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IT Service Status
IT Service Status

Use of Computers, Systems, and Networks


All persons accessing computer or network resources through any network or University facility.


Computer, system or network users are responsible for:

  • Using the computer, system or network in ways that do not interfere with or disrupt the normal operation of the computer, system or network;
  • Respecting the rights of other users, including their rights as set forth in other University policies for students, faculty, and staff; these rights include but are not limited to privacy, freedom from harassment, and freedom of expression;
  • Knowing and obeying the specific policies established for the system and networks they access;
  • Complying with applicable laws and terms of applicable license agreements.

Under no circumstances may you give others access to any computer, system or network that you do not administer.

Policy Statement:

It is the policy of Northwestern University to maintain access to local, national, and international networks for the purpose of supporting its fundamental activities of instruction, research, and administration. Users of the network are to take the necessary measures to safeguard the operating integrity of the systems and the accessibility of other users.

Computer, System, or Network Administration

Administrators of computers, systems and networks have the responsibility to protect the rights of users and promote respect for applicable laws and license provisions, to set policies consistent with those rights and responsibilities, and to publicize those policies to their users. They have authority to control or refuse access to anyone who violates these policies or threatens the rights of other users or fails to comply with applicable laws or license provisions; they should make reasonable efforts to notify users affected by decisions they have made. Administrators of computers, systems and networks are, of course, also users, and as such must follow the above rules for computer, system, or network use.

Network Device Hostnames

All hosts on the University network should have a name that ends in Hosts that do not must be approved by the Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications and the Vice President Information Technology and Chief Technology Officer or their designated representative. These hosts must be registered in the Northwestern University namespace. As an educational institution we will only make available .edu or .org extensions as possible options, upon approval. Exceptions are usually only granted when the proposal involves one or more of the following conditions:

  • The request is being made for non-profit, non-commercial academic agencies, institutes, programs directly affiliated with Northwestern University.
  • The request is being made for agencies, institutes, programs affiliated with Northwestern University, with an autonomous nationwide stature and coordinating the participation of at least three other educational institutions.
  • When domain support is not seen as a violation of Northwestern University appropriate use policies for information technology.

Exception requests must be in the form of an e-mail from, or letter on departmental letterhead signed by the parental unit chair/dean/director addressing the following:

  1. A description of the purpose/function/nature of the organization that includes the participants involved (including physical locations for both the on and off campus parts of the organization) and the role the University plays in the organization. If the University already provides hosting for other domains for the people involved how is the new request different.
  2. A statement that the request is not for a private, business or some other commercial venture nor will the site(s) link to any commercial or commerce related site.
  3. An agreement to a periodic review and renewal process of approved domains to insure that the content matches the original signed agreement and that no commercial activity is taking place.
  4. A statement that they understand it is the organization's responsibility to incur any additional costs in the registration process, including but not limited to transferring or renewing the domain name with the appropriate domain registrar.
  5. An agreement that should the request be granted, associated Web sites will contain prominent notification as to the Northwestern University affiliation and a link to the University home page ( Appropriate University staff/faculty should be identified as contacts within the set of Web pages.

Campus Network

The campus network serves the needs of the entire Northwestern community. As a critical resource to that community, it is vital that it be managed in a professional manner. To facilitate that process, the campus network may not be extended without the express permission of the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

Appeal of an Administrative Action

Individuals who disagree with an administrative decision may submit an appeal of the decision to the appropriate office. Students may submit appeals to the Vice President for Student Affairs, a faculty member may appeal to the Provost, and a staff member may appeal to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

Satisfies ISO 27002 7.0, 11.4.1, 11.4.2


Important Dates

Last Review Date:

  • December 2016
  • December 2013
Original Issue Date:
  • June 2003
Revision Dates:
  • May 2007, February 2005