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General Access Computing Lab Support

Approved August 2016


This is a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between the UW-Whitewater campus community and ITS to document ITS’s responsibilities in managing hardware and software in general access computing labs and to identify procedures for incident reporting and communication.

Service Description

General access labs (GA labs) provide open access to computers and software for all UW-Whitewater students. During the academic year, these labs are available to students for 90 hours or more per week. General access labs provide access to a standard set of software with common navigation and access to campus academic resources.

ITS supports general access labs by providing hardware and software acquisition and installation, software monitoring and license management, print management, workstation policies, usage statistics, and problem diagnosis and resolution.

Each general access lab has a sponsoring department or college. ITS regularly meets with the sponsors to clarify the details of lab workstation operation and to obtain feedback for lab improvements. General access labs are currently located in the University Library, McGraw 19, Andersen 1008, Upham 51, Greenhill Center of the Arts 4 and the Career & Leadership section of the University Center.

Roles & Responsibilities


The campus funds the following software for general access labs:

  • Operating system licenses and upgrades
  • Microsoft Office Suite of applications
  • Adobe Creative Suite software
  • SPSS statistical analysis software
  • Anti-virus and workstation security software
  • Standard set of tools such as device drivers, media players, application readers
  • Workstation management, software license monitoring and lab usage monitoring
  • Print management software
  • Access software

Discipline-specific software may also be made available in the GA labs as a supplement provided:

  • Academic or sponsoring unit responsibilities are to purchase license for discipline-specific software. 
  • The software is licensed to make it generally available across all labs.
  • The software does not require specialized equipment not available in GA labs.
  • Ga lab utilization of the software remains above 10% each semester when looking at total usage across all campus labs. 
  • Primary resources and locations should be provided by the academic program(s) for discipline-specific software. 

Information required by sponsor when submitting a request for distribution of discipline-specific software in GA labs:

  • Does the software require specialized equipment, such as high-end computers, plotters, or other peripherals? 
  • How many students (total enrolled in the courses that require it)will be using it for the semester?
  • What is the expected utilization of the software? If GA lab utilization is below 10%, the software will be removed after one semester. 
  • List the academic program(s) this software is used in.
  • What resources does the academic program(s) offer for use of the discupline-specific software, other than GA labs? Some software allows for free academic use for students with personal computers. 

ITS will consider all submission information to determine the distribution of discipline-specific software to GA labs.

Hardware and Software Installation

ITS supports workstations running campus-supported versions of Windows OS or Mac OS. ITS will install and maintain all hardware and software. Lab software is deployed through a standard campus image and packaged application installers. ITS is also responsible for the removal and disposal of old computer equipment. For lab printing, ITS utilizes Pharos, which provides functionality for print release and usage reporting, used to manage high-volume print locations. ITS Responsibilities:

  • Purchase and install computers, printers and other peripherals, including security cables.
  • Set up network printers and the workstation print solution
  • Develop suite of software for use in general access labs.
  • Establish default workstation permissions at the user level, along with workstation security tools, to maintain the integrity of the software environment for shared workstations
  • Purchase and manage software licenses, and concurrent use management tools

Academic Department Responsibilities:

  • Communicate software requests with all required information by the designated dates which are communicated by Workstation Management to Tech Liaisons.  Late submissions cannot be guaranteed for the start of the semester.
  • Test installation of special-purpose or discipline-specific software for full functionality and report problems promptly to ITS, allowing sufficient time for resolution.

Maintenance of Facilities:

The sponsoring department or college will be primarily responsible for the day-to-day operation of each general access lab facility. Sponsor responsibilities:

  • Determine lab hours, providing for a minimum of 90 hours/week non-instructional time.
  • Open and close the lab facility.
  • Hire and schedule students to monitor the lab and lab usage.
  • Power equipment on and off.
  • Report issues with the standard operation of lab hardware or software to the Helpdesk
  • Provide feedback to improve and enhance the lab usability

Maintenance and Support of Equipment and Software:

ITS provides ongoing maintenance and support for lab equipment and software, including OS and application updates. ITS also provides problem troubleshooting, diagnosis and resolution. ITS Responsibilities:

  • Provide and administer tools for workstation and software management.
  • Distribute OS and software application updates using workstation management tools.
  • Each summer, schedule and deploy staff for new equipment setup, software cleanup, re-imaging and installation of new software, and removal of equipment to surplus.
  • Diagnose and resolve lab incidents as reported to the Helpdesk.
  • Produce inventory reports, usage statistics and print statistics.
  • Promote lab services and availability.

Academic department and Sponsor responsibilities

  • Report issues with the standard operation of lab hardware or software to the Helpdesk
  • Provide feedback to improve and enhance the lab usability

Requesting Service Service requests for general access computing labs should be made by faculty, staff or the department sponsor to the ITS Helpdesk. An examples of a service request includes, providing information about lab operations, usage or printing.

Lab Reservations

From time to time, individuals or departments may need to use a lab facility for a one-time event that requires hands-on participation, such as a training workshop or group orientation. General access lab facilities may be able to accommodate these occasional needs. In order to make a request, refer to the ITS web site. Reservation requests for a general access room must be made at least three weeks in advance, and the use of the room must be for UW-Whitewater faculty, staff or students. Requests will be usually be approved, except in cases of a scheduling conflict, a loss of sufficient open access to students, or a software setup that is difficult to accommodate.

Lab Incidents

Lab incidents (problems) should be reported to the Helpdesk (472-4357), and will be prioritized on a three level scale. 

Impact Level Explanation Examples Initial Response Time
Impact Level 1 Campus-wide impact of critical importance A service affecting all GA labs is unavailable ITS will respond within 30 minutes
Impact Level 2 Single lab impact Software used in a particular lab is not functioning properly. ITS will respond within four hours.
Impact Level 3 Individuals are affected A single computer is not functioning. Helpdesk will respond within two business days.

Hours of Coverage

The Helpdesk is the first point of contact for requests and problems.

Phone Number: 472-HELP (472-4357) or

The hours during academic sessions are: Monday-Thursday from 8 AM to 9 PM, and Fridays from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. check the Helpdesk webpage for summer and extended hours.

Impact Level 2 and 3 service requests will be handled during normal business hours. If a department/division does not receive a contact within the specified time for their Impact Level, an email should be sent to

Fees and Expenses

ITS services for general access labs, as described in this document, do not have associated fees.

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