The CHFA Computer Renewal Program is designed to replace old faculty and staff computers with new computers and to provide supplemental support and leadership in relation to IT within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.  It is a new program and a work in progress but has already led to the replacement of many computers and provided individuals and departments with support and trouble-shooting. 

While critical, this program is not intended to address ALL possible needs and will be tailored to complement the support and resources provided by OIT and other campus entities, through contract negotiations, and through other means. 

Regarding equipment, we are initially prioritizing those existing machines in direst need of replacement.   Only the primary computer used by a faculty or staff qualifies, and only if that computer is more than four years old.  

The Computer Renewal Program budget is limited, so it is important that all faculty who are interested in a computer replacement email the IT Office ( as soon as possible to schedule a brief survey.

Again, this entire program is a work in progress and we appreciate your input as we design and implement this program. Some frequently asked questions follow:


Q. My primary computer is more than four years old.  How do I apply?
A. Please contact Steven Rigler in the CHFA IT Office by email ( or telephone (413-545-3683).  You will be asked to participate in a brief survey in which we will ask you questions related to how you use your computer and how we can help you to best leverage new technology.  We will also record specific information about your computer.  We will then discuss the new computer’s configuration in an effort to match it to your needs, and order the computer itself.  When the computer arrives, we will contact you to arrange an installation date, install it at your desk, help you migrate your data, and remove your old computer.

Q. My primary computer is less than four years old.  Can I get a new one?
A. Subject to availability of Computer Renewal Program funds and approval of your department head, we will prorate the cost of a new computer according to the age of your existing computer.  Your department or other sources would pay the balance.  For example, if your computer is three years old, your department would pay 25% of the cost of a new computer.   Please contact Steven Rigler in the CHFA IT Office by email ( or telephone (413 545 3683) for further details.

Q. My computer is made by Apple, or I would like to replace my computer with an Apple computer.  Is it possible?
A. Yes.  At present, Mac Mini is available as a replacement option.

Q. What is a baseline replacement computer configuration?
A. At present, a baseline Windows computer is a Dell Optiplex 755 with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, a 250GB drive, a 16x DVD+/-RW drive, three year warranty, with Windows XP installed.  Our baseline Apple computer  is a Mac Mini with a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB memory, 80GB hard drive, three year AppleCare warranty, and the latest Apple operating system software installed.  However, we are always open to working closely with individuals who have specific special needs and trying to determine how best to meet them.

Q. Why does a baseline Windows computer have higher performance specifications than a baseline Apple computer?
A. Because Apple computers cost more.

Q. Why does a baseline Windows computer have Windows XP rather than Windows Vista?
A. The Office of Information Technology strongly recommends Windows XP and strongly cautions against Windows Vista because Vista is not yet fully compatible with University IT services.  This may change in the future.

Q. Will you configure my replacement computer to improve it relative to a baseline computer?
A. Yes, but only if your department head agrees to pay the difference in price.

Q. Can I replace my computer with a laptop or notebook computer?
A. Only if your department head agrees to pay the difference in price between the cost of a baseline desktop replacement computer and the cost of the portable computer.  At present, the minimum difference is approximately $600.

Q. Can I replace my monitor?
A. Not unless your monitor has failed, or has a diagonal measurement of less than 17 inches.  Monitors have an average lifespan much greater than that of an average computer.  Exceptions can be made for personnel whose work responsibilities (e.g. graphic design) necessitate a larger monitor.

Q. Will you reinstall all my software on my replacement computer?
A. We will be happy to install any software for which you have installation disks and valid licenses.

Q. After it is replaced through the Computer Renewal Program, can I keep my old computer?
A. No.  Once we have delivered your new computer, we will help you migrate your data.  To minimize the possibility of data loss, we will store your old computer for two weeks prior to re-assigning it.  Used computers are essential to the capacity of the CHFA IT Office to perform its support role.

Q. What happens to my old computer?
A. Your old computer will be re-assigned to visiting faculty, student employees, and as “loaners” to faculty and staff in transition.

Q. I am a student or a student employee.  Can I have a new computer?
A. No.  At the request of a student employee supervisor, old computers can be made available for work-related use by student employees as availability permits.

Q. I manage a computer lab.  Will you replace all my computers?
A. No.  Only a faculty or staff member’s primary computer may qualify for replacement under the Computer Renewal Program.

Q. Will you deliver and install my new computer?  Will you remove my old computer?
A. Yes.  We will contact you to schedule an appointment when the new computer arrives.

Q. My department wants to order a computer with our own funds.  Can you help us?
A. Yes.  The CHFA IT Office provides many services in addition to the Computer Renewal Program.  We can provide computer quotes, configure, order, install, deliver, troubleshoot and support computers, peripherals and software on behalf of any CHFA department or program.

Q. Can I use my MSP/Provost’s Office computer funds in conjunction with the Computer Renewal Program?
A. Yes.  We will help you configure a computer costing up to the price of a baseline computer plus your available MSP/Provost’s Office computer funds.  For this reason, we strongly encourage faculty to apply for MSP/Provost’s Office computer funds each year and for any other funds that may be available. By combining resources, faculty can obtain a better computer than they could otherwise.

Q. Can I use PMYR, Professional Development, or any of my other funds in conjunction with the Computer Renewal Program?
A. Yes.  We will help you configure a computer costing up to the price of a baseline computer plus your available funds.

Q. How else can I get a computer?
A. Your department is encouraged to participate in the OIT Computer Recycling program.  The OIT Computer Recycling program awards used OIT computers based on availability.  On average, these computers are three years old and capable of most of the same common tasks as are new computers.