Harvard hardware

Computers for faculty and staff

The FAS Refresh program (formerly known as the Universal Desktop program) instituted by FAS supplies one computer (with certain accessories) per person to faculty (with some restrictions) and staff. The computers are normally purchased by HUIT and replaced on a four-year cycle.

Each user can choose from certain models of Apple desktop, Apple laptop, PC (Dell) desktop, or PC (Dell) laptop specified under the program. If you want a model that is not among the specified ones, you may order it through the program and HUIT will subsidize part of the cost. The user (or his/her dept.) is required to make up any difference.

Only one computer per user is covered under the program; you cannot get a laptop and a desktop, but laptops come with an external monitor and a keyboard and mouse for desktop use.

Each computer comes in a “bundle” with specific hardware (wired keyboard, wired mouse, ethernet cable, display adapters [“dongles”], etc.). Additional hardware (e.g. wireless mouse, larger external monitor) or hardware upgrades may be available at extra cost.

Software on FAS Refresh computers

Each computer comes with a standard set of software (including Microsoft Office), but these are not locked systems. You will have administrative privileges and can install whatever you wish (within the bounds of legality).
Other software that you have on your old computer can be migrated by HUIT technicians (see below under Migration), unless replaced by a newer version included in the standard distribution.


Techs can migrate things from a computer currently in use to the new one.
“Things” includes applications/programs, your own files, web browser bookmarks, and various settings.
You do not need to do anything special to prepare your old computer for migration. As always, I advise having a backup.

If you have questions about the program, please refer to the FAS Refresh page of the HUIT website.

Tablets and mobile devices

Please see the FAS policy page.