Clare College Cambridge

Provision of Computing Services

Clare's computing facility is provided by the IT Department, which runs the College's hardware, software and technical support for the College community. The purpose of this document is to set out the basis on which these services are supplied, for the benefit of the computer users in the College.

Provision of Support
The demands on the IT Support staff's time can at times exceed availability. Certain requests may not, therefore be fulfilled straightaway - and may indeed be more appropriately provided by other means.

The priorities of the IT Department are generally as follows:

  1. Network infrastructure:

    e.g.       - Main switches, routers, servers
                 - Connections between College sites
  2. College Departments and Staff, with the most critical functions taking priority based on an urgency-impact priority based system:

    e.g.       - The Tutorial Office during key admissions periods
                 - The Bursary during payment cycles and payroll
                 - The Conference Office during the conference season

  3. Student Desktop Services computers and printers

  4. Individual Fellows

  5. Individual students having problems with their computers or room connections

Users needing the assistance of IT Support staff are asked to submit a job via the Help Centre.

The prioritisation of Infrastructure, Departmental or Staff issues is determined with an impact-urgency priority matrix as displayed here:

The following table sets out the Service Level Expectation associated with priority of the issue or incident:

Individuals and groups with complex problems who are towards the bottom of the priority list may need to wait for an appointment with a member of the IT Staff, and should be prepared for their appointment to be rescheduled if a more urgent problem arises in the meantime.

Users are reminded that other sources of help exist apart from the College's IT Department. The University Information Services provides training and support services and there are Student Computer Officers, contactable by email on, who can help with a variety of problems.

The IT Department undertake to:

  • Respond promptly and individually to all requests for assistance, either reporting if they believe the problem has been resolved, or suggesting a time when they can investigate further
  • Deal with simple requests (e.g. for a room connection) as quickly as possible
  • Attend all arranged appointments, unless a genuinely urgent problem intervenes - in which case they will give as much advance warning as possible of the need to change the appointment, and suggest a new time
  • In the case of a difficult or specialist problem, give advice as to where alternative assistance can be sought

In case of difficulty

The IT Manager and Computing Coordinator are available to resolve problems with computing in the College, and welcome queries and comments regarding this Code of Practice from any computer user in Clare. Otherwise, points can be raised via the Student Computer Reps who attend meetings of the College Computer Committee - or via Heads of Departments, who also have regular meetings with the IT Manager.

Provision of Hardware
The College Computer Committee controls a budget, agreed annually with the Finance Committee, to cover the provision and maintenance of:

  • Hardware for connecting all computers in the College to the College network and CUDN (wireless, wall sockets, cables, switches, routers, firewall, etc.);
  • Communal facilities provided for all students (computers in Old Court, Memorial Court and the Colony, printers, scanners, etc.);
  • File servers and the College web server;
  • Ethernet cables lent to students with room connections;
  • Equipment for the IT Staff

All other computing equipment is provided by other means:

  • College Departments agree their requirements directly with the IT Manager and Bursar;
  • MCR computers are purchased through the MCR budget;
  • Fellows may receive assistance towards the purchase of computers according to the scheme approved from time to time by the Finance Committee.

It is, however, essential that the IT Department be consulted before any College money is spent on computing hardware. This is to ensure compatibility within the College, especially when the purchase will result in consumables (e.g. printer cartridges) being ordered by the College.