Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
An I-9 form is the Employment Eligibility Verification Form required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify your identity and your eligibility to work in the United States. All employees must complete this form and provide valid original identification. You are not eligible for pay until you have completed your I-9 form.
Effective May 1, 2020
I-9s for all Columbia University hires are being completed electronically.
I-9 Form instructions
Complete Section 1 here: NewI9 link.
Employer: Columbia University
The email subject should be “<Last>, <First> - NewI9 Documentation”
Send the password as a separate email, using the same email subject.
Once you have completed Section 1 of the I-9 form online, you will see a confirmation page that lists the acceptable documents you may bring to the I-9 office in order to complete the I-9 process. The list of acceptable documents can also be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Please note: expired documents are not acceptable by order of DHS.
Columbia University does not provide tax advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a professional tax advisor.
New York State 195 notice must be provided to all employees upon hire, when there is an appointment change (for example, casual to support staff or student officer to officer of research), or before a change in pay rate (other than the normal annual merit increase).
The law applies to the following employees:
- All academic personnel (excluding student officers and postdoctoral fellows)
- Officers of Administration (both regular and temporary)
- Union and non-union support staff (both regular and temporary)
- Student Casuals
- Work-study students
If you are a J scholar new to Columbia, you need to Report Your Arrival to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) by submitting the online SEVIS Report form. This is very important! This action will activate your Columbia SEVIS record. The online SEVIS Report form can be submitted online using your PID. Your arrival should be reported within one week of entering the United States with your Columbia DS-2019.
University Network ID (UNI)
The University Network ID is a unique identifier assigned to each university student, faculty, researcher, or administrator, consisting of your initials and arbitrary numbers. Your UNI provides access to Columbia’s systems and services, such as LionMail, Courseworks, library resources, computer labs, employee self-service (HR and benefits information), and university business and administrative systems.
To change your password, please go to the CUIT Manage My UNI page. Please note that Columbia University requires that all users of the PeopleSoft application change their password every 90 days. This is a precaution to help protect everyone’s sensitive personal and payroll data.
LawNet is a set of web-based services that provide interactive access to the Columbia Law School administrative databases.
LawNet’s network and databases are Law School specific, and there is a unique username and password needed to access all LawNet services (e.g., Law School network and directory, etc.) The UNI username and password are used to access University run systems (e.g., MyColumbia self-service portal). If you have any questions regarding LawNet or LawNet access, please contact Columbia Law School information technology via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 212-854-1370.
University ID Card
Anyone obtaining a university ID Card (CUID) for the first time must provide his or her UNI and show a valid government ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, at the University ID center. Please be sure to keep your CUID handy at all times.
Building Services and Public Safety
MyColumbia Self-Service Portal and Multifactor Authentication—Duo
Duo is a two-factor sign-in authentication to protect systems with sensitive data. It is also known as MFA, two-factor authentication, TFA, Duo, and two-step verification. Most people use Duo via the mobile app, Duo Mobile, which runs on a variety of smartphones and tablets.
To learn more about our two factor sign-in authentication system, please visit cuit.columbia.edu/mfa.
To access MyColumbia, please follow the instructions below:
- Log in to my.columbia.edu using your UNI and UNI password.
- Choose the “Faculty and Staff” tab on top of the page.
- Scroll down to the “Self-Service” column.
- Select the appropriate option.
- Confirm your authorization to access your sensitive personal information using the multifactor authentication (DUO).
The self-service portal allows you to manage the following:
- Enroll in benefits and view or change benefits information.
- View or change your contact information.
- Enroll in direct deposit or change bank information.
- Sign up for emergency text message notifications.
- View your pay statement and paycheck information.
- Access tax information.
- Update your W-2 form.
To enroll in direct deposit, please follow the instructions below:
- Log into the MyColumbia portal with your UNI and password.
- Click the “Faculty and Staff Tab.”
- Under “Self-Service,” choose “View Your Direct Deposit Information.”
- Video: Setting Up Direct Deposit in PAC
- Note: When you click on the video link above, you will be asked to sign in with your UNI and password. Once on the page, simply click the blue “Enroll” button to begin.
To view your statement online:
- Log on at my.columbia.edu.
- Sign In using your UNI and Password. (You will get the DUO authentication.)
- Go to the “Faculty and Staff” tab.
- Scroll to the “Self-Service” menu.
- Select “View Your Paycheck.”
To sign up for Emergency Text Message Notifications, follow the steps below:
- Log in with your UNI and password at my.columbia.edu.
- Select “Faculty and Staff” at the top of the page.
- Click “View or Update Your Personal Information.”
- Select “Change phone numbers."
- Select “Add a phone number."
- Next, select one of the “Campus Alert” fields from the drop-down menu.
- Enter your mobile number (University-provided or personal).
- Use the remaining two “Campus Alert” fields to enter up to two other mobile numbers you would like to receive emergency notifications.
- Click “Save.”
Text message notifications will be used only in rare circumstances to notify you of critical information regarding urgent situations.
The university typically conducts tests of the Text Message Notification System twice a year. Members of the community are notified of the test in advance. These tests will not require you to do anything and will provide familiarity with the text message notification system in the event that we need to use it for urgent information.
Pay Information and Resources
Employees are generally paid on the following pay cycles:
- University officers of instruction, research, administration, and the libraries, as well as student officers, are on a semimonthly pay frequency.
- Stipend and fellowship payments are paid monthly.
- Support staff and casual employees are generally paid every other Friday for the previous two-week period.
For more information, please see the Morningside Payroll Calendar.
If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, your paycheck will be delivered to the Law School’s Information Center (also known as the mail room), typically by 2 p.m. Once your check arrives, the Information Center will email you to let you know that it is available for pickup (only for full-time employees).
Information Center location and contact information is below:
Columbia Law School Information Center
121 Jerome L. Greene Hall
435 W. 116th St.
New York, NY 10027
Health and Wellness Benefits
When you log in to Columbia University Benefits Enrollment System (CUBES), you will see the benefit options you are eligible for, as well as the monthly cost and the benefits effective date.
Benefits eligibility for Officers begins on your date of hire.
Benefits eligibility for Local 2110 Support Staff employees are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period.
For all benefits-related questions, please contact:
Columbia Benefits Service Center
Studebaker 4th Floor, MC 8703
622 W. 132nd St.
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 851-7000
Secure fax: (212) 851-7025
Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life fosters the well-being of the Columbia community and its people in their pursuit of meaningful and productive academic, personal, and work lives.
For information, please visit worklife.columbia.edu.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a network of free services, provided by Humana, to help you and your household members cope with issues experienced in everyday life. Services include short-term confidential counseling, wellness resources, and tools to help you be successful in the workplace.
For more information, please visit humanresources.columbia.edu/content/employee-assistance-program.
Learning and Development
Columbia University provides Lynda.com access to faculty, staff, and students. Lynda.com is an online service that provides video-based tutorials and resources on just about every web and software technology you might wish to explore. Lynda.com is widely recognized as a trusted educational resource. For more information, please visit Columbia University | Lynda.com.