III-4 Surplus IT & Computer Equipment Reuse Policy

Date Approved: January 8, 2014
Effective Date: January 8, 2014
Responsible Official: Chief Information Security Officer
Responsible Office: [U]Tech Information Security Office
Revision History: Version 0.8; dated September 30, 2013
Related legislation and University policies: 

Review Period:  5 Years  
Date of Last Review:  January 8, 2014
Related to:  University managed IT infrastructure and systems


The purpose of this procedure is to establish a university standard methodology for the authorized re-use,recycling, resale, and donation of specified IT equipment.

Coordination with Other Policies and Procedures

The CWRU Email Retention Policy is closely aligned with these policies:


This policy applies to all schools, departments, employees, faculty members, and agents of Case Western Reserve University. The IT equipment covered in this policy principally include desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet computing devices, and computer peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.), all of which are not defined as General Equipment in the CWRU Equipment Manual. Cellular telephones and smart phones are currently exempted from this policy. Special exceptions may apply for Government owned property.


Not applicable.

Policy Statement


The functional life-cycle of university-owned IT equipment is often defined by the technology refresh cycle (typically 3 years), but despite not meeting the current needs of the university, excess IT equipment may meet the computing needs of charities and individuals.  CWRU intends to make excess, but usable, IT equipment available to qualified charities, as well as CWRU faculty, staff, and students, through  the University IT Reuse-Recycling vendor.

Eligibility of Surplus IT Equipment

Surplus IT Equipment is defined as:

  • No longer supports a business need of the university, and
  • The equipment age exceeds the purchase date and available warranty period, plus one year, and
    • typical desktop- 5 years
    • typical laptop- 4 years
  • Is sufficiently functional to provide reasonable usability (otherwise, it is e-waste)

Surplus equipment does not include: any equipment containing data under litigation hold. Note that some Government grant-purchased or research-contract-purchased IT equipment is not eligible for donation.


Surplus Equipment Reuse

  1. Surplus IT and computer equipment that has not yet met the eligibility window must be offered to internal university departments.
  2. When IT equipment has been determined to be surplus, and then meets the eligibility requirements, it shall be donated to the University IT Reuse-Recycling vendor.
    1. The UTech Knowledgebase Article 75797 delineates donation procedures.
    2. Responsible equipment owners must ensure any sensitive local data is wiped from hard drives using the Media Sanitization Procedure.
    3. Use the Systems Release form to remove the registration. This is particularly important for UTech systems, which may have fixed IP addresses assigned to the MAC address.
  3. Directed donations can be requested to specific charitable organizations through the University IT Reuse-Recycling vendor.

Redeployment of Surplus Equipment by Eligible CWRU Personnel

  1. Individual CWRU personnel may request surplus IT equipment from the University IT Reuse-Recycling vendor.
  2. Eligible CWRU personnel include:
    1. Current full- and part-time employees (faculty and staff)
    2. Current undergraduate and graduate students, enrolled in a full-time status.
  3. Requestors may be required to purchase operating system software from the vendor at a nominal fee.
  4. Persons obtaining re-deployed equipment are fully responsible for service and maintenance of the IT equipment.
  5. Persons may obtain a maximum of 2 surplus computers per calendar year.
  6. Requestors agree that the surplus IT equipment will be used for their personal use and not for resale.


MAC address: the machine access code programmed into each network card or interface which identifies a computer on the Case network.

IP address: the internet protocol address for the computer.

Litigation hold: a suspension of normal data deletion processes based on the standard data lifecycle



Data owners and department managers are responsible for ensuring that all excess IT equipment undergo data purge procedures, either performed by University staff or by an established vendor. The Office of University Counsel is responsible for the communication of a 'preservation notice' to principal personnel for cases of litigation hold. Business owners are responsible to ensure, and any data resident on computers eligible for surplus processing is evaluated for litigation hold requirements and preserved, as needed, before any drive purge is completed.

Standards Review Cycle

This procedure will be reviewed every three years on the anniversary of the policy effective date, at a minimum. The standard may be reviewed on a more frequent basis depending on changes of risk exposure.