Arts Faculty Computer Rollover Program 2023

Details for Faculty
Details for Staff
How the replacement program operates


Commencing in 2019, the Faculty of Arts adopted a five-year rollover program for faculty and staff members' computers (desktop or laptop).

From 2023 onwards, program changes will include a shorter rollover window of 3, or 4 years and laptops only for faculty members, on a cost-sharing basis. Staff members will continue to receive laptops on a no-cost basis.

Details for Faculty

Laptops using either the Windows or Macintosh operating systems can be selected through this program. All the offered laptops are powerful enough for day-to-day computing activities carried out by most Faculty members in Arts.

The 3-year program is based on cost-sharing with individual Faculty members. At the time of receiving a new laptop, Faculty members will contribute $500 from their FPER.

The MacBook Air, due to its higher cost, is on a 4-year cycle.

The following standard laptops will be available:

  • Apple MacBook Air (4-year cycle) [M2 with 8-core CPU & 10-core GPU, 16GB RAM & 512GB SSD and 13.6" Screen] Includes 4YR AppleCare+ for Schools
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop 5 [i5 CPU, 16GB RAM & 512GB SSD and 13.5" Touchscreen] Includes 4YR Complete for Business Warranty Plan
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 9 [i5 CPU, 16GB RAM & 256GB SSD Tablet] Includes 4YR Complete for Business Warranty Plan
  • Surface Laptop 5 with 15" screen (4-year cycle) [i7 CPU, 16GB RAM & 512GB SSD] Includes 4YR Complete for Business Warranty Plan
  • Apple MacBook Air with 15" screen (4-year cycle, $540 FPER) [M2 with 8-core CPU & 10-core GPU, 16GB RAM & 512GB SSD] Includes 4YR AppleCare+ for Schools

Also available to Faculty members are higher specification laptops available on a 4-year term with a $760 FPER contribution:

  • Apple MacBook Pro (4-year cycle) [M2 Pro with 10-core CPU & 16-core GPU, 16GB & 512GB SSD with 14" screen] Includes 4YR AppleCare+ for Schools

  • Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio (4-year cycle) [i7 CPU (Nvidia GPU), with 16GB RAM & 512GB SSD and 14.4" Touchscreen] Includes 4YR Complete for Business Warranty Plan

Unfortunately, purchasing additional upgrades (such as additional storage or RAM) via FPER for the aforementioned systems is not feasible as they are solely available for bulk purchase to maintain cost-effectiveness.

Faculty members who need additional computing functionality are encouraged to use grant money or faculty professional allowance to purchase more powerful computers or by purchasing peripherals to use with these computers (e.g. individuals needing greater storage space will be encouraged to use OneDrive or obtain an external solid-state drive). By encouraging the use of OneDrive and peripherals for individual Faculty members' unique needs, the Arts Computing Office (ACO) can provide standardized computer configurations, and the faculty member will be left with a peripheral that they can continue to use when the computer itself is replaced after three years. Similarly, Faculty members are responsible for purchasing research-specific software. Laptops will have Microsoft Office Suite (OneDrive, Outlook, etc.) and any other software that is part of a campus-wide agreement, such as Acrobat Pro and Zoom. NVivo is also available to all Faculty, details here

Faculty members participating in the 3-year, 4-year or 5-year rollover plan must return old laptops to the Arts Computing Office, as the laptops are being leased to faculty members. A thin management layer will be installed on the laptops to ensure data encryption. Access can then be reset by the ACO in case of problems.

Faculty members do not have to participate in the cost-sharing rollover program and are free to use FPERs and/or research grants to purchase computing equipment that is aligned with teaching/research/other professional needs.

Details for New Faculty

New faculty select from the standard laptop offerings and are not required to contribute FPER.  New faculty also have the option to select from the higher-end devices, but those options require a full FPER contribution.

Details for Staff

Staff members will be eligible for a new laptop after every three years. However, there will not be any cost-sharing for staff members. As with Faculty members, ACO will contact eligible staff members and inform them of their options, install the necessary software, transfer files from the old computer, remove the old computer, and be responsible for updates. If required, staff members will also receive monitors, keyboards, and mice.

How the replacement program operates

Using the equipment inventory records maintained by the ACO, which list all the University of Waterloo-owned computing equipment purchased by Arts Faculty members (i.e. computers previously obtained through this program, purchased using their Faculty Professional Allowance or their start-up grant, or a research grant), eligible Arts Faculty members will be contacted by ACO staff, informing them of their eligibility for the program that year and of their options and requirements to participate. If they decline, they will again be eligible, normally the following year. Faculty members who decide to participate will be asked to complete a form on which they will choose their new laptop and indicate their agreement with the program's conditions. They will also need to provide some information about software that they already own, and that will have to be installed on the new laptop.

Once orders are received and processed at a mutually agreed-upon date, the ACO will give the new laptop to the faculty member, install any specialized software already owned by the faculty member, transfer files from the old machine, and remove the old machine. We hope to complete all the replacements by the end of the summer each year. At the beginning of each subsequent year, the ACO will review and, if necessary, update the standard hardware configuration of the laptops that will be supplied that year to keep up with changing technology. At the end of the 3 or 4-year period, the laptop will be returned to the ACO.

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