Remote Access and Telecommuting Tools

CUIT provides technologies that enable all faculty and staff to accomplish their work-related tasks while working remotely at any time. Prior to using remote access tools, make sure your desktop or laptop is free of computer viruses, worms, bots, etc. Refer to the Columbia University Remote Access Policy in the Administrative Policy Library for specific requirements and guidelines.


Everyone at Columbia can securely access his or her Columbia email remotely using LionMail with a web browser. UNI login is required.

Faculty and staff with Microsoft Exchange email accounts can also securely access their email inbox and subfolders, calendar, contacts and tasks from any Internet-enabled computer by using Web Outlook. Exchange login is required.

For departments with other local email systems, individuals should contact their departmental IT staff for remote access information.


Rolm phone, NetPhone and Unified Communications' RingCentral users can check voicemail messages and record or change outgoing phone mail greetings from on and off-campus.

Many self-service features, including incoming call forwarding to campus or off-campus numbers, are available to NetPhone users online. Use CUIT's MyNetPhone (UNI login required) tool to forward calls or make any other necessary changes.

Rolm Phone users have several self-features including setting up call forwarding to Columbia extensions. Rolm Phone users may submit a ticket to the CUIT Service Desk to inquire about pricing for call forwarding to off-campus phone numbers, and the Service Desk will also be able to facilitate setting up the service.

Remote University Application Access

Faculty and staff can access Statistical, Financial, Human Resource, Course Management, Administrative, Enterprise Business Intelligence Solutions and Microsoft applications from off-campus.  Some applications are accessed via a web browser, some require a secure VPN connection to the Columbia network, and other require a secure Citrix connection to the Central Server.

With a VPN connection, faculty and staff can access Columbia’s network, systems, file shares, email servers and all administrative and school applications that they can access from their office desktop computer.  Note, VPN will only access shared drives, VPN cannot be used to access your office’s local desktop computer hard drive.

With a Citrix connection, faculty and staff can access applications and shared data files hosted on the Columbia Central Server.

Emergency Situations

To be prepared for emergencies, it is important to be familiar with these remote access tools, download any software that may be required, and test them in advance. For additional information during emergency situations, visit the Email Services page regarding email availability, the Preparedness website, and the Columbia University homepage for additional information.

International Travel

Will you be taking a trip abroad? Visit the Finance Gateway Global Support International Travel Guide and the CUIT International Mobile Services web page for mobile device plans.