Faculty & Staff Workstation Initiative Guidelines
Faculty & Staff Workstation Initiative Guidelines

Faculty & Staff Workstation Initiative Guidelines

Program Overview

The Faculty and Staff Workstation Initiative is a centrally-planned and funded program that provides a primary computing device and standard peripherals (e.g., monitor, docking station, and webcam) if needed to benefits-eligible faculty and staff members to perform their teaching, research, and daily job functions. The initiative is managed by GW Information Technology (GW IT) in collaboration with university leadership and covers the procurement, asset management, refresh, and disposal of workstations. These guidelines do not cover the procurement of workstations for departmental shared spaces, computer labs, classrooms, research labs, and any application beyond primary faculty and staff workstations.

Program Eligibility 

  • All benefits-eligible faculty and staff members can receive a GW-issued computer that aligns with their position.
    •  Faculty will receive a new computer at the time of hire and subsequently every three years. If a faculty member defers a computer replacement, they will be added to the following 3-year refresh cycle, unless other arrangements with GW IT have been requested.
    • Staff will receive a computer at the time of hire and every four years if needed.  
    • GW IT will provide an eligibility list to unit leaders on an annual basis for the purpose of data validation. 
    • One university-owned primary computer with standard peripherals (e.g., docking station and external monitor) if needed will be issued to each eligible faculty or staff member at a given time. Peripherals will be replaced only when they are no longer functional. Non-standard peripherals are excluded from the program, and requests for such items should follow each unit’s purchasing process. 
    • For non-eligible positions such as student workers, sponsored users, affiliates, adjunct faculty, faculty emeritus, and visiting scholars (when a new computer is not noted in their appointment letter), loaner computers can be requested from GW IT. 

Computer Configurations

  • GW IT maintains a list of approved standard configurations for various use cases, including options for the operating system (Windows/MacOS), form factor (desktop/laptop/tablet), and technical specifications. These configurations are defined as either productivity, performance, or portability models.
    • Productivity models are designed to ensure GW Faculty and Staff have the computer processing power needed for standard academic and administrative needs.
    • Performance models are customized to provide additional computing and storage capabilities required for specific uses that the productivity models cannot meet. GW IT will collaborate with a school or divisional representative (finance director and/or a Dean/VP or appointed delegate) to review requests for performance model machines. A business justification is required when a faculty or staff member selects a performance model during the request process due to the higher machine costs.   
    • Portability models referred to as a 2-in-1 (laptop/tablet) are configured for ultra mobility and offer a tablet-like experience and come equipped with a touch display. GW IT will collaborate with a school or divisional representative (finance director or a Dean/VP or appointed delegate) to review requests for portability model machines. A business justification is required when a faculty or staff member selects a portability model during the request process due to the higher machine costs. 
  • GW IT updates the approved standard configurations annually to keep pace with new model releases, software requirements, and consultation and feedback from faculty and staff.  
    • University-owned computers are configured with common software applications provided by GW IT such as productivity suite, popular internet browsers, file sharing and storage clients, and collaboration and communication tools.  
    • University-owned computers also come pre-installed with:
      • Endpoint management software to maintain operating system and application updates, and provide a catalog for self-installation of available software.
      • Security software to continuously monitor and protect against security vulnerabilities and threats.
      • Desktop notifier for timely and relevant emergency notifications as part of GW's emergency messaging tools.
  • Faculty and staff members are highly encouraged to select from the standard configurations. However, if there is a need for a customized computer configuration or specific model, the request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Finance Director, Dean/VP, or appointed delegate. Upon review and approval, the workstation program will fund the purchase price up to an annually determined amount. Any differential costs will be funded from the requesting unit’s budget or through a specific budget request for incremental or one-time funding. 

Computer Selection and Acquisition Process

  • Eligible faculty and staff will be presented with the opportunity to select a workstation under the following scenarios:
    • New Hire – Eligible new faculty and staff members will receive instructions during their onboarding period when it is time to select a workstation. Please use the request type “New Employee Computer” when submitting your request
    • Faulty Equipment – If a faculty or staff member has reported a non-functioning workstation to GW IT, and the machine has been determined to be broken and/or unrepairable, the individual will be prompted to select  “Replace Broken Computer” when submitting your request
    • Lifecycle Refresh – The quarter following the computer deployment end date (3 years faculty, 4 years staff), GW IT will notify the faculty or staff member to request a new or replacement computer using a specific lifecycle replacement form. 
  • All computers and peripherals purchased from the central budget, including those purchased using supplemental funds (e.g., REIA, Faculty Start-Up), are considered GW assets and subject to the university’s IT asset management practices.  
  • All computer purchases must be ordered through GW IT, per the Acquisition of Computer Hardware and Software policy.
  • Employees transferring within GW should maintain their existing computers unless the vacated position requires more specialized computer requirements.  To ensure the employee transferring has access to the software needed in their new role, the employees can coordinate having the computer reimaged by GW IT.
  • Faculty and departments pursuing grants for computing equipment or grants that include computing equipment should consult with GW IT.  Computing equipment for research/grant-funded projects will be purchased through GW IT in collaboration with the researcher and will not be eligible for replacement through the workstation initiative.  
    • Computer purchases funded through grants, external programs, or other budget resources will be inventoried and become part of the GW IT computer inventory and policies unless the granting agency has specified otherwise in its contract with the university.
  • Faculty members with funds from research awards or startup funds may use these funds to purchase additional computers and equipment that exceed the norm of one computer per employee for office or lab use. 

Computer Deployment & Support  

  • Productivity Configurations: A faculty or staff member who has submitted a productivity configuration workstation request should expect to receive the machine within 20 business days. Within that window, your machine will be identified from inventory, assigned to the support team for installation preparation, and configured for use in your environment. You can expect to be contacted to schedule an installation appointment around 10 business days from your request.  Data transfer instructions will be provided, and employees will be asked for any specific software to be installed on the computer.  Employees will be asked if administrative rights are needed on the computer.  If needed, employees will be provided with specific instructions to request it.   
  • Performance and Non-standard Configurations: A faculty or staff member who has submitted a performance or non-standard configuration workstation request should expect to receive the machine within 30-40 business days after request approval. The same steps apply to performance and non-standard configurations as described above in the productivity configuration process; however, these machines may take longer to fulfill due to obtaining the business justification and funding approval beyond the base allocation if a non-standard configuration is requested. Additionally, non-standard machines will need to be ordered and received from the selected vendor. 
  • Computers cannot be reassigned to another position or employee without GW IT’s approval. If a faculty or staff member leaves the university, the computer assigned to them must be returned to GW IT on or before the employee's last day. GW IT will reset the device and update the university’s inventory. GW IT will contact the departing employee and their manager regarding the return of all GW-issued equipment (e.g., computers, monitors, and power cords).  
  • Computers that are marked for replacement will be assessed by GW IT to determine the feasibility of redeploying them. If deemed appropriate for redeployment, GW IT will re-image the computers, adding them to GW IT’s loaner pool. 
  • After a faculty or staff member receives a new computer, they will have 20 business days to retain their old computer for data-transfer activities. At the expiration of the data transfer period, the old computer will be retrieved by GW IT or assessed for possible employee buyback.  (See the computer buyback section below). 
  • When a faculty is granted Emeritus status, they can keep their existing computer if it is outside the warranty and is approved by the school dean.  For computers that are still within the warranty period, GW IT will determine the current fair market value (FMV) of the machine and the departing faculty member will have the opportunity to pay for the machine.  All data and software will need to be removed, and the computer will not be replaced.

Retaining Existing Computers for Research 

  • Faculty requesting to retain their old computer on campus for research or other specific business needs may submit a request to GW IT for consideration. The request to retain an old computer is not the same as buying back an old machine, which requires wiping all data from the computer prior to being bought back. (See the computer buyback section below). 
  • A business justification is required when a faculty member requests to keep an old machine for research purposes. The need for a secondary home or off-campus machine is not a valid business justification.  
  • The request will require the approval of the Dean or Designee, and GW IT will collaborate with a school representative (Finance Director or Dean or Designee) to review requests to keep old machines. 
  • The cost will be $250.00 for Dell computers and $450 for Apple computers.
  • Ongoing performance and maintenance of the older computer may be impacted. Therefore, GW IT will only provide “best effort” support to old machines. GW IT does not recommend the purchase of individual replacement parts for off-warranty/out-of-lifecycle machines.
  • The operating system (OS) of the old computer must still be supportable by GW IT and the manufacturer for security patches. If the OS of a computer is discontinued while the computer is still in the possession of a faculty member, then GW IT will retrieve the computer from the faculty. 
  • For data security purposes, an old machine can only be kept for no more than an additional lifecycle (i.e., 6 years from the original deployment date). However, if there are recurring issues with the machine, the device will be retrieved by GW IT. 
  • An old machine must be regularly backed up by the user to make sure the data is safe in case of computer failure. 


  • GW IT is responsible for disposing of electronic equipment and will ensure that all assets are properly disposed of in accordance with the university’s Surplus University Property Policy. When an asset is deemed unusable, obsolete, or at end-of-life (EOL), GW IT will determine whether it should be processed for e-cycling, donation, transfer, or buyback. Faculty and staff should not dispose of any university-provided computers.  

Computer Buyback

  • Computer buybacks are an option if the computer cannot be used within the GW IT inventory for redeployment.  All requests to buyback computers should be processed through GW IT. The process does not apply to departments or employees using internal GW funds. 
  • Based on the computer make, model, and configuration, GW IT will provide the buyback price for each piece of equipment.  The minimum cost will be $50.00 for computers; otherwise, we use the rate determined by the third-party vendors to determine the current fair market value (FMV) for each device. In addition, the faculty or staff purchasing the equipment must complete and return the Release and Waiver and Bill of Sale forms approved by an Associate Dean/Vice President or designee.    
  • Any computers purchased through the GW IT buyback process become personal computers and will no longer be supported by GW IT. All university files and/or licensed software must be removed from a computer before the device is purchased by a faculty or staff member for personal use. All GW personnel are responsible for ensuring that no university information or licensed software leaves the university in accordance with the university’s Cybersecurity Risk Policy. All drives and/or media that leave the university for non-business purposes are to be erased.  If information is needed from the computer, it should be transferred to a personal storage device before leaving the University.   

Loss or Theft of Equipment

  • Faculty and staff should handle university-owned property carefully and protect devices from damage, loss, or theft. If an asset is lost or stolen, the employee (i.e., faculty or staff) is obligated to notify GW IT and GW Risk Management promptly in accordance with the university’s Laptop Computer and Small Electronics Theft Policy.

Records Maintenance

  • The GW IT asset management system will be used for maintaining asset records. For efficient auditing and inventory purposes, all computers must be tagged and inventoried from acquisition to disposal.

Related Information

Cybersecurity Risk Policy

Identity and Access Management Policy

Laptop Computer and Small Electronics Theft

Surplus University Property

Electronic Equipment Recycling Policy

Fixed Asset Management


Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy


Contact Phone Number Email Address
IT Support Center 202-994-4948  [email protected]

Responsible University Official: Vice Provost for Libraries and Information Technology
Responsible Office: GW Information Technology

Last Reviewed: September 22, 2023




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