Information Technologies

Computer Replacement Policy

Computer Replacement Policy Statement


This policy applies to the computing equipment provided to the faculty members (including full-time lecturers) and permanent staff of the University of Washington, Bothell purchased using Information Technologies funds other than department or startup funding. This policy covers ONE machine per 4-year lifecycle. A lifecycle is the 4-year period after which a primary workstation will be considered for replacement.

Computing workstations used by student workers are not covered under the equipment replacement process. Computers that are recovered during this process will be evaluated for usefulness and made available for upgrades if newer than the current student workers computer. Departments may also purchase computers for student workers if the computers available do not fit their needs. 



UWB is committed to ensuring that each faculty and staff member has access to a modern computing platform to support the mission of the university. In the fulfillment of this commitment, this policy is designed to guide the regular replacement of computing equipment. 


When the standard 4-year lifecycle on an existing system ends, the options for replacement are as follows: 

  1. Pick from one of the standard configurations in the table below. At the end of the 4 year cycle, the system will be replaced per this policy and the old system re-deployed within UWB or disposed of in accordance with UW Bothell policies. 

  2. Propose a custom configuration. UWB IT will provide up to the amount for a standard configuration (based on yearly economic and budget factors) toward a single system. School/Department budgets are responsible for covering additional costs for custom configurations. (Custom configurations require consultation with IT staff to ensure that the purchase is compliant with all UWB and IT purchasing policies.) 

Standard Configurations

Information on the standard computer types can be found here:

Standard desktop configurations have been selected to facilitate redeployment at the end of the lifecycle period. If the standard configuration is not adequate, a custom configuration may be selected. Minor upgrades to the standard configurations such as a larger HD or more memory are considered custom configurations in this case. However, the additional cost incurred by the upgrade must be paid for from other sources such as start-up funds, unit funds, or departmental funds. 

Job function and software needs should be considered before replacement finalization for Mac-based systems. 

Any system purchased with Equipment Replacement funds must include a parts and labor warranty of no less than 3 years. 

University policy dictates that no refurbished equipment may be  purchased. All equipment is newly manufactured and distributed to UW Bothell by contracted vendors.

Policy Statement 

Life-cycle replacement of faculty and staff computing equipment is intended to ensure that their primary computing resource is sufficiently modern and powerful. To this end, UW Bothell will replace a faculty or staff member’s primary workstation at a regular interval. This interval will typically be 4 years. 

A standard and custom configuration machines will be redeployed to a secondary location within UW Bothell beyond the lifecycle period. The additional use beyond the end of the lifecycle period provides UW Bothell students, faculty, and staff with additional computing resources and as a result extends funding available for the standard configuration options. 

The standard configuration options will be determined each year based on available funds, price-performance analysis, and market conditions. This baseline cost will be used to establish the available funding for the custom configuration option. 

The manufacturer’s warranty of at least 3 years must be included in the purchase of the machine for all of the options. 

This policy is subject to change based on periodic review, budgetary constraints, or other factors deemed necessary by UWB Information Technologies.

  • When financially possible, computer systems will be replaced within the fiscal year in which they are determined to be end-of-life. 

  • The Information Technology department will maintain a website that indicates the current recommended models. 

  • All replaced workstations must be returned to the UW Bothell IT.  Equipment purchased or replaced by the replacement budget is the property of the institution, not of the department or individual.   

  • Departments may not repurpose end-of-life computers within the department. If the department wishes to keep the old equipment for other uses, a request must be made in writing. Recycled or “trickledown” equipment will not be considered as part of the 4-year replacement cycle.   

  • Any systems stolen or lost will be replaced by departmental funds. 

  • If a computer has accidental damage and handling warranty coverage, accidental damage will be covered by the warranty purchased within its coverage period. If outside of the warranty period, damage will be covered by department funds. 

  • In all cases, if a Mac-based system is chosen, job function and software needs should be considered before replacement finalization.