Faculty Computing Policy

Northwestern Law Faculty Computer Support Policy

It is the goal of this policy to provide faculty with support for their research and instructional needs. The law school provides computing support in the form of an office computer and a standard set of software packages. Faculty who have special computer hardware and software needs should discuss them with the Associate Dean of Research and Intellectual Life, David Schwartz.

Primary Office Computer

The Law School provides faculty a choice of three office computer configurations, all of which are fully paid for by the Law School.

Option 1: Dell Optiplex desktop computer, 22-inch flat-screen monitor, and Microsoft Office 365.

Option 2: Dell Latitude laptop computer, docking station, 22-inch flat-screen monitor, and Microsoft Office 365.

Option 3: Apple MacBook Pro computer, 22-inch flat-screen monitor, and Microsoft Office 365.

Law Information Technology (LIT) will gladly assist you in making your computer decision. You may contact us at (312) 503-7000, lit@law.northwestern.edu, or book a remote one-on-one consultation.

Additional Technical Resources

Current University practice dictates that a single computer purchased by the University for business, research, or scholarly purposes is sufficient. See the 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.

Law School funds including research accounts cannot be used for purchase or maintenance of home equipment or software. LIT will only provide support and maintenance for office computers owned by the School. Maintenance and support for additional computers and personal computers are the faculty member's responsibility.

If you think that you need technical resources beyond your primary configuration for business, research, or scholarly purposes, please fill out the Request for Additional Computing Resources form (pdf) as required by university policy. These technical resources must be purchased using your faculty research account.

In regard to remote teaching the university is paying for the following items:

Required Equipment:
  1. Webcam and/or
  2. Microphone
Suggested Equipment (if needed):
  1. Second monitor
  2. Docking station
  3. Headphones
  4. Green screen
  5. USB hub

In reference to the faculty equipment-needs notice from Rita Winters and David Schwartz as of July 15, 2020: Due to ongoing budget constraints caused by COVID -19, we ask that you please continue to limit discretionary spending, including purchases of additional equipment. If you would like to request items beyond those listed above, a secondary equipment form may be required and, if approved, funding will come from your individual research account. Approved purchases of secondary equipment must also be coordinated with IT. Moving forward, we cannot reimburse for remote teaching equipment purchased outside of the Law IT department (we will evaluate reimbursement requests for past purchases of equipment listed above on an individual basis). Because of the high volume of orders, it is important for us to leverage our existing vendor relationships and to take advantage of the Law School’s preferred pricing and tax-exempt status that individuals do not have access to when ordering on their own. Although we will work with individual requests, the Law School will not reimburse for furniture for home offices, home internet, or in-home installation of equipment.

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

Support of Office Computers

LIT provides hardware and software support for office computers including statistical software packages. LIT does not support home equipment or personally installed hardware, software, or peripherals.

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