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Support Policies for Administrative Departments

Consulting Services provides computing support to all staff within administrative departments at Dartmouth. This includes all staff paid by the College as well as staff that have sponsored DND accounts who work in the following divisions:

  • All departments within the Dean of the College area.
  • All departments within the President’s area.
  • All departments within the Provost’s area.
  • All departments within VP Alumni Affairs area.
  • All departments within VP Development Office area.
  • All departments within Vice President and Treasurer’s Office area.
  • All departments within VP of Public Affairs Office area.

For those departments that have their own professional information technology (IT) staff (e.g., Development), users should contact their department’s internal IT support office rather than Consulting Services. Support provided by Consulting Services to those departments will be through that department’s IT staff. Questions unable to be resolved by the department's internal IT staff will be escalated to the consultant assigned to the department.

Staff within administrative departments at the professional schools should contact their school’s computing support office for assistance with questions. Questions unable to be resolved by the professional school's internal IT staff will be escalated to the consultant assigned to that professional school.

Staff in the departments supported by the Consulting Services group can obtain assistance with any computing-related question via e-mail, over the phone, in their on-campus office, or by stopping by their department’s computing support office. Your department’s IT support office is the place to start when you have a computing-related question. This includes questions related to your computer’s hardware or software, peripheral equipment attached to your computer, questions about central computer systems, problems with network or Internet access, problems with the telephone system, questions about video projects, etc. If we cannot find the answer, we will refer you to someone who can. Requests for assistance sent via e-mail to help@dartmouth.edu will be automatically directed to the department’s designated consultant. In emergencies, people should contact their department’s designated consultant directly via phone or by going to their consultant’s office.

Services Provided

Services for staff within the administrative departments supported by the Consulting Services group include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Assistance selecting new computer equipment or software.
  • Assistance with Computer Assurance Program equipment and software.
  • Troubleshooting of desktop applications.
  • Training on applications in group sessions or one-on-one. (Examples of courses we have done in the past include Migrating to Mac OS X and Oracle Calendar.)
  • Support of Windows XP Professional and Vista Enterprise operating systems; support of Macintosh operating system X software.
  • Troubleshooting and evaluation of computer hardware and software.
  • DND (a.k.a., BlitzMail), CorporateTime, Documentum, NetBackup, and other central systems account creation, password resets, configuration, or usage.
  • Assistance determining what services are offered by Computing Services that might benefit a department and connecting the user with the appropriate person within Computing Services for those services.

Additionally, we will try to help with any computer-related problem not specifically mentioned above. If it is something beyond what we can help you with, we will refer you to another Computing Services staff person or an outside vendor. Examples of this type of referral may include help with the UNIX operating system, help with specialized equipment, or hardware upgrades or repairs. We do not do anything that requires us to open the computer case because we are not insured for that type of service. If you need additional memory, a new hard drive, or something replaced within your computer, we will refer you to The Computer Store or to an outside vendor.

Within Consulting Services, each department within a specific location is assigned one full-time staff member to provide support for all staff in that department at that location. The benefit of this situation is that the staff member assigned to a department can become very familiar with the staff they support. They know the computers and the technology needs of their constituents. The consultant is also located near the departments they support, so most of the consulting can more easily be done face-to-face. If an emergency arises, they can be at the staff office promptly to address the problem. The drawback is if the person assigned to a department is out for a day, or if too many requests for assistance come in around the same time. In these cases, there may be a delay in contacting you and the person responding may not be “your” consultant. Information regarding how to contact another consultant when the designated consultant is not available will be available in the consultant’s vacation message from BlitzMail and within their voice mail message. In general, when your consultant is unavailable, you will always get assistance from another consultant by sending e-mail to help@dartmouth.edu.

In situations where too many requests for assistance come from staff in a department at the same time, that department’s consultant will set up a triage system so that the most important problems are given priority. In addition, we have created a list of hardware and software with which we are familiar; see Supported Hardware and Software. Staff who purchase items found on this list make it easier for the consultant to help them. Items that are not on this list are given a lower priority for support than items on this list. In some cases, if a staff member has a problem with an item not on the supported list, the consultant will not be able to help them, but will most likely refer them to the vendor of that product.

Prioritizing Requests

Requests for help that we receive are prioritized in the following manner:

  1. Requests for help concerning a computer that will not run when this is the only computer to which the user has access will be responded to as soon as we receive the message, or as soon as we finish helping someone else whose computer also falls into this category. If your computer falls into this category and is not one of the computers we support, you may be referred to an off-campus vendor for assistance.
  2. After computers that meet the criteria outlined in category 1 are those computers that will not run, where the user has access to another computer, but who need immediate access to the data that is on the computer that will not run. These types of requests for help will be responded to as soon as we finish helping someone whose only computer falls into category 1. Again, if your computer falls into this category and is not one of the computers we support, you may be referred to an off-campus vendor for assistance.
  3. If you have a problem with an application or other hardware device that is on the supported hardware and software list noted above, we will respond to your request for help in the order in which these requests were received, assuming that no one contacts us with computers that meet criteria 1 or 2.
  4. If you have a problem with an application or other hardware device that we do not support, we will respond to your request in the order in which it was received, assuming that no one contacts us with computers that meet criteria 1, 2, or 3. In these instances, we may refer you to an off-campus vendor for support of these products.

If you have questions about any of the information provided above, please contact your department’s IT support office, or call Warren Belding at 646-3192, or Ellen Young at 646-0367.

Last Updated: 1/14/13