Electronic Device Policy

Policy for Williams College Electronic Devices

Safa Zaki, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Psychology
Dukes Love, Provost and Professor of Economics

Purchase of Electronic Devices Using College Funds

As the market continues to produce new electronic equipment that can be used for our work, many of us continue to be eager to adopt it and adapt to it. Williams has long worked to make such technology available – while adhering to the IRS regulations surrounding such purchases.

As part of our ongoing effort to keep up with recent innovation, the College will now allow the purchase of tablets (e.g. iPad or Androids), e-readers (e.g. Kindle or Nook) and laptops, so long as their use is primarily for academic, research, or business purposes. This does not include cell / smart phones (which is covered under a different policy). Also, because the College provides extensive wi-fi coverage, the College ordinarily will not cover the cost of a cellular data plan for any device.

OIT has experience with a limited number of models and applications. Go to the Electronic Device Support page for supported models and applications. Using tablets to project in the classroom, for example, will require standardization specified by Instructional Technology. Contact your ITech liaison if you want help exploring ways to use tablets in instruction.

Prior to purchase, the faculty or staff member must submit a Purchase of Personal Electronic Device Form, which can be downloaded from the support page referred to above. Faculty should submit forms directly to the Controller. Staff should submit forms to their department head who will pass the form onto the Controller. When required, the Controller will consult with the Dean of the Faculty or Vice President for Finance and Administration regarding individual purchases. The Controller will communicate directly with the staff or faculty member concerning approval.

The Purchase of Personal Electronic Device Form will request the following information:
Device: device name and any relevant model information: “iPad 16G,” etc.
Proposed use: please provide a robust description in non-technical terms.
Purchaser name
Account to be charged: provide account number

Any devices purchased with Williams funds are the property of the College and must be returned to the College at the time of equipment upgrade or separation from Williams. Information on the devices is subject to all the current Williams guidelines about confidentiality and protection of data, which can be viewed here. All equipment, including electronic devices, purchased from federal grant funds must meet the requirements of the grant.

Also, the IRS continues to consider these types of equipment as listed property. Therefore, there is a possibility that, if the College or you were audited, the value of the equipment may be deemed taxable to you.

Contact Seth Rogers ([email protected]) to coordinate the purchase with OIT in order to understand how/if the proposed device is supported and to achieve the best pricing available.