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Information Technology Guidelines and Policies


1.  Web Site Development

Guidelines have been drafted and reviewed by the Faculty Council.  The guidelines are currently posted on our Internal Web Site under the College Policies heading.

Web guidelines and policies.

2.  Administrative Rights to Local Machines

Penn State is encouraging all units to operate local computers with the lowest level of administrative privilege consistent with performing necessary functions.  When machines with higher levels of administrative privilege are compromised by hackers, the potential for damage to the network is much greater.  For this reason the University is encouraging units to operate their machines with the least level of administrative privilege necessary.

Most users have little or no need of higher levels of administrative privilege to do their work, but there may be instances where higher levels of privilege are needed on either a temporary or more permanent basis.  The College’s default practice will be to configure all computers connecting to the Penn State network with one local user account for the use of the individual (i.e., without administrative privilege).  If an individual user wishes to have administrative privilege, a request should be completed and submitted to the Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology for review. Please note this policy option is for faculty only.

Administrative guidelines and policies

Please submit your request to the CETC help desk ticket system

3.  Establishing Accounts on Computers

Before you were given a Penn State access account you signed an agreement to abide by the university’s  “Acceptable Use Policy” which describes prohibited activities like sending spam, trying to sell things, etc. Upon gaining access to the Penn State network, users will be required to log in, and will be reminded of their commitment to comply with University IT policies.

One aspect of acceptable use is not storing any personally identifiable information (like Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, etc).  Users will be asked to run software that will help them identify and remove such information, and you will be expected to periodically scan computers for such information.

Password guidelines and policies

Acceptable use policy

4. College of Educations Information Technology Resources

We hope you will find this reference guide useful for accessing information or resolving technical challenges that you may experience during your stay in the College of Education. This guide covers information for Windows, Mac and Mobile computers and devices. 

Understanding College of Education Resources 

5. Centralized Computer Equipment Purchasing

Why Centralize Computer Equipment Purchases?

A. We see this as a service to faculty and staff to provide them with the best equipment based on the staff or faculty members’ needs.

CETC can help employees choose the best piece of equipment to accomplish IT goals and ensure that the equipment comes with all the necessary software, features and warranties in order to serve the employees’ needs and comply with PSU’s network/IT security policies.

B. PSU has purchasing contracts with Dell and Apple.           

PSU has a business relationship with DELL and Apple that allow us to purchase equipment specifically designed for higher education at a reduced rate.

C.     We can provide a streamlined process.

CETC will streamline the computer purchasing process so that the employee doesn’t need to go to multiple staff to purchase equipment and he/she won’t need to walk it down to the CETC to be programmed when it arrives.  CETC will work with faculty and staff if they have any special software or preferences during the computer quote, purchase and set up process.  Once the equipment is ordered and arrives, the employee will be contacted to pick up their new equipment, which will be fully programmed and ready for use.  This process will be quicker and more organized than the current process.

D.    Centralized purchasing will allow a systematic approach to keeping an equipment inventory and life-cycle management.

We will be able to systematically inventory all of the College’s computer purchases.  Our Finance Office currently conducts an annual audit of all computer purchases under $5,000.  The life cycle for all systems is 4-years with a 3-year written exemption due to a specified requirement or need.  This will make the audit process much easier and require less of the department staffs’ time during the annual audit.  Also, by keeping a central inventory, we will be able to pull data to show us when faculty and/or staff will be due for equipment renewal and we’ll be able to plan for better uses within the college of old computer equipment that may need upgraded, but still works.

 E.     We will be able to provide Department Heads with data that helps with IT budget planning.

This process will help forecast IT budget needs so that these costs can be built into operating budgets during our annual budget planning process.  We will be able to provide reports showing how many pieces of equipment are at the end of their life cycle and give an annual estimate of how many machines may need to be replaced each fiscal year.  Department staff will no longer need to keep logs and/or complete this process for you, freeing up time for them to work on other duties.

How will the process work?

A. The employee who would like to purchase the equipment will go to the CETC website and open a helpdesk ticket with CETC to get a quote, specifying what type of equipment they would like and the budget to be charged.  Faculty and staff should have permission to make this purchase before starting the process.

B. CETC will get a quote from the appropriate vendor and will email it to the employee to make sure it’s what they want.

C. Once the quote is complete, approved and the budget is provided, the CETC IT staff will forward the quote and budget info. to the Finance Office.   FO will forward the email to the Dept. AA if the budget being charged is a general fund to confirm that it’s been approved at the dept. level.  We realize that in many cases, we may receive the quote/request to purchase from the Administrative Support Coordinators within the Departments.  If this is the case, we will not need to request approval from the dept. for purchases under $5,000 and will assume the Administrative Support Coordinator has already worked with the Dept. Head to ensure the purchase approval.  Any items over $5,000 will be entered by the FO in EBUY+ and will follow the normal purchase approval process through EBUY+. (there will be no change in the approval path for any purchases due to this new purchasing process)

D. Once the purchase is approved, FO will place the order using our EBUY+ system and will charge the appropriate budget.  FO should be able to place the order the same day that it receives approval from the dept. but we ask that employees expect a two day order turn around during high volume times at the beginning of the academic year and end of the fiscal year.  All computer equipment purchases will be shipped to the CETC.

E. When the equipment arrives at CETC, it will be scanned and entered into our electronic inventory system by CETC staff.  (We will be using the same software we already use for our help desk ticketing system, so no new software costs will be incurred)

F. Once the equipment is scanned, the CETC staff will load the appropriate software and will notify the employee upon completion via email that they can pick up their computer.

G. Client pickup requires confirming a secure logon, answering any user questions and demonstrating the preferred methods deployed by CETC in the care and feeding of their College-owned system and or mobile device.  Generally, this takes less than 30 minutes.

Below is a list of items that must be processed through the Help Desk Ticket system.

It is highly recommended that all request for equipment come through the College of Education Help Desk staff and Ticket system at


  • Any hardware, software & Licensing over $100 is required to come through Ticket system.
  • Consultation is always available and recommended.

A. Required - Equipment List (Any and all equipment that can be digitally authorized, registered and managed)

  1. Computers (All forms)
  2. Laptops (All forms)
  3. Tablets (All forms)
  4. Mobile device (All Forms)
  5. Some digital watches if they can be managed and registered.
  6. Large Hard Drives over 1Terabyte
  7. Large Format LED/LCD Displays
  8. Any kiosk or standalone type system: Horizontal, wall mounted or vertical in orientation
  9. Any Web-enabled devices: Camera, Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, AMX or Crestron consoles.
  10. Any wireless device: Wireless Access Points (APs).
  11. Printers
  12. Storage systems
  13. Servers – virtual or other
  14. Storage systems for any of the listed items above
  15. Security systems or card access devices

B. Not Required - Equipment List

  1. Keyboards
  2. Mice
  3. Mini flash drives


C. Exemptions 

Certain research projects may not require an accounting or inventory of equipment pre, mid, or post award. In these cases working with the IT staff may not facilitate the business needs. 

6. Disposing of Computer Equipment

The College has developed guidelines and policies for the disposal, End-of-Life (EoL), disposition of computer systems in the College.

Disposing of Computer Equipment Guidelines

7. Internal Security Documentation

The College has developed guidelines and policies covering disaster tolerance.

Internal Security Policies

8. Mobile Documentation

The College has developed guidelines and policies covering the use of mobile devices.

Education Mobile Policy

9. Firewall Documentation

The College has developed guidelines and policies covering firewall administration and use.

Education Firewall Policy

10. Digital Signage Guidelines

The College has developed guidelines and policies covering firewall administration and use.

Digital Signage Guidelines