Instructor Laptops Project

Last Updated: 09/28/2020

Executive Summary

CU Boulder's Resource Alignment Implementation Team (RAIT) has secured one-time funding to provide Dell laptops to identified CU Boulder instructors and others with teaching responsibilities who have currently unmet personal technology needs. The intent is to provide CU Boulder instructors resources for their teaching needs that have been impacted by COVID-19. To have the greatest impact with limited resources, the project will prioritize people who have teaching responsibilities that affect the first-year student experience, and those who directly teach large numbers of students. This is a one-time activity.

Current Status

Applications are being accepted from any instruction-related job roles listed below, including tenure and tenure-track faculty, senior instructors, instructors, lecturers, teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate part-time instructors (GPTIs).

Laptops are in stock and being distributed as applications are received and approved. All instructors who have been approved for a laptop will receive instructions on how to pick up their laptop through a safe low-contact procedure.

Laptop Setup and Support

Visit the Instructor Laptops Project - Setup Instructions for detailed instructions. If you encounter technical difficulties, contact the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 or email oithelp@colorado.edu.

Get support for laptops through your normal desktop support channel. This may be Dedicated Desktop Support (DDS), your department’s local IT unit, or Buff Techs. If you’re unsure of who to reach out to for support, contact the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 or oithelp@colorado.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who exactly is included in this project?

Currently, any people who have instruction-related job roles listed below are able to apply for a laptop. Job types included are:

  • Artist in Residence 
  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Professor Adjoint
  • Associate Professor Adjunct
  • Associate Professor Attend Rank
  • Associate Professor - Clinical
  • Assistant Professor
  • Assistant Professor Adjoint
  • Assistant Professor Adjunct
  • Assistant Professor - Clinical
  • Clinical Instructor
  • Director - Institute 
  • Distinguished Professor
  • Graduate Part-Time Instructor (GPTI)
  • Instructor
  • Instructor Adjunct
  • Instructor-course Overload
  • Lecturer
  • Professor
  • Professor Adjoint
  • Professor Adjunct
  • Professor Attend Rank
  • Professor - Clinical
  • Scholar in Residence
  • Senior Clinical Instructor
  • Senior Instructor
  • Senior Instructor Adjunct
  • Senior Instructor Attend
  • Senior Instructor-course Overload
  • Teaching Assistant (TA)

Other instruction-related job classes that are not included in this effort are any job class with “Visiting” in the name.

Previously, the project team identified people who meet the criteria using a combination of Institutional Analysis and HCM data, matching teaching assignments to pathway courses, and input from department chairs, department heads, and deans. Eligible participants in the first waves were instructors, senior instructors, and lecturers - job classes associated with primary teaching responsibilities. After soliciting input from the departmental units, the project team prioritized the distribution of laptops according to the criteria above. We have a limited number of laptops and fixed one-time funding for this effort.

What if I also qualify for the Faculty Computer Purchase Program (FCPP)?

The Faculty Computer Purchase Program (FCPP) is intended to assist qualifying faculty to obtain current computing technology. It is expected that a computer obtained through the FCPP is sufficient to support faculty academic endeavors including teaching responsibilities. However, we understand that changes to teaching modalities as a result of COVID-19 may impact a faculty member's current computing resources.

Please do not consider this program an opportunity to gain an additional computer at the campus expense. These are limited, one-time resources intended to help provide quality instruction to our students. If you have a legitimate need, we will provide the additional computer, but in order to demonstrate to our funding source the legitimate need, we will ask you to provide those details in the application.

For those who are already eligible for FCPP this fiscal year and have been notified by FCPP of your eligibility, we ask that you not request an additional laptop without a strong case for it.

If you qualify for FCPP and demonstrate the need for the additional laptop through the application process, receiving the laptop will NOT affect your normal 4-year FCPP eligibility.

What exactly is included?

One Dell laptop and laptop charger – no additional peripherals. To support technology standards and maximize purchasing power, the computers will be standard-performance Dell laptops (limited to one model selection, and one laptop per person).

The laptop model is a Dell Latitude 5410 with Intel Core i5-10310U CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage, and 14" non-touch 1920x1080 screen with built-in webcam. The laptop has a 3-year ProSupport Plus warranty.

The computer will come with Windows 10 preinstalled. You will work with your normal desktop support unit to install software.

Please Note: A small number of this alternate model are included: Dell Latitude 5400 with Intel Core i5-8365U CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage, and 14" non-touch 1920x1080 screen, with a 3-year ProSupport Plus warranty.

Who owns the laptop? How should departments keep track of the computer?

CU Boulder owns the laptops; it is not the instructor's personal equipment. The instructor's department receives the laptop once the instructor no longer needs it. The instructor's department should track the laptop the same way that any CU owned equipment is tracked, preferably with a department-specific asset inventory. OIT does not track the laptop.

TAs and GPTIs are treated exactly as instructors for purposes of the laptop assignment: The laptop is CU property that is being temporarily assigned to the TA or GPTI.

The laptops are initially assigned to the specific individual who applied for it. It is expected that:

  • The laptop stays with that individual for the remainder of its useful life or the instructor's employment with CU Boulder, whichever comes first
  • The laptop will transfer to the department when the instructor no longer needs it, and the department re-assigns it at the department's discretion
  • This activity will result in equipment downstream to the instructor's home department, to maximize the impact.
Will the laptops include Macs?

No, only Dell laptops are included. Instructors are not required to accept these Dell laptops if their existing Mac equipment is suitable; they may decline the offer and it will pass to the next instructor who is in need. Their existing Macs will continue to be supported as they have been.

The decision to supply only Dell (Windows) laptops and not Mac laptops includes the following considerations: (A) The favorable cost/benefit analysis, due to the ability to obtain significant bulk discounts from Dell and not available at the same discount tier from Apple; (B) Alignment with the campus Financial Futures initiative to reduce Apple spending; (C) Simplifying logistics by only having one single model to distribute; (D) Dell laptops have the appropriate outputs natively installed to maintain compatibility with OIT-supported classroom A/V (HDMI and Ethernet), eliminating an additional expense for adapters that would occur with Mac laptops; (E) The opportunity to coincide with an OIT service enhancement to significantly reduce deployment staffing needs with automation.

Will instructors have any choice in the selection of the laptops?

No, there will be only one model of laptop and the configuration is the same for all laptops. The configuration was selected by OIT in alignment with campus computer standards, supportability, and maximum compatibility with existing and new classroom A/V technology.

How do I get setup or troubleshooting support for my laptop?