Appropriate Use Document
Grinnell College Information Technology Services (ITS)
Employee Laptop Program
Guidelines for Appropriate Use
Grinnell College provides laptop computers to faculty and staff members whose professional responsibilities and personal preferences are concordant with the guidelines in this document. The ultimate decision for laptop assignments is made by ITS in consultation with the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of College Services. A decision to provide a laptop is based upon identifiable need and available budget. These computers can be used on and off campus. The purpose of the laptop program is to enhance and enrich teaching, learning and research at the College, to facilitate the conduct of administrative duties, and to support communication.
The laptop computer is intended to serve as your primary computer workstation. If you already have a desktop computer, it will be replaced by the laptop. Desktop systems returned to ITS through the program will be redistributed on campus.
Your laptop is intended for use for college-related business as a productivity tool, curriculum tool, and for research and communication. It is not intended as a replacement for any computers you may own personally. Use of the laptop for personal purposes should be within the standards of good judgment and common sense, in compliance with the college's published policies on acceptable use, and as required through the terms and conditions of applicable software license agreements. While the laptop program will enable you as an employee of Grinnell College to conduct college business from various off-campus locations, this in no way changes your employer's expectations about attendance or other work practices, nor is work you conduct off site to be considered as eligible for overtime pay.
The laptop computer is provided for your use, but it remains the property of Grinnell College. Each unit is labeled with a unique property ID. The property ID allows ITS to manage unit assignments, coordinate repairs, and maintain systems. Please do not remove the property ID tag from your laptop.
The College and ITS will secure, via warranty extension or other means, the services needed to repair the laptop should its operation be impaired by a component failure or normal wear and tear. Also, the College will maintain adequate insurance to repair or replace the system if it is lost, stolen or damaged. The coverage for these items will be borne by the College. However, it is your responsibility to take appropriate precautions to prevent damage to or loss/theft of your laptop computer. You may be responsible for certain costs to repair or replace the computer if the damage or loss is due to negligence or intentional misconduct. Policies for appropriate use of college property as identified in the faculty/staff handbooks or elsewhere may be used to determine whether liability due to negligent behavior exists.
If your laptop is lost or stolen you must report the disappearance to the proper authority immediately. Theft or loss that occurs on campus should be reported to Security Office. For theft or loss off campus, you should report the disappearance to the local police. The police report should include the serial number for the lost computer. You will need to provide ITS with a copy of the police report within 48 hours of the discovery of the loss.
Should you have problems with your laptop, you will need to bring it to your office or the ITS offices for hardware repair, software installation or problem diagnosis. ITS staff will not visit your home or go to off-campus locations to provide services.
The laptop will be configured with a standard suite of programs that are appropriate for the type of computer you received based upon the campus software standards. It is also possible that other applications will be provided to you by the College, based upon your professional needs or the requirements of the laptop. You should keep in mind the college policies for appropriate use of software, including the requirement to demonstrate legal license to a program before it can be installed on a college-owned computer. You should not load games or entertainment software on a college-owned laptop computer.
Laptop computers purchased by Grinnell College are currently maintained on a four-year replacement cycle. You should expect to use your laptop for at least three years. Beyond the possible addition of random access memory (RAM), you should not expect hardware upgrades to be available for your laptop during that period. Similarly, although ITS will probably offer operating system and application software upgrades during that period, you may not be able to benefit from these upgrades due to hardware limitations as your laptop ages. If your laptop is scheduled to receive an upgrade, you will need to bring the computer to campus for the upgrade to be applied.
You should feel free to use your laptop to connect to the Internet from locations other than campus, such as through an Internet service provider (ISP) at your home. Your laptop will be configured with a modem and Ethernet, two common ways to connect to the Internet through an ISP. However, ITS will neither provide Internet access to you from off campus nor configure your laptop to work with your ISP. Although ITS may offer some tips or advice about best practices for off-campus use, it will be up to you and your ISP to make remote connections work.
You are responsible for maintaining an appropriate backup of your laptop, especially of the work-related documents and data files you create that cannot be retrieved by reinstalling the operating system or programs. Depending upon how you intend to use the laptop, you will probably need to store some of your documents and data files on the laptop's hard disk drive. It would be prudent to establish a process of copying the data files you use on the laptop to your central data storage area (i.e., STORAGESERVER) as an added precaution against data loss. You should not use central data storage to backup personal documents or data files.
You must read the operator's manual and other documentation that was delivered to you with your laptop computer. Information about proper ergonomic usage of computer equipment is available from the human resources office. You should read and follow such information.
Your signature below indicates that you have read this appropriate use statement and have had your questions about laptop appropriate use answered. You will need to sign this agreement before you will be issued a laptop through the program.