CDH Faculty Computer Program

  • Humanities Faculty Computer Program

    A service of the UCLA Center for Digital Humanities

    Summary. One of the core technology services CDH provides to the Humanities Division is to purchase and maintain an up-to-date workstation for senate faculty and continuing lecturers on a regular refresh cycle. The current refresh cycle is four years, and CDH maintains a record of each purchase to track when each workstation is due for replacement. By entrusting faculty computer purchases and upgrades to CDH, departments are assured of providing their faculty with a choice of desktops and laptops that meet a high level of technical standards at a fair price. Managing the faculty upgrade program also means that CDH can provide the same, solid slate of software on a known desktop image, which is easier and quicker to troubleshoot and maintain. Funding for the faculty computer purchases and upgrades derives from Divisional summer earnings. As such, CDH takes very seriously its role as steward of these funds, and strives to provide as powerful a workstation as budget will allow to each eligible faculty member.

    Timeline. Each fall quarter, CDH assembles a selection of one PC and one Apple desktop and laptop recommended for new faculty and those eligible for upgrades in the current academic year. CDH strives to confirm all faculty upgrade requests by the end of December. Upgrade orders are submitted after the winter break, and CDH generally receives new computers in the first half of the winter quarter. CDH installs all software by means of a uniform image and the Computing Support Group staff deploy new and upgraded computers to eligible faculty on a rolling basis, as faculty availability permits.

    Guidelines. CDH’s goal each year is to provide as close to an ideal desktop or laptop as possible to each of our 300+ faculty and continuing lecturers while also ensuring that the support staff can efficiently troubleshoot and resolve workstation-related issues. Balancing individual needs and reliable, responsive support requires that the faculty upgrade program adhere to certain agreed-upon guidelines.

    1. Upgrades occur every four years, to ensure that the workstations Humanities faculty use adhere to minimum security standards and afford a quality user experience. Computers older than four years are generally out of warranty and become time-consuming to support.
    2. In exchange for the upgrade, faculty turn in the replaced desktop or laptop to CDH for proper recycling and disposal.
    3. Each year’s selection of desktops and laptops meets a continuing level of performance and storage criteria (processor speed, memory size, hard drive capacity, screen size) that will more than meet the needs of the majority of Humanities faculty.
    4. Faculty may request a custom configuration (i.e. one not on the approved selection for that year) to meet specialized computing needs. In approved cases, faculty may ask departments or CDH to purchase an off-selection desktop or laptop. CDH will cover only up to the cost of the nearest equivalent on the CDH selection list; any additional cost must be covered by departmental or faculty research funds.
    5. New faculty should request a workstation from the selection list in the year they are appointed at UCLA. They then become eligible for an upgrade within four years.