Computer Retirement High-Level Process

Parent Policy: Technology Acquisition Lifecycle Management

Associated High-Level Process: Computer Refresh


1.0 Scope and Purpose
2.0 Process and Procedure
2.1 Retirement of centrally funded devices
2.2 Retirement of departmental, grant, and special account funded computers
3.0 Applicable Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills
4.0 Measurement and Metrics
5.0 Continual Improvement
6.0 Resources

1.0 Scope and Purpose

This high-level process supports the implementation of the Technology Acquisition Lifecycle Management Policy. The policy applies to all University (USF) information technology assets, resources, services, and Users in all locations.
There is an authorized process to retire computers purchased through USF's Computer Refresh (CR) Program that ensures compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and software licensing agreements. This process covers all USF-owned computers (PCs and tablets) purchased through the program, and those devices bought outside of the program. (See the glossary (in the knowledge base) for the definition of terms used in this document). 

2.0 Process and Procedure

The following process requirements apply to endpoints assets. (The italicized text indicates the active response that USF ITS utilizes to satisfy the requirements. The internal Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are ITS access only.)

2.1 Retirement of centrally funded devices

  1. All retired USF-owned (desktop and laptop) computers no longer needed by the Asset Responsibility Owner (i.e. deemed surplus), or those that fall under the Computer Refresh (CR) Program (i.e. replaced/retired), must be returned to ITS and be inventoried in the ITS Inventory system.
    ITS follows an internal SOP to keep and maintain an up-to-date inventory of PC and tablet assets.
  2.  All inventoried computers will be encrypted by ITS and stored in a physically secure area until either donated or resold.
    ​​​​ITS follows an internal SOP to secure returned PCs and tablets in an access-controlled space, and maintain an up-to-date inventory of these.
  3. After pick-up, retired computers, and any tablets, will be retained by ITS for 10 business days. During this time the former computer User may contact ITS to recover any data files missing from their new computer.
    See How Do I? on how a user should contact ITS to recover their files.
    ITS follows an internal SOP for how a user should contact ITS to retrieve missing files. This includes the procedure ITS follows to tag and securely store the PC, and recover any requested files. It also includes guidance for ITS PC Admins on how to recover files containing highly confidential data, e.g. PII or encrypted files, and the procedure for deep-wiping the data drive (disk or solid-state drive) after the 10 days has elapsed.
  4. After the data drive has been erased, the retired computer may be donated or sold.
    See How Do I? on disposal process.
    ITS follows an internal SOP to dispose of computers either for charitable donations, sale, or for electronic waste (e-waste) recycling.
  5. Retired computers resold to Third-Party vendors will be wiped for a 2nd time by the Third Party using an ITS-approved method with the vendor required to provide ITS with certification of data destruction.
    ITS follows an internal SOP to ensure the Third Party wipe is done, who holds the assertion certificates from the vendor, where they are stored, and for how long. 
  6. University purchased and licensed software must be removed from the computer and returned to the license pool for reuse. The computer is not to be donated or sold with University purchased licensed software in order to comply with current licensing agreements.
    ITS follows an internal SOP for removing USF purchased software and updating its license inventory system.

2.2 Retirement of departmental, grant, or special account funded computers

Computers and tablets bought outside of central funding must also follow this retirement process. This is to ensure appropriate management of the devices content and secure disposal.

3.0 Applicable Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills

For more expanded details see the Roles & Responsibility document.

Role Responsibility Skills/Knowledge
Asset Responsible Owner All University-owned technology PC assets must be assigned to an individual with full-time, permanent employment status with the University. This person is referred to as the asset responsibility owner. See Primary Client. Must know how many PCs their Unit needs for both employees and non-employees.

Primary Client

A non-employee who uses the PC.



Supervisor (may be Asset Responsibility Owner)

Ensure the return of surplus or replaced PCs to ITS.  Ensure any data that needs to be retained is identified and moved to a new accessible location prior to the PC being picked up by ITS. If necessary work with ITS to move data.

Know how many PCs are needed. Know what data is to be retained from old PC in cases of retirement/off-boarding of personnel.


Maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of the data and PC  they access, use and interact with and ensure data is moved to a new location prior to off-boarding or return of PC

Know the disposition of the data.

ITS Technical Staff

Pick up PC in concert with Refresh Program Coordinator.

Support Supervisor in moving content from PC to new location.

Wipe surplus/retired PCs prior to disposal/sale,

Collecting PCs
Deploying replacement PCs
Inventorying PCs
Performing and ensuring data wipe.
Donating/selling PCs.

4.0 Measurement and Metrics

This process will be reviewed in conjunction with the review of the Technology Lifecycle Management Policy.

  1. Results metrics:

    a. Number of PCs replaced/refreshed every year,
    b. Number of PCs donated,
    c. Number of PCs re-sold,
    d. Number of PCs sent for e-waste.

  2. Process metrics:

    a. Number of Users who ask ITS to recover data files between 1-10 days after pickup of PC,
    b. Number of Users who are not ready for pick up - PC not collected.

5.0 Continual Improvement

ITS will work with the Users and CR Coordinators to improve the process.

6.0 Resources