Bren School Computing Hardware Policy
Faculty will accrue a VPB "virtual personal budget" of $400 a year maxing out at $2,400. Faculty may use the balance of this VPB at any point. This balance can be used for desktops, laptops, tablets, monitors and other computer peripherals. If the computing equipment costs more than is in the VPB, Faculty can augment these dollars with other appropriate UCSB funding they have access to. Only purchases for equipment that the faculty member will be the primary user of will be approved.
Faculty are highly encouraged to purchase as many years of warranty coverage as possible on these devices. If faculty experience a failure with their computing equipment, the compute team can provide a windows desktop PC in their office. The compute team also stocks loaner laptops (up to a month) for the Bren Community.
This policy applies to permanent Bren Faculty, VPB dollars start accruing in the first year. New faculty should budget in their startup package dollars for their initial computing equipment.
(Faculty with 75% appointments qualify for full accrual. Faculty with 50% split appointments will qualify for the full accrual amount if a Bren School office is their primary work location. Faculty with 25% appointments will have needs determined individually.)
PhD students must be provided a new computer that meets minimum specifications for connection to the Bren network configuration when they begin the program. Faculty advisors will pay for the computer from available start-up, retention, other special funds, or extramural grants if the expense is allowable. Grants should be written to increase the likelihood of funding availability. In the event that the faculty advisor has no source of funding to pay for a new computer, the Bren School’s Special Computing Fund will be used to pay for the computer. If a PhD student’s computer does not remain functional for the duration of his/her time in the program, s/he will be provided a replacement, used computer from Bren computer stock for use until graduation. PhD computers purchased using Bren Special Computing funds are the property of the Bren School and are returned to the Compute Team for reuse in other parts of the School or retirement (if appropriate). They do not remain with the faculty advisor. Faculty who purchase a non-standard computer for a PhD student using their own fund source must coordinate with the Compute Team prior to purchase to ensure the greatest of integration with the computing environment as possible. Standardized systems are fully supported by the Compute Team. Nonstandard systems will be supported to the greatest degree possible and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Researchers are expected to meet their own computing needs since there should be funding available through extramural grants. However, since postdoctoral scholars participate in a research training program that is essential in many disciplines, the school will provide a computer from Bren stock if the faculty mentor is not able to provide adequate computing hardware.
MESM students are not provided computers. They are provided access to the computers in the SCF and GIS labs, the Career Center, and the Commons. These computers are replaced every 1.5-3 years.
Visitors who are invited and hosted by the School to meet teaching needs or to participate in a special program (e.g. Bren Distinguished Visitor Program) will be provided a computer from Bren stock for temporary use. Faculty members are expected to provide computers for visitors that they invite and host. If faculty members do not have a computer for their visitor, they may apply for temporary use of one from Bren stock. However, availability is not guaranteed since stock reserves may not be adequate to accommodate all visitor requests. As such, application for computer use should occur before an invitation is extended.
Bren standard configuration is a windows-based system based on the hardware and software configuration for lab machine purchases. Users that purchase non-standard systems with their own resources will be provided assistance with system set-up, installation of site license software, configuration of network settings, installation of printers and creation of an administration account.
Computer Account & Hardware Requests
Requests for computer accounts, wireless accounts, and hardware are submitted to request@bren. Requests must be submitted at least one week in advance of need, but a minimum of two is desirable.
Critical updates to computer software will be deployed as needed. Regular system updates will occur every second Tuesday of the month. Instructors are queried quarterly for any new applications needed in support of instruction during the upcoming quarter. Major package updates to operating systems, scientific applications, and office suites will be made during the summer, provided they are stable and do not negatively impact the instructional needs of the school.