Faculty with appointments longer than one year, and full-time and part-time staff positions whose work require computers, are provided with a new computer every four to five years. Other faculty and staff may be provided with good condition second-tier computers.
Faculty may choose between Macintosh and Windows. Other employees will receive Windows laptop computers by default unless their work requires an alternative. Alternative arrangements will be made in consultation with the employee's supervisor.
Faculty are encouraged to use startup funds for the purchase of their first computer. Faculty can work with IT for device purchasing and should not directly purchase devices from vendors. IT then will cover the cost of the computer at replacement, which typically takes place in three to four years.
Emeriti who are teaching at Amherst in some capacity and/or granted use of office space may retain a college-owned computer with an extended replacement cycle while they continue to have an office space on campus. Emeriti who are not granted office space but are teaching in some capacity should discuss their computing needs with IT Support Services. Phone and email support is available for emeriti who need assistance using online resources provided by Amherst College.
Features and Benefits
An IT Support Services staff member will assist with the setup of the computer assigned. If the computer is in the four-year replacement cycle, the old computer must be retrieved and will be reused for other College needs.
Before installation of a replacement computer, you must back up your files. In addition to the operating system, the computer will come preinstalled with most of the software applications you will need to do your work. Other software is available for download or distribution over the campus network.
Faculty and staff offices are wired for Ethernet network access and telephone access. Because your office will probably have a single Ethernet connection, you may need to make special arrangements if you have more than one computer that needs a wired or Ethernet network connection. Many library carrels are also wired for Ethernet and phone service.
Wireless a.k.a. Wi-Fi access is available throughout the campus. If you experience wireless issues in your office, please contact the IT Help Desk and report an issue so we can provide assistance.
Faculty and staff members normally use department-based network printers and/or Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) which can copy, print, scan and fax as applicable. Public printers are also available to students, faculty and staff in the Seeley Mudd computing center, the library and other locations. Faculty members may request a USB connected desktop printer at department expense.
Printer repair service differs from department to department. Contact your Academic Department Coordinator or administrative computing liason to find out how to get your printer repaired.
Amherst provides access to a variety of standard software. Support for specialized software is generally limited and shared with the academic departments using the software.
If you would like additional software to be made available to your students, please contact Academic Technology Services. The student lab configurations are usually established well in advance of the beginning of the semester.
Viruses and Malware
Anti-malware/antivirus software comes pre-installed on every Amherst computer. We currently provide the anti-virus software called ESET. Upon receipt of the computer assigned to you, and while you are in posession of the computer, you should regularly verify that the anti-malware software is installed and in working order. If you suspect a virus infection or malware, immediately turn off your computer (if you can) and contact the IT Help Desk. See our Virus & Malware: Essential Security information about ESET software, how to install it and how it works, and for detailed computer security information.
To seek assistance with any computer or network issue, please call the IT Help Desk at x2526 or email AskIT@amherst.edu. The person on the Help Desk will make sure your issue is routed to the appropriate IT staff member for resolution.