Kettering University - Office of the President


Computer Hardware and Software Policy

Initially Approved: August 23, 2013
Revised: August 28, 2013
Policy Topic: Information Technology
Administering Office:  Office of Information Technology



The objective of this policy is to bring a systematic approach to the acquisition, security, maintenance, and disposition of desktop and/or laptop computer and server equipment and software used by the administration, faculty, and students at Kettering University.


Computer Hardware:  In the context of this policy, is defined as desktop, laptop, notebook, or any variation of computer equipment that the university uses for business or instructional purposes that can have its operating system and core software imaged. Not included in this definition would be tablets or other smart devices. 

Computer Systems:  Include any personal computer (stand-alone or networked), workstation, mini-computer or mainframe computer used on this campus or accessible by way of networks at other locations.

Computer Networks:  Include any local or wide area communications systems connecting above defined computer systems or hardware.


Computers and related software and peripherals purchased by the University, will be managed and maintained by the University.  Individual users may not install software or physical devices that prevent appropriate University personnel from accessing the equipment or software to conduct management or maintenance functions.  The University may install software on university-purchased PCs or personal PCs connected to the internal (authenticated) campus network to do remote management and maintenance of computers and to protect the computers from viruses, malicious software (“malware” and spyware), etc.  The Information Technology department has overall responsibility for the standards of acquisition, maintenance and inventory control of the University standard-compliant information technology. 

Offices wanting to purchase and implement local server-based systems must develop a Service Level of Agreement (SLA) with the Information Technology department that specifies the responsibilities of both parties in the implementation and maintenance of the system.  The SLA must be signed by both the Provost the Vice President of Instructional, Administrative, and Information Technology

To accommodate varying needs in administration, instruction, and research computing, while avoiding excessive variability in equipment and software, university computing purchases shall be standardized on the Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems.  Determination of which system to choose shall be dependent upon the defined use.  To promote the standardization of equipment and realize economies-of-scale cost savings in the procurement and maintenance of computing equipment, Information Technology will establish a list of standard hardware configurations (e.g. value, standard, and high performance) that must be used by University faculty and staff, unless a departmental request for deviation from the standard has been approved by the Vice President of Instructional, Administrative, and Information Technology or his/her designee. 

University desktop/laptop computer programs shall be standardized on selected vendor software packages (i.e., spreadsheet, word processing, antivirus, and antimalware, etc.).  When required to submit a document as a computer file to another University department or person, the department or person who submits the file is responsible for providing it in the standardized format.  A Windows-based application should be used for administrative purposes if a compatible cross-platform version does not exist. 

All software products purchased with university-controlled funds shall have proof of license on file with the department ordering it.  Information shall include product identification, license number, date of purchase, and user.  Departments must maintain such records for software installed locally on computers under their control.  Information Technology must maintain such records for software installed to run on the central computer system or from network servers managed by Information Technology or for site licensed software.

Information Technology is responsible for maintaining standards-compliant software and hardware.  Departments purchasing non-standard hardware or software are responsible for its maintenance.  Users shall be responsible for maintaining a backup copy of their software products (license permitting), applications, and data files.  Desktop/laptop computer and server-based applications developed by a department rather than by the Information Technology shall be the responsibility of the department.  

Information Technology will annually publish an obsolescence schedule, giving at least a one-year’s notice as to what software or hardware will no longer be supported by Information Technology.  Once software or hardware reaches that cutoff date, it will be replaced by Information Technology if the software or hardware is their responsibility.  If it is not, Information Technology will not be obligated to provide support for it.  Software or hardware replaced by Information Technology may not be retained by the department, but must be turned over to Information Technology for disposal. The user is responsible for removing any data from a desktop/laptop computer before it is replaced.  Disk drives from replaced desktop/laptop computers will be physically destroyed by Information Technology before they are surplused.

Desktop/laptop computer and server-based operations critical to the mission of the University shall have a Disaster Recovery Plan.  The responsibility for identifying desktop/laptop computer operations critical to the mission of the University and insuring that a Disaster Recovery Plan for that operation exists rests with the responsible Vice President


Information Technology shall develop or revise the list of approved vendor hardware and software packages during zero section each year with the advice of the Information Technology Advisory Committees.  The list will be published on the University’s Information Technology web page.  


Information Technology's website provides further information regarding technology Policies and Standards.