I appreciate the financial and staffing bind any institution is in, and
applaud the effort to address in a fair manner - so please read the
following as frank rather than flame:
Were I subject to this policy, I would be dismayed or even outraged
that convenience of support units apparently completely trumps utility
to end users. I use my University-issued laptop in class, in meetings,
for presentations home and away, extensively when traveling, and take
it back and forth between office and home for extensive work evenings
and weekends. Discounting those additional uses and increased
productivity to zero is not merely inconvenient, it seems to reflect
misplaced priorities. I see plenty of examples of fancy desktops
renewed regularly for applications that literally replace a typewriter;
one could read the proposed policy as subsidizing administrator &
clerical desktops at the expense of other and sometimes better uses.
If the institution wants to exercise judgment and differential
allocation of resources, it should be across the board instead of
assuming some uses or features are 'necessary' while others are
'extra.' On the other hand, if the institution needs a simple
mechanism to reduce total outlay, why not a simple dollar limit, at
least allowing units or individuals to supplement the base support to
get what in their judgment makes sense for their applications?
On Wednesday, June 11, 2003, at 08:42 AM, Michael Sherer wrote:
> ...Experiences with laptops thus far indicates that they are
> significantly more expensive to acquire, maintain and support, and that
> they typically have a shorter useful lifespan than a desktop. I am
> coming to the conclusion that the policy that makes sense for our
> institution is that everybody gets a desktop computer...
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