University Resources and Services

The alphabetical guide below provides brief descriptions of various University resources and services that can provide faculty, officers of research, and other members of the Columbia community with practical assistance. The guide includes references to web links and other sources with further information for each of the services it describes.

Audiovisual Services

Columbia University Audio Visual offers assistance to both departments and individuals on the Morningside campus in meeting their audiovisual requirements. The Department provides loans, rentals ranging from basic to high-end equipment, media duplication and conversion services, and technical support at events that require video production or sound re-enforcement. To learn more about these services, individuals should go to


The Columbia University Bookstore stocks publications ordered by the faculty for their classes, along with more than 50,000 book titles. The Bookstore also sells school supplies, academic software, and apparel and gifts imprinted with the Columbia name and insignias. Faculty may place their orders for course books at Members of the University community may also use that web site to make online purchases and to obtain further information about the products the Bookstore offers and the events it sponsors.

The Columbia University Medical Center Bookstore carries required and recommended textbooks ordered by Medical Center faculty for their courses. It also stocks academic supplies, imprinted items, clothing, and medical instruments. To learn more about ordering procedures, faculty should e-mail

Columbia Club

Located at 15 West 43rd Street, the Columbia Club offers membership to current officers and students as well as alumni of the University. Membership provides access to overnight accommodations, a lounge, a restaurant, and athletic and other facilities at the Columbia Club. Members can also obtain privileges at other clubs with which the Columbia Club has reciprocal arrangements and discounts at cultural institutions and stores in New York. Information on the Columbia Club is available at

Community Services

Community Impact serves the University’s neighboring communities through its participation in programs that provide food, shelter, job training, companionship, and other assistance to their residents. It works in partnership with more than 100 community organizations and agencies in the Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and Morningside Heights areas. Members of the University community who wish to engage in volunteer activities may participate in one of its service projects. Information on Community Impact and how to sign up as a volunteer may be obtained at

Faculty, officers of research, and other members of the Columbia community may also support the University’s work with community-based organizations in upper Manhattan and Harlem by donating to Columbia Community Services. Similarly, the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund supports the work of local service agencies and groups in the Washington Heights and Inwood areas. Donations to both can be made by check, credit card, or payroll deduction. Every dollar donated goes to supporting programs that improve the lives of the University’s neighbors. To obtain information about Columbia Community Services or to make donations online, individuals should go to Officers and staff interested in the Medical Center Neighborhood Fund should visit the web site of the Medical Center’s Office of Government and Community Affairs at

Computing Purchases

The Procurement Services Office has agreements with several sellers of computers, computing peripherals, other electronic equipment, and software that provide special educational discounts on their normal retail prices. Some of these agreements can be used to make purchases for personal use as well as for University business. Information on these opportunities and links to the companies’ web sites may be found through ComputerSales@Columbia at or Buying@Columbia at ComputerSales@Columbia also offers information and advice about the purchase of computing equipment.

Computing Support Services

The CUIT Help Desk offers technical support on the Morningside campus through online or phone discussions with technicians. The Help Desk complements the Morningside CUIT Client Service Center in providing guidance and support in the academic use of information technology. Additional information on CUIT’s technological support services may be found in Chapter IX of this Handbook or at

The Information Commons provides a single contact point for information technology and related customer support to members of the Medical Center community. Faculty, officers of research, students, and staff may seek its assistance on a walk-in basis at its office, by phone or e-mail, or online via CUMC IT. Chapter IX of this Handbook includes a description of the Information Commons. Further information on its services is available at

Conference Housing

The Office of Conference Housing arranges accommodations for Commencement, Alumni Weekend, summer conference groups, and student interns. For help in planning a conference or to sponsor a summer internship program, officers should contact

The CUMC Office of Housing Services can provide guest accommodations for individuals who need short-term accommodations to participate in approved academic activities at the Medical Center. Information on the accommodations it offers and the policies governing their use can be obtained by contacting the Office at (212) 304-7000.

Cultural Resources

The Columbia University Arts Initiative (CU Arts) seeks to enhance the role of the arts in the life of the University. CU Arts provides support for the numerous University groups and programs with a focus on the arts, each of which is described on its web site at It also promotes the arts at Columbia through special programming described on its web site and by developing partnerships with the cultural institutions of New York City.

Columbia maintains a large collection of paintings and sculpture, much of which is on permanent display throughout its campuses. Exhibitions are held throughout the year in the Rotunda of Low Library, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center, the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, the Postcrypt Art Gallery, and the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies. Other exhibitions, including displays of work by University students, are regularly organized in the libraries and other academic buildings. Links to these may be found on the CU Arts web site listed above.

The University is home to Miller Theatre, a 688-seat concert hall at 116th Street and Broadway. The theatre presents a diverse range of programming from early music to contemporary composers, concerts by prominent artists and Columbia students, jazz, opera, dance, film, and lectures. It is also available for rental, with production support provided by its professional staff. Information about the theatre and its programs is available at

Designated as a landmark building by New York City, St. Paul’s Chapel is the site of cultural as well as religious activity. The “Music at St. Paul’s” program showcases both sacred and secular music, much of which uses the Chapel’s 5,348-pipe Skinner organ. The Postcrypt Coffeehouse, located in the Chapel’s basement, offers a diverse range of music every weekend at no charge, while the Postcrypt Art Gallery exhibits the work of student artists. Information on the programming at the Chapel is available through the web site of Earl Hall at or through links on the web site of CU Arts at

Founded in 1991 by agreement with the Government of Italy, the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America presents examples of Italian culture and arts, and promotes academic programming and research about Italy. The Academy offers a wide range of public events each year, including a film series and a schedule of concerts, lectures, conferences, and symposia. More information about the Academy and its events is available at

Located in Alfred Lerner Hall, the undergraduate student center, the Roone Arledge Auditorium is used for theatrical events and concerts as well as lectures and conferences. Lerner Hall also includes a Black Box Theater that is used for smaller theatrical performances. Information on these spaces and the events staged in them is available from the Lerner Hall web site at

Dining and Catering on Campus

Columbia University Dining Services maintains various dining facilities on campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The Morningside facilities include coffee bars, cafes, delis, a European-style marketplace, and a dining hall. The web site contains a list of the dining facilities and their hours of operation.

The Faculty House provides a venue for both social interaction and academic activity for members of the University community and their families. Its facilities include dining facilities that are open Monday through Friday from September through May, a lounge with a cocktail bar, and rooms that can be used for University events or personal affairs. It is not necessary to be a member to take advantage of the Faculty House, but membership provides discounts on its services, the convenience of monthly billing, and reciprocal privileges at faculty clubs at many other universities and colleges. More information on the Faculty House and its services is available at

The Faculty House provides catering throughout the year, but only for events in its facilities. Individuals who need events catered elsewhere in the University should contact Columbia University Catering, which assists with private as well as University-sponsored affairs. The Catering Department offers services ranging from coffee and tea for small business meetings to large formal dinners. Information on its services and its menus is available at

The Faculty Club in the Medical Center provides a venue for dining, featuring fine cuisine and polished service throughout the year. It is open weekdays for lunch and for dinner for parties of eight guests or more. It is also available seven days a week for University events and private affairs. Dinners require advanced reservations of three days. All members of the University community are welcome to dine at the Faculty Club. Charges may be paid by a University account, Visa or MasterCard, or cash.

The Faculty Club also provides catering throughout the year for both University and private events. Catering services range from coffee and tea for small business meetings to large formal dinners. More information on the Faculty Club and its services may be obtained by contacting (212) 305-5652.

In addition to the Faculty Club, the Medical Center provides various dining options on campus for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. A listing of these facilities and their locations is available at

Disability Services

Faculty and officers of research with temporary or permanent disabilities can ask the Office of Disability Services for counseling and assistance in obtaining workplace accommodations. They can also contact the Return to Work Program for help in resuming their University positions after a medical leave of absence. Additional information about these services is available through the web site of the Office of Human Resources at

Health Services

While Health Services at Columbia primarily serves the University’s students, it will assist faculty and officers of research, as well as other officers and staff, in limited situations. Its professional staff sees officers and staff in need of urgent care for medical or mental health problems that arise while working on the Morningside campus. CAVA, a student volunteer ambulance corps, provides emergency assistance on the Morningside campus and in its immediate neighborhood as well as transport to a local hospital. The Travel Medicine program provides health counseling and immunizations to individuals planning on going overseas for either professional purposes or pleasure. Information on these services is available on the Health Services web site at

Human Resources

Columbia University Human Resources seeks to create a workplace environment that supports the academic mission of the University by offering services and programs that help to recruit, develop, compensate, and retain both academic and administrative personnel. Human Resources administers the benefits programs described in Chapter V of this Handbook. It provides computerized data services of use to faculty and staff and serves as the home of the Human Resources Processing Center (HRPC) Help Desk, which can answer questions about the University’s pay statements. Its Training and Organizational Development Office offers formal courses and customized training to the departments and their personnel. Its Employment and HR Client Services assists with recruiting staff, maintains Columbia’s administrative job application site, Jobs at Columbia (, and manages its relations with nonunion employees. Its Office of Labor Relations manages the University’s relationships with its collective bargaining units. Further information on the Human Resources Department and the services it provides can be obtained from its web site at

Identification Cards

The University ID, the official Columbia University identification card, is managed by the ID Center in Kent Hall for the Morningside campus and by the CUMC Public Safety Office in the Black Building for the Medical Center. Both offices issue, validate, and replace identification cards throughout the year. To obtain a University ID, new faculty and officers of research should contact their departmental administrators before proceeding to one of these offices.

In addition to serving as a general form of identification, a valid University ID is needed to access the resources of the libraries of the University and borrow from their collections. The card provides swipe access to buildings with card-readers. However, in the case of some buildings, officers must obtain special privileges from the Department of Public Safety to use the University ID for that purpose. Officers can also use the card to make purchases at a variety of University facilities by taking advantage of the Flex Account Program offered by Dining Services.

Officers should immediately report any theft or loss of a University ID to the Department of Public Safety. Officers on the Morningside campus should also inform the ID Center about lost or stolen University IDs by phone during normal business hours or via the ID Center web site at

Lost and Found

Individuals who find abandoned articles should bring them to the Department of Public Safety, which maintains Lost and Found services both on the Morningside campus and at the Medical Center. Anyone who has lost a possession should inform Public Safety and check the Lost and Found to see if it has been turned in. Missing University ID cards should also be reported as soon as possible to Public Safety and, when appropriate, the ID Center (see “Identification Cards,” above).

Mail Services

University Mail Services delivers incoming United States Postal Service mail and picks up local and outgoing mail on Columbia’s campuses. Mail to any of the University’s locations is delivered free of charge. Permanent employees on the Morningside campus have been assigned a four-digit mail code that can be found in the online University Directory. Medical Center, Harlem Hospital, Lamont-Doherty, and Nevis employees are not included in this coding process. Further information on mail services is available in the Administrative Policy Library at

Mass mailings are handled through Print Services (see “Photocopying and Printing Services,” below), using lists prepared by the Office of Human Resources. A guide to the available mailing lists can be found at The lists can only be used for official University business.

Outbound courier mail can be sent by FedEx or UPS from the Lerner Hall Package Center at a discount from published rates. Individuals may also purchase packaging supplies such as boxes, tape, and bubble wrap from the Center.

Meetings and Private Functions

The University offers a number of different venues for meetings, seminars, and social functions, ranging from small intimate spaces to large conference facilities, most notably the following:

  • The Faculty House has rooms that accommodate up to 300 persons and can be used for both professional and private purposes. It can provide food and bar service at any function arranged in its facilities. More information on the Faculty House is available at
  • Earl Hall offers space that can be used for special events and memorable occasions. Information on its facilities is available at
  • St. Paul’s Chapel can be used for weddings of all faiths. Information about bookings and other arrangements is available at
  • The Pauline A. Hartford Chapel at New York-Presbyterian Hospital is also available for weddings and special events.
  • Alfred Lerner Hall, the student center on the Morningside campus, has a variety of meeting rooms and performance venues available for rent. Food service can be arranged through Columbia Catering. Information on availability and rates can be found on the Lerner Hall web site at
  • The Italian Academy building, a neo-Renaissance-style palazzo that was built in 1926 and renovated in 1993, contains several rooms that can be rented for meetings, cultural events, and special occasions. These include its Teatro, which opens onto an outside garden terrace, a Salone, library, and conference room. Information on these facilities and the Academy’s rental policies is available at

Pay Statements and Benefits Online

Officers may print out copies of their monthly pay advisories, modify their W-4 tax information, view their benefits’ selections, and update personal information in their University records by going to the “Faculty and Staff” page of My.Columbia at My.Columbia also contains useful links to a wide range of other web sites.

Photocopying and Printing Services

Located in the basement of the Journalism building, Print Services offers photocopying, printing, and other services to both departments and individuals. Information on the office and its services may be found at The Photocopy Service Center in the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library provides similar services for faculty, students, and staff at the Medical Center. Information about the Center is available at Print Services also maintains an Express Copy Center in the International Affairs Building for individuals in need of quick photocopying of materials.

The University Libraries maintains self-service copying machines at convenient locations throughout their facilities. In addition, they have a network of laser printers that can be used to print from both library and personal computers. More information on these services is available at

Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for providing a safe and secure University environment. It posts security officers at key campus locations, regularly patrols the University campuses and their surrounding neighborhoods, and maintains a network of emergency call boxes that provide immediate contact with one of its offices. Members of the Public Security staff can be reached 24 hours a day by phone or by visiting its offices. Its office on the Morningside campus is located in Room 111 of Low Library and at the Medical Center in Room 109 of the Black Building. The Morningside office can be reached in case of emergencies at (212) 854-5555. The emergency phone number for the Medical Center is (212) 305-7979.

Members of the University community in need of assistance or who wish to report a crime or other disturbance should contact Public Safety at the locations or phone numbers listed above. When it is warranted, Public Safety personnel will conduct an investigation and, where appropriate, coordinate their efforts with the New York City Police Department.

To enhance the safety of the University community, Public Safety also offers an active crime prevention program that includes an escort service and the creation of Safe Havens in local businesses in both the Morningside Heights and Washington Heights communities. Public Safety conducts training programs and lectures, issues written communications, and maintains an information line offering prerecorded tips on crime prevention and safety. It also has arranged for the free registration of electronic equipment and etching of VIN numbers on motor vehicles to aid in their recovery if they are lost or stolen.

Information about the services and programs Public Safety provides is available at


The Columbia Record is the University’s newspaper for its faculty and staff. Published every other week from September to May by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, it contains news of interest about the Columbia community. The Record is available free on campus in the lobbies of most buildings and can be found online at The web site contains both current and back issues.

The Office of Communications and Public Affairs also publishes news about the University on the Columbia home page and at the Columbia News site at Columbia News contains links to articles and broadcasts with information about the University that have been prepared by external sources.

The Columbia Spectator is the second oldest college newspaper in the country. Financially and editorially independent from the University, it is written, edited, published, and managed by undergraduate students. The Spectator is published five days a week from September through May, except during University holidays and exam periods. It is distributed to buildings and other locations throughout the Morningside Heights area where it may be picked up without charge. It may also be read online at

The Office of the Executive Vice President for Student and Administrative Services publishes the guide entitled Essential Policies for the Columbia Community, a compendium of information about the University’s policies and regulations that is useful to faculty and other officers as well as students. It is available electronically at

Columbia Magazine is published quarterly by the Office of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR) for alumni and friends of the University. Both the current and past issues can be found at Officers can also obtain subscriptions to printed copies through the web site.

University Alumni Relations sends out an electronic newsletter each month to all graduates of the University. Both current and past issues can be found at Subscriptions to printed copies can also be obtained through the web site.

The CUMC Office of Communications and External Relations prepares a daily briefing about newsworthy developments in the programs at the Medical Center and health and science coverage in the news media. Its reports and press releases are available at The Office also publishes the P&S Journal, the magazine of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and In Vivo, a bimonthly newsletter for faculty and staff at the Medical Center.

Many of the schools and administrative departments of the University have their own magazines, newsletters, journals, and newspapers, which they publish in both electronic and printed form. Links to these can be found on the web site “Publications at Columbia” at The Web site also has links to student publications.


The Office of University Publications works with departments and individuals to develop printed communications. With a staff that includes editors, writers, graphic designers, and marketing and advertising specialists, the Office provides design, writing, editorial, and production services; assistance with photography and illustrations; and support for the development of long-term communication plans. More information on the Office is available at pubs.html.

Officers in need of assistance with the development of online communications should contact CUIT’s Web Production Services, which is described in Chapter IX of this Handbook. CUIT’s Web Production Services specializes in web site design and production, including launching new sites, maintaining existing sites, and creating online applications and forms. More information about its services is available at The Web Design Studio, which is part of Columbia University Medical Center Information Technology (CUMC IT), provides similar services to members of the Medical Center community. Further information on the Studio is available at

Procurement Services

The Procurement Services Office is responsible for working with departments and individual officers to obtain the goods and services needed to support their activities. The Office has negotiated contracts with vendors in many lines of business that provide the members of the University community with significant cost savings, enhanced service and support, easy online means of making purchases, and the assurance of dealing with reliable suppliers. Some of these vendors allow members of the University community to make personal purchases at the same discounted prices and with the same value-added services as University departments. The Office’s web site at contains a list of the preferred vendors and links to their web sites. It also contains information on the University’s policies and procedures on purchasing as well as training resources, forms, and an online newsletter than provides updates on the Office’s continuing efforts to enhance the services it provides.

Recreation Facilities

Located on the Morningside campus, the Marcellus Hartley Dodge Physical Fitness Center is a multipurpose recreational and fitness facility. It includes gymnasia that can be used for multiple sports, a fitness center with cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, a swimming pool, an indoor running track, squash and racquetball courts, exercise rooms, and men’s and women’s locker rooms and saunas. Admission requires a valid University ID or a Fitness Center ID plus a paid membership in the Fitness Center. Faculty, officers of research, and other officers and staff may purchase various levels of membership for themselves and their families that will provide them with lockers, towel service, and other privileges, including the opportunity to sign up for recreational activities, instructional classes, and individualized exercise programs with personal trainers.

The Dick Savitt Tennis Center, located in Columbia’s Baker Field Athletics Complex in northern Manhattan, has cushioned hard courts in a climate-controlled bubble that are available throughout the year when they are not being used by the men’s and women’s varsity teams. Between September and May, the courts may be reserved for the full season or booked on an hourly basis; in the summer, they may be used by paying an hourly fee or by obtaining a Center membership, which provides for unlimited playing time. The Center also offers clinics and individual lessons for players at all levels.

Information on both the Dodge Physical Fitness Center and the Savitt Tennis Center is available through the University’s athletics web site at

For students, faculty, and staff at the Medical Center, the Bard Athletic Center, located in Bard Hall, provides a swimming pool, squash courts, gymnasium, exercise and strength-training equipment, aerobics rooms, lockers, and saunas. Faculty and other officers and their families may use the facility by paying a daily fee or obtaining an annual membership. Membership packages may be obtained from the Office of Housing Services, located on the first floor of Bard Hall. Further information on the Center is available from its web site at

Recycling and Environmental Stewardship

The University is committed to conducting its operations in a manner that protects the environment. As part of that effort and to comply with city, state, and federal regulations, it recycles various types of materials rather than disposing of them as waste. Information on how the recycling program works can be found at The web site contains information on the other initiatives the University has undertaken to improve its stewardship of the environment, suggestions on how individuals can contribute to that goal, and links to other web sites and resources concerning the environment. Individuals can also use the web site to ask questions or make suggestions on how to promote the University’s environmental goals and programs.

Religious Services

Columbia is home to a community of scholars, students, and staff from many different religious backgrounds. The Office of the University Chaplain ministers to their individual faiths while promoting interreligious understanding. The University Chaplain works to promote interfaith and intercultural awareness; fosters learning through spiritual, ethical, religious, political, and cultural exchanges; hosts programs on matters of justice, faith, and spirituality; and is available for confidential pastoral counseling to individuals, couples, and families in the University community. The Office will also assist with private ceremonies such as weddings, christenings, and memorial services. Working with the University Chaplain are the United Campus Ministries, a fellowship of over 20 religious life advisers representing specific faith traditions. Information on the Office of the University Chaplain and its programming can be found on the web at


Columbia Transportation operates several shuttle buses for the convenience of members of the University community. It has also contracted with private companies to provide bus and van rentals and car service.

The shuttle buses may be used free of charge with a valid University ID. The Intercampus Shuttle connects the Morningside campus, the Medical Center, and Harlem Hospital. The Studebaker Shuttle operates between the Morningside campus and the Studebaker building in Manhattanville. The Lamont Shuttle provides transportation between the Morningside campus and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York. The George Washington Bridge Shuttle runs between the Medical Center and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at the George Washington Bridge. The Evening Shuttle provides safe transportation around the Morningside Heights area at night. It makes scheduled stops between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. and is available for on-call service between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. Further information can be found at

These buses run on schedules that are posted at The web site also contains information on the arrangements Columbia Transportation has made for bus and van rentals and for car service. By using these services, members of the Columbia community receive a discounted rate and are covered by the University’s insurance.

The Procurement Services Office has negotiated price discounts and other benefits on car rentals with specific vendors. This program may be used for both University and personal purposes. Information on car rentals can be found through the Campus Travel web site at

Carpooling helps to reduce traffic congestion in New York City while offering a cost-effective way to commute. To encourage carpooling, the University maintains an electronic bulletin board at, where individuals can post or look for potential car pools. At the Medical Center, the Office of the Deputy Vice President for Space and Facilities Planning coordinates the networking needed to create carpools among its personnel. The Personnel Office at Lamont provides a similar function for individuals working at the Observatory. In addition, there are Commuter Lounge Bulletin Boards in the basement of Main Hall at Teachers College and in the Interchurch Center Office.

Travel Services

To assure members of the University community of dependable service at reasonable prices, the Procurement Services Office has negotiated agreements with companies that engage in travel-related businesses. These include airlines and trains, airport parking, car rentals, hotels, and travel agencies. Many of these can be used for personal purposes as well as University business. Information on these travel services is available at

University Archives (Columbiana Library)

The Columbia University Archives houses the noncurrent official records of the University and other primary documents, such as memorabilia, photographs and images, and historical objects. Its holdings, which span the period from the founding of Columbia College in 1754 to the present, can be viewed on a noncirculating basis in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library located in Butler Library. The University Archives’ web site at contains information on its collections, hours of operation, and services.

Last Revised September 2012


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Introduction Organization and Governance of the University Officers of Instruction Officers of Research Benefits and Family Services
Obligations and Responsibilities of Officers of Instruction and Research Student Officers of Instruction and Research Visiting Scholars/Scientists and Seminar Associates
University Libraries and Information Services University Resources and Services Appendices