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Non-University Owned Building Infrastructure Policy


University organizations, programs, or affiliates who are accessing, or planning to access, communications network resources (such as voice, data, video, etc.) from a non-University owned building.


It is understood that it may be necessary to have a University organization, program or affiliate in a non-University owned building. During the decision process, it is necessary to engage various units of the University. These units may include, but are not limited to the Office of General Counsel, Budget, Analysis and Allocation, Facilities Management, and Information Technology. This policy addresses the technology infrastructure for a University organization, program or affiliate considering acquiring space in a non-University owned building.

Policy Statement:

The following policy has been developed to further clarify aspects of existing Northwestern University (NU) policies (referenced below) that relate to defining, installing, and extending the University's technology infrastructure to non-University owned buildings. The communications infrastructure of the University is a critical strategic advantage that facilitates teaching, research, and administration. These policies are in place to ensure that the University deploys a consistent infrastructure to Northwestern organizations, programs, or affiliates to minimize costs and maximize the value of these resources.


Non-University owned buildings fall under these policies and must be handled as specified below:

  1. Any Northwestern organization that moves to a non-University owned building must receive the same network facilities (voice, data, and video services) that are delivered to organizations that are located in University-owned buildings on the Northwestern campuses, as provided by and coordinated with the Northwestern University Information Technology division (NUIT) and Northwestern University Facilities Management (FM).
  2. Any Northwestern affiliate that wishes to receive NUIT services will be held to the same standards as a Northwestern department.
  3. Any Northwestern organization that moves into a non-University owned building is advised that up-front costs and recurring costs of providing the necessary communications infrastructure may fall partially or totally to that organization, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the move. This determination will be made as a result of planning meetings that must be held with NUIT and FM and, as needed, the Office of Budget Planning, Analysis and Allocation, and the Office of General Counsel. If the organization moving into a non-University owned building fails to engage these offices, as noted above, in such advance planning, it is likely that all funding of up-front and recurring costs of providing the necessary communications infrastructure will be paid for by the moving organization.
  4. Before any Northwestern organization, program, or affiliate moves into a non-University owned building that does not possess University-owned infrastructure, a review of any infrastructure costs that will be incurred to provide NUIT services to the building must be performed. The organization must coordinate and consider these requirements with FM and NUIT when planning for this space. This review should include an analysis of the cost implications to the University of leasing infrastructure facilities from a third party versus incurring up-front, one-time costs to install the necessary infrastructure. Based on the results of this review, the project approach will be determined and, as required, a project budget will be established for any one-time costs of necessary infrastructure improvements. This review will also result in identification of funding sources, which may require consultation with the Office of Budget Planning, Analysis and Allocation.
  5. NUIT will determine the suitable infrastructure, contract and coordinate for installation thereof, and, based on the funding identified in #4 above, charge the customer organization or the project budget accordingly. It is vital that organizations, programs, or affiliates involve NUIT and FM early enough in the process to avoid delays and rush charges. The planning process may include, but is not limited to: (a) design and engineering work, (b) permit and easement approvals, (c) competitive bidding processes, (d) budgetary approvals, (e) delivery of services or equipment by others, (f) construction coordination, and (g) acceptance testing and activation of services. All of these require varying times to complete and are critical paths to the preparation of a non-University owned location prior to occupancy.
  6. Based on the planning review with NUIT and FM (as required in #4 above), a determination will be made regarding the handling of monthly recurring costs to provide Core Communications services to the location. Any recurring costs for services in addition to Core Communications Services are the responsibility of the Northwestern organization, program, or affiliate.
  7. In certain instances, the activities conducted in non-University owned space, qualify for consideration to be treated as "off-campus" for the purposes of F&A recovery on sponsored programs. "Off-campus" is defined as space that is not owned by NU and either the space is remote from the primary campuses or no NU entity bears a cost of occupancy for such space. The treatment of communication costs in these circumstances will be derived from existing University agreements with the Federal Government. These questions shall be referred to the Office of Cost Studies, and should not bear upon the business decisions outlined in 1-6.
  8. All requests for special agreements or exceptions must be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology.

Related Policies:

Important Dates

Last Review Date:

  • December 2013
Original Issue Date:
  • June 2003
Revision Dates:

November 2006, May 2007