systems
    • Regardless of when a restricted department chooses to upgrade their equipment, the old equipment will be returned to ITS to be repurposed to best meet the needs of HLS or recycled or donated if ITS determines that it is no longer useful at HLS
    • Upgraded computers must be returned to ITS, they cannot be ‘trickled-down” to other departmental employees

If you have any questions about this, please contact ITS.

Additional Information

When a customer receives a new computer, ITS stores the old computer for a period of six weeks to ensure that the user’s data was effectively transferred (this does not pertain to someone who is leaving the Law School; in this case, the data on the hard drive is removed immediately). A new computer (printer and monitor, when appropriate) is installed and any data on the user’s old hard drive will be copied to the new hard drive. The old equipment is then removed. The serial numbers of computers, monitors, printers, and other peripherals are recorded to ensure that asset and insurance records are updated. The hard drive will also be reformatted to remove any sensitive data.

Retired equipment will be brought back to ITS and evaluated for other possible uses at Harvard Law School. Most old equipment will be slated for recycling or donated to a non-profit agency; this assures that the bulk of computers on campus are dependable, stable, and can run on the current standard supported software.