Faculty Computing Policies

Northwestern Law Faculty Computer Support Policy

It is the goal of this policy to provide faculty with support needed for their research and instructional needs. To do so, the law school provides basic computing support in the form of an office computer and a standard set of software packages. Faculty who have special hardware and software computing needs should discuss them with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Faculty and Research and the Associate Dean for Information Services.

Faculty are encouraged to select a laptop as their office computer for a variety of reasons. The clear performance difference that once existed between desktop and laptop computers is rapidly eroding and today’s laptops offer substantial computing power and flexibility for travel and teaching.

Office Computer

The Law School provides faculty a choice of two office computer packages, both of which are fully paid for by the Law School.

The first package consists of a desktop computer, flat screen 19 inch LCD monitor, and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.

The second package consists of a laptop computer, docking station, separate flat screen 19 inch LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, and Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. Faculty who select this package will be provided a second docking station, keyboard, and mouse for home use.

To help us assist you in making your computer decision, please fill out the Request for New Computer Equipment form Access Restricted to Northwestern Law Community.

Based upon your answers, the Law School Information Technology Department can help guide you to the best computer package for your needs. Modifications to the standard package must be approved by the Law School Information Technology Department  and any additional costs will be charged to the faculty member's research account. Contact Law School IT at (312) 503-7000 for current computer specifications.

Support of Office Computers

 Law School IT provides hardware and software support for office computers including statistical software packages. Because of the increasingly complex interaction between hardware and software, it does not support hardware peripherals and personally installed software (outside of tools required for typical web browsing such as Adobe Acrobat and Flash).

Because computers provided by the University are for business, research and scholarly purposes, software, media and data used for personal purposes, e.g. TurboTax, photographs, music, or movies, should not be placed on University owned machines. All computers and additional computer hardware and software purchased by University Funds are University property. If a faculty member leaves, all computer equipment must be returned to Law School IT.

Secondary Computing Device(s)

The current prevailing University practice is that a single computer purchased by the University for business, research or scholarly purposes is sufficient. See University Mobile Communications and Home Computing Policy (pdf). Additional University-funded computing devices (laptops, tablets, scanners, printers, etc.) may be subject to treatment as personal taxable income.

If you think that you need additional computing device(s) for business, research or scholarly purposes, please fill out this Request for Additional Computing Devices form (pdf) as required by University policy.

Additionally, Law School funds including research accounts cannot be used for purchase or maintenance of home printers or for purchase of software or hardware for home machines or machines not covered by this policy. Law School IT will provide support and maintenance for only the office computers owned by the School. Maintenance and support of additional computers and personal computers are the faculty member's responsibility.

Upon leaving the Law School, faculty members must return all computing devices purchased with university funds to the Law School IT department.