Technology Evergreening Practices


The University is implementing a Technology Evergreen Program that will come into effect in 2021.  An Evergreen program establishes a regular cycle of replacing computer equipment to ensure that all users have access to current technology. The program will refresh laptop and desktop computers on a 5-year cycle, simplify purchasing, and greatly improve information and technology security. The 5 years replacement is to provide faculty and Staff with a modern alternative that will not only provide the benefit of being compliant from an IT security standpoint but also provide better performance and reliability.

The Evergreen program is administered and managed by IT Services and operates under a set of practices, detailed below. These practices ensure that the Evergreen program operates in a secure, sustainable, and well-understood manner.


Evergreen Cycle

  1. Computers for faculty and staff will be replaced on a 5-year refresh cycle.
  2. Computers assets assigned to faculty and staff whose employment with the institution is ending must return their computer assets to IT Services.
  3. Computers at or beyond 5 years old will not be serviced or supported by IT Services.
  4. Computers beyond 5 years will be considered a retired asset no longer in use; the computer will be retrieved by IT Services, the hard drive will be securely erased or destroyed, and the device will be recycled.
  5. Computers less than 5 years old that are returned to IT Services will be reset and re-deployed to other users for the remaining duration of their lifespan.


  • Computers that are broken beyond repair that are less than 5 years old will be replaced with the same or similar model.
  • Computers less than 5 years old that do not meet the requirements of the user may be replaced with a different model. See "One Asset Per Person: Exceptions" below for instances where a user has requirements beyond what is available in the standard models.

One Asset Per Person

  1. Each faculty or staff will have one St FX computer asset, provided from the list of Technology Standards prepared by IT Services.


  1. If unique requirements demand an exception to the technology standards, the difference in cost between a similar model in the Technology Standards list and the required computer must be approved, and the difference paid for through an alternative budget, such as a research or departmental budget. Exceptions must be approved by the Vice President of Finance & Administration.
    • Example: A faculty member requires a Mac laptop that costs $2500. The closest similar Mac laptop in the Technology Standards page costs $1500. The request will be sent for approval, and if approved, the difference of $1000 will be covered by the faculty member's research account or another budget.
    • Example: A staff member requires a windows laptop that costs $3000. The closest similar laptop in the Technology Standards page costs $1200. The request will be sent for approval, and if approved, the difference of $1800 will be covered by a departmental budget.
    • Non-standard devices purchased with supplementary departmental funding will adhere to the Evergreen Cycle noted above. Non-standard devices may be noted as "Evergreen exempt" and will not be replaced when they are retired.
    • In instances where a non-standard device purchased with supplementary departmental funding is deployed to a user who is leaving the position or their employment at St FX in ending, the device will be returned to IT Services for secure erasing and re-setting prior to redeployment to the incoming person replacing the outgoing staff member. If there is no incoming replacement, this device will be redeployed to another user in need of a device.
  2. If additional computers are needed for university operational requirements, you may request additional assets; this request will require approval.
    • Example: A staff member already has a desktop computer, but requires a laptop computer. Their options are to:
      • Replace their existing desktop computer with a laptop OR
      • Submit a request through the IT Services web portal for an additional asset that will require approval.

Assets Provided

Each faculty and staff member will be provided with the following as part of the evergreen program:

Other equipment, such as additional monitors, docks, headsets, webcams, scanners, printers, etc. are not provided as part of the evergreen program and will require a supplementary budget source for purchase.


  • There are no exceptions

Shared Assets

  1. Other computers reasonably required, such as shared workstations or 'service' computers in common areas may be included in the program, pending approval, to fulfill the needs of the department.  When a new service computer is added to a department or is at the age of replacement an Evergreen Assessment must be completed before the system can be deployed.


  • There are no exceptions.

Staffing Turnover

  1. When an employee leaves a department, their laptop, power cords and any dongles should be returned to the IT Services Helpdesk for secure data wiping and software updates before being reissued to another St. Francis Xavier University employee. The Evergreen program ensures we are maximizing the usage of our assets, eliminating the need for departments to hold onto equipment and ensures devices are in use for their 5 year life cycle. Monitors, keyboards, and mice are not returned to IT Services and remain in the office of the departing employee for continued use by the new occupant.


  • The exceptions to this rule are desktops, all in ones, and custom devices required for a specific roles.  These machines can be prepared for the new staff replacement on site.

Research Computers & Equipment

  1. Research computers and equipment are not provided through the evergreen program.  IT Services does facilitate the purchases of all stfx owned computer systems.  Requests can be made using the Computer Equipment Request form.
  2. Those purchasing research computer equipment are strongly urged to plan and allocate a budget sufficient to replace the computer equipment to adhere to IT Services' standard evergreen refresh cycle.
  3. IT Services does provide support and service for research computers and equipment wherever feasible.
  4. Operating systems that have reached their end of life (EOL) and are no longer supported with system or security patches must have their operating system upgraded to a supported version, or the hardware replaced. 


  • There are no exceptions.

Purchasing Your Computer for Personal Use

  1. St FX computers will not be sold to faculty and staff.


  • There are no exceptions.

Funding Envelope

The Evergreen Program will operate within a funding envelope which will determine the types, configurations, and quantities of computers provisioned.

Not Covered Under Evergreen

The following groups, departments, and categories are currently not covered under the Evergreen program:

  • Research computer equipment
    • This includes Research Professor office computers and equipment
  • Coady Institute
  • External Programs (ex: NCCDH, ACENET)
  • Theatre Antigonish


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Article ID: 89404
Fri 9/25/20 3:28 PM
Fri 5/31/24 9:20 AM