Computer Support Policy

 Purpose of College of Education Owned Computers 

  • College of Education (COE) owned computers are intended to be used for the discovery, learning, engagement, and business activities of the Purdue University College of Education.
  • College of Education computer and network resources may not be used for illegal activities including activities that involve copyright infringement of intellectual property.
  • Who is authorized to use College of Education owned computers?
    • Faculty
    • Staff
    • Graduate students
    • The following may not use COE owned office computers without special permission from a supervisor, faculty member, Dept. Head, or Dean:
      • Undergraduate students
      • Non COE employees
      • Family members, and relatives

 Who and what does Education IT provide support for?

  • Education IT provides comprehensive computer support to Purdue staff, faculty, and graduate students for Purdue/COE owned on-campus desktop and laptop computer equipment, network services and servers, videoconferencing equipment, IT instructional facilities/labs, COE administrative databases and web delivered technologies, and the Teaching Resource Center.
  • See About Education IT
  •  Can I get support for my off-campus, Purdue/COE owned computer?
    • If a faculty or staff member has been given approval by their Department Head or Dean to take a Purdue/COE owned computer off campus, the following support will be provided by Education IT:
    • Support will be provided for:
      • Operating system software
      • Standard Web browser(s)
      • Office applications
      • Standard email client (install only)
      • SAS/SPSS/NVivo software (install only)
      • FTP, Zip, Acrobat Reader
      • Re-imaging of hard drive on corruption or software failure
      • Reformatting / erasing hard drive after computer is returned to campus
      • Warranty hardware repair
      • Off campus computers must be brought directly to our Purdue IT offices for hardware troubleshooting, repair, upgrades, and consultation
    • No support can be provided for:
      • Off campus troubleshooting visits
      • Internet troubleshooting, modem-residence compatibility problems, telephone company/line/interference problems, Internet Service Provider issues.
      • Data backup or transfer to/from new/old off-campus computers. Each user is responsible for all backup and data transfer activities.
      • Networking in the home (wired/wireless)
      • Installing / troubleshooting any 3rd party / unsupported software, or problems that Education IT staff determine to be caused by 3rd party
      • Software (third party / unsupported software includes: games, IM, financial software, screen savers, themes, firewalls, graphics, etc.)
  •  Can I get support for my personally owned computer equipment or networking/Internet services?
      • Description:
        • The Education IT team can provide limited assistance to College of Education faculty and staff to configure a personally owned laptop or mobile device… if time permits and if the Education IT staff members are able to support the specific technology.
          • Specifically, we will assist with Purdue Wi-Fi and Email configuration
      • Who qualifies:
        • Paid Faculty
        • Paid Regular Staff
        • Paid Graduate Student Staff (RA, TA)
      • Hardware that qualifies for this type of assistance:
        • Personally owned laptop that Education IT staff has experience with and/or is able to support.
        • Personally owned mobile device that Education IT staff has experience with and/or feels comfortable using.
      • Hardware that does not qualify for this type of assistance:
        • Personally owned desktop computers
        • Other Personally owned devices
      • Assistance may be provided for:
        • Configuring the Purdue Wireless Network
        • Configuring Outlook to connect to the Purdue Exchange server or Purdue MyMail server
        • No other assistance can be provided, though it may be possible to obtain more help through Purdue online knowledgebase systems and web sites, or third party consultants or repair centers.
      • What is required (no exceptions):
        • The user must stay with their computer/device at all times during the help session and must not “leave the  computer/device” with Education IT.  Education IT cannot take possession of, or assume liability for, a user’s personally owned computer/device.
        • Users must install all software themselves on their computer/device.  Education IT can only help configure software after the software is installed and working normally.  Education IT cannot assume liability for installing software on personally owned computers/devices.
        • No troubleshooting can take place if the computer is not operating normally during software configuration.  If the computer is not operating normally, the user should take the personally owned computer/device to a third party repair center.
        • Priority support will be given to Purdue-owned equipment, and assistance for personally owned equipment may be provided only as time permits.  There is no guarantee that an IT staff member will have time or expertise to provide assistance with every personally-owned device.
    • Unfortunately the College of Education cannot recommend, provide specs, offer support, or be liable for any personally owned (non-Purdue owned) computer systems or networking/Internet services.  Due to the quantity, complexity, and diversity of computer hardware and software combinations, liability issues, and time and resource limitations, we are unable to extend our services beyond Purdue University owned equipment, apart from the limited assistance mentioned above.  If even a routine service call would damage or disable a personally owned computer, we would not have the funds and resources to be able to repair/replace or resolve the problem (especially multiplied by the large number of personally owned computers in the COE).  Apart from the limit assistance mentioned above, please do not ask us to support personally owned equipment, make house calls, help purchase or provide specifications for non-Purdue computer equipment or services during Purdue work hours.
    • It may be possible that one of the Education IT team members will have time outside of work and for a fee to consult with you regarding your personally owned computer equipment or network/Internet service.  Feel free to ask any of the IT team members to give you a hand in the evenings or weekend.  Our COE computer technicians are popular resources and their personal time is valuable to them, so please take the initiative to compensate them fairly if they agree to help you outside of Purdue hours.  If no one on the IT team is available, we recommend that you use one of the local computer service centers found in the yellow pages of any phone book.
    • For tips on purchasing your own home computer, see:

Network Resources

What are COE network resources?

  • Direct wired high speed Internet connection for all COE owned office computers.
  • Wireless network for all COE faculty, staff, students to use to connect to the Internet.
  • Departmental File Servers for internal use
  • SharePoint
  • Networked Printers in various areas throughout the COE
  • Education Web Server for top tier official web sites
  • Internet videoconferencing facilities and equipment
  • Various Web Applications supported by Education IT

In general, who may use COE network resources

  • All faculty and staff have access to certain network resources which their supervisors authorize them to use.  COE Supervisors and Purdue administration will define appropriate use for each COE employee.

Can I connect my personally owned computer/device to the BRNG WIRED network?

  1. No (but see next bullet about the BRNG wireless network).  Only Purdue-owned/tagged computers/devices may be connected to the BRNG wired network.  Users must not connect any computer equipment to any BRNG wired network port.  Only authorized Education IT staff may connect computer equipment to the BRNG WIRED network to prevent damage to the network and security incidents.  The College of Education does not allow or support personally owned computers to be connected to the COE secure WIRED network for reasons of data security and confidentiality, network security and reliability, limited IP address resources on our COE subnets, legal and financial liability, and lack of resources required to support the highly varied and complex nature of PC/Mac/Linux/Other configurations found on non-Purdue owned computers and devices.
  2. We recommend that users of personally owned computers/devices use the PAL wireless network and/or purchase portable drives to transport data to/from their personally owned computer and an COE office/lab computer.
  • Can I connect my personally owned computer/device to the BRNG WIRELESS network?
    1. Yes, the Purdue (PAL) wireless network is installed in BRNG.  All Purdue wireless users are encouraged to use the PAL wireless network with both Purdue owned and non Purdue owned computers.  For more info about using and configuring the PAL wireless network see:  Education IT cannot offer ANY support for personally owned computers/devices or offer troubleshooting services for network issues related to personally owned equipment.
    2. Use of Purdue networks with a personally owned computing device is at your own risk.
    3. Access to COE Servers and Printers via PAL and non-COE networks: All COE servers are protected by firewalls due to a very high volume of Internet attacks and attempted security breaches from both within and without Purdue.  Access to COE servers and printers from outside the local wired network in BRNG is blocked by COE firewalls.  We realize this is inconvenient for some, but this is the only way to protect COE servers and keep them operational for College of Education business.  We have seen a large number of personally owned computers/devices that are not protected by firewalls or anti-virus software, that have been compromised and infected with worms, viruses, rootkits, etc.  These infected computers/devices will attempt to laterally compromise / infiltrate COE servers if open access to servers/printers is allowed.  We recommend that users who need to print use the ITaP labs, or use office and/or lab computers that are provided by their COE department for printing. Using a flash drive, Purdue career account server space, or email will allow users to transfer documents from personally-owned computers/devices to COE computers/devices for printing.

Can I use my COE computer as a peer-to-peer file or printer server?

  1. Peer-to-peer networking, such as file and/or printer sharing, is not permitted on any COE-owned computers.  The College of Education is working to eliminate all peer-to-peer networking from COE computers.  Unfortunately, peer-to-peer networking is insecure and many COE computers have, in the past, been compromised as a result of using peer-to-peer networking.  When a computer is compromised in this way, hours of de-hacking is required to restore the computer to normal operation, and in some cases data and programs have been permanently lost.  The College of Education seeks to maintain the highest standards of security and we appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our COE colleagues in accomplishing this goal.
  2. If a user needs to access personal files in multiple locations from both on and off campus, a Purdue career account should be used.  ITaP offers and fully supports networked career account disk space for all Purdue users.  See:
  3. If a small workgroup needs to share files using COE computers within BRNG, a departmental server may be available to use (if the project is small). If the project is large, IT resources may need to be outsourced from the central ITaP group.
  4. Printers should be shared using a dedicated hardware printer sharing device.  Education IT can provide ordering info for these devices.  Send email to:
  5. Again, we cannot overstate the severity of the security problem associated with peer-to-peer networking.  Thank you for your understanding regarding this policy!
  • Departmental network file servers
    • What software may be installed on a network file server?
      • Legally purchased and licensed software approved by the Dept. head.
    • How much disk space can a user occupy on a departmental file server?
      • General users are asked to use no more than 10 megabytes of server disk space
    • Who should I ask about installing new software on the Dept. file server?
      • The Dept. Head. and Education IT

Can I connect to XYZ web site or Internet service?

  • The Education IT team cannot recommend or certify as safe the use of non-Purdue business related web sites or public Internet services including streaming music or video web sites. The Education IT team cannot know what a streaming media web site or other public web site will do to a COE computer in terms of privacy, security, installing unauthorized or perhaps malicious/vulnerable software, etc. We cannot know how much bandwidth the use of any given streaming media sites will consume or whether such use will affect the responsiveness of our network for all other users.  We would like to make it clear to users and supervisors that they are “swimming at their own risk”, so to speak, if they make use of web sites/services that are not related to Purdue business using Purdue IT resources, and that they are 100% responsible for the use of the Internet, public web sites and/or public networked services on Purdue IT resources in their respective offices/areas.  Please see the Purdue IT Resource Acceptable Use Policy for details about authorized business use of Purdue owned IT resources.
  • Those offices and users who have access to sensitive or restricted data including private Student Data must take extra care to safeguard Student Data in their trust.  Protecting Student Data must be their highest priority when selecting which Internet resources to access using Purdue IT resources that also have access to protected Student Data. See the Purdue Security Requirements for Handling Information.

Security issues

  • Network abuses:
    • Unauthorized use of any BRNG network port
    • Malicious email and email forgery
    • Unauthorized WEB servers and material originating from COE networks
    • Unauthorized FTP servers and material originating from COE networks
    • Unauthorized EMAIL servers originating from COE networks
    • Unauthorized servers of any kind.
    • Illegal and/or unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials (such as books, audio, music, movies, DVDs, etc.)
    • Internet servers or systems which consume large amounts of bandwidth and reduce network responsiveness for everyone.
    • Unauthorized commercial business activity and endorsements originating from COE servers and network resources
  • Purdue employees must not give Purdue passwords to unauthorized users or grant unauthorized users access to Purdue network resources.

Data & Document Backup

Who is responsible for backing up user data on COE computers and servers?

  • Personal data and documents
    • It is the sole responsibility of the owners of data & documents to create a proactive backup strategy and backup their own data and documents.  For tips on backing up, see: Departmental servers should not to be used for data/document backup. Departmental servers should not substitute for a proactive disaster recovery strategy.  Users should backup personal data and documents on removable media and secure their mission critical data in case of fire or catastrophic event. We recommend at least 3 copies of mission critical data.  If data is indeed mission critical then data has a monetary value and is worth the time and financial commitment involved in backing up and securing/encrypting as needed.  If you lost all your data this evening, what would you do? All Education computer users should plan for and ensure that proper backup equipment is available for their own unique backup needs.  The Education IT office is available for consulting if anyone has questions about their specific needs.  USB removable media can be used for moderate amounts of data (encryption of data is recommended).  Portable hard drives and tape drives can be purchased for backup of very large amounts of data.  The Education IT office will be happy to assist users to formulate a backup strategy upon request.  Education IT team members cannot perform backups of personal data for users and cannot be responsible for the loss of personal data or documents.
  • Workstation Application Software Backup
    • The original software media that come with computers and laptops serve as a backup of operating system and application software.
  • Server Backup
    • Education IT periodically backs up COE departmental servers. Server operating system and application software which are maintained by Education IT will be backed up by Education IT personnel.
    • Users should not consider servers a comprehensive backup solution.  Users should create their own personal lifetime backup strategy to protect their intellectual property using multiple copies of removable media and take copies out of the building (off campus) in case of catastrophic event.  For tips on backing up, see:
  • Administrative Database Backup
    • Education IT will be responsible for backing up a predetermined set of in-house administrative databases.
    • The Education IT database personnel will backup, or ensure the backup of, administrative SQL server databases.


Who may install legally owned software on an COE owned computer?

  • Education IT Staff
    • COE computer users should contact Education IT for installation of new software.
  • Faculty, Staff, Graduate Assistants
    • If you need to have software installed on your office computer, please contact Education IT
    • We ask that all software be related to the business and activities of the Purdue University College of Education. Education IT will install Purdue site licensed software for users upon request.
  • The following may not install any software on COE owned computers:
      • Non-COE employees
      • Undergraduate students, work study students
      • Family members, and relatives of COE employees
      • If Education IT discovers inappropriate software installed on an COE computer, Education IT is authorized by COE leadership to remove the software.

What software can be installed on an COE owned computer?

  • Software that is related to the business and activities of the Purdue University College of Education
  • Software that is legally owned by the College of Education with proof of purchase
  • Purdue site licensed software
  • Personally Owned Software
    • Installation of personally owned software is discouraged except under special circumstances.
    • Installation of personally owned software must be authorized by a supervisor, and Education IT must be consulted prior to installation.
    • No support will be given to personally owned software
    • All original disks must be kept at Purdue in the office with the computer so that software auditors can easily find and confirm legality of software
  • Non-operating system software.  COE computer users must not install any operating system software.  Education IT will do this for you.
  • COE computer users should not download and/or install screen savers and other 3rd party shareware / freeware programs on COE owned computers.  These programs can be problematic and harmful.  They sometimes install additional “hidden” services on your computer that track your movements on the Internet and send results back to advertisers.  In a worst case, they may install a “backdoor” on your computer for hackers to access your computer resources and use your computer in Distributed Denial of Services attacks against other computers / servers.  3rd party software may also simply be “buggy” and cause your computer or legitimate applications to crash.  Education IT does not support 3rd party shareware / freeware programs and cannot troubleshoot problems they may cause.  If Education IT determines that 3rd party software is the root cause of a problem, only hard drive imaging solutions will be provided.  To keep your computer operation lean and clean, please use only the software applications that Education IT has installed on your computer.  If you need additional software installations, please contact Education IT at

What are the technical issues involved in installing software on COE computers?

  • Is there enough hard disk space in the computer for the new program?
  • Is there enough memory (RAM) in the computer for the program to run correctly?
  • After installation of the new program, will there be enough hard disk space for other programs to run properly?
  • Will the installation of new software affect, remove, or damage currently installed software?
  • If the installation of new software damages existing software, who is liable and who will repair the damages?
    • What are the legal issues involved in installing software on COE computers?
      • All COE computer users must adhere to license agreements of all commercial software owned and installed on COE computers.
      • A single licensed copy of a software application may be installed on a single computer only
      • Original disks and purchase order information must be kept as proof of purchase for software auditors.
      • Software with network licenses may be installed and used by only the number of users granted in the license. Software metering will be used for all networked software in situations where more users have access to the software than purchased licenses allow.

Where do I keep original software disks and manuals?

  • All software disks and manuals must be kept with the computer in the same room where the computer is housed so that software auditors can easily find and confirm legality of software. Purchase order information should also be kept for proof of purchase.  When a computer is moved care should be taken that all pertinent software is moved with the computer.  Microsoft Select licenses should be kept in the cardboard box with operating system software that comes with each computer from the manufacturer.

Can I get help with software on my home computer?

  • Education IT does not make house calls or provide support for personally owned computer hardware or software.
  • Email and Web access
    • Home computer users are strongly encouraged to sign up with a commercial ISP (Internet Service Provider) for access to remote email and Web access. Large ISP’s tend to have more resources for giving comprehensive user support.

Supported Email Packages

  • Email Client Policy For The College of Education
    • Our supported email client is the full version of Microsoft Outlook. Please note that Outlook Express, Mozilla, Eudora, and other email programs are not supported in COE computers.  The Purdue provided web browser email interfaces can be found at the following URLs:   The Purdue MyMail Interface (students use this)   The Purdue Exchange Server Web Interface (faculty and staff use this)

Graduate Students

  • Graduate students should not install or configure email clients on COE-owned office computers. If graduate students would like to use the full version Microsoft Outlook in their COE office, they can send a request to the Education IT team at for help and installation. The full version of Microsoft Outlook supports the use of multiple profiles which can be shared by all users of shared graduate student office computers. For graduate students who do not wish to use the full version of Microsoft Outlook, we recommend the use of a Purdue provided web browser email interface for reading email.

New software purchases

  • Who should I ask about purchasing new software?
    • Authorization and money
      • Department Head
      • Area director
      • Faculty DREF
        •  Note that the “Microsoft Select” program gives Purdue discounts on almost all Microsoft software. Licenses, Manuals, and disks are all sold separately at discounted rates. For details, contact Education IT at


Hardware We Can Support

  • The Education IT team can provide at least some support for most information technology equipment owned by Purdue.  If we do not have the expertise to support some specific item, can can help locate someone who can.  In some cases, equipment must be serviced directly by the manufacturer.

Upgrades and Repairs

  • Who should I ask about upgrading/repairing an COE owned computer?
    • Authorization and money
      • Dept. Head
      • Area director
      • Faculty supervisor

Who performs upgrades/repairs on COE owned computers?

  • Only Education IT staff is permitted to perform hardware upgrades/repairs on COE owned computers.
  • College of Education Hardware Maintenance Policy — Purdue owned computer hardware will be maintained by Purdue IT support personnel, unless special arrangements have been made in advance with supervisors, department heads, deans, and/or computer support personnel. Specifically, the computer case may not be opened and  items may not be inserted into a computer case; items may not be removed from a computer case unless the maintainer has been previously authorized.

Can Education IT upgrade/repair my home computer?

  • Personally owned computers at home
    • No support can be provided for personally owned hardware in your home.
  • COE/Purdue-owned computers at home
    • Purdue-owned computers must be brought to the Purdue campus for upgrades/repairs
  • New Purdue-owned Computer Purchases
    • Who should I ask about purchasing a new Purdue-owned computer
      • Authorization and money
        • Dept. Head
        • Area director
        • Faculty supervisor

Printer repair

  • Education IT is not an authorized service center for printer repairs. All printer repairs will be referred to an appropriate service center. Contact EdIT for a recommended vendor.
  • Minor maintenance will be provided in some cases. Minor maintenance will include: clearing of simple paper jams, dusting of easily accessible parts, demonstration of toner cartridge and ribbon changing. In most cases, label jams require thorough cleaning by a service center.