Computing Support

Research Collaboration

Online Collaboration with Courseworks @ Columbia

What is a Collaboration site? Collaboration sites available in support of academic activities for teams or groups of users that need to share information for any period of time not restricted to an academic term. These sites are accessible by UNI and guests with valid email addresses and will appear under "Active Projects" after login Collaboration sites are very much like regular course sites with all tools and features.


Who may request a Collaboration site? Collaboration sites may be requested by faculty or administrative staff from departments and schools. Teaching Assistants, Staff Assistants and Students may not request these sites Limited number of sites are available for administrative and research purposes and will be evaluated.



STEP 1 To request a Collaboration site, please fill out the form below, and also provide us with the site name. Site names are limited to 26 characters and must not include space or foreign characters

STEP 2 List the name and email address of the Senior Administrator (usually Dean or the Chair of the department/School) who will approve the request


STEP 3 We will request approval from the Senior Administrator before the site is created

Mailman Shared Folder and Personal Storage Space

Upon request, CPRC members can obtain access to the Mailman School of Public Health server.   This access allows members a location to collaborate and store data.  Faculties at the SPH are directly connected to the Mailman server and have automatic access to the shared drives in their offices.  Members who are not located in the SPH will connect using VPN.  The shared drive letters are usually the “P” and “O”.  “P” allows access to the SMS_CPRC folder while the “O” drive is for personal storage space.  Each member is allocated 1GB of space on the “O” drive. 

Account Request: To request access to the Mailman Shared Drives please contact Michael Weisner (212) 854-8032 or email

Instructions for connecting to Mailman server via VPN:

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN is a program that encrypts data before it is sent across a network. While the wired campus network has built-in security measures to protect patient data, VPN must be used in the following two instances to provide security for data traveling across the non-wired network. IMPORTANT: Remote Desktop is not supported at all by CUMC IT. It is a very insecure method of connecting back to the Columbia network. VPN is currently the only supported method of accessing assets on the CUMC network from a remote location.

  • Using on-campus resources from off-campus computers.
    • The NYP/CUMC SSL VPN Service Web Site can be used to connect to most resources using your web browser. Log in with your Columbia UNI or NYP ID and password; if prompted you must install any website updates and java components for the VPN service to work. Be sure to pay attention to any link-specific instructions that may appear as you navigate through the site.
    • Installing the Cisco VPN program on the off-campus computer provides a direct, secure connection to the campus network. You would then use your VPN connected computer to use resources in the same manner that you do when on campus. Please select the appropriate link below for your computer's operating system. See our Remote Network Drive Access web site for information on connecting to a network drive from off campus.
  • IMPORTANT: Connecting to a resource from off site using either method may require additional information from your technical support group. If you will be connecting to a specific server or department drive, you must obtain assistance or instructions on how to configure the off site computer ahead of time.  Since this information can vary greatly, please contact the IT staff that manages the resource or your Department Administrator if you are not sure who manages it.
  • Using the Rome wireless network on campus.
    • Rome is only available at specific locations on campus, however it is being phased out and is no longer fully supported. When possible, please use the Athens wireless network since it is fully supported and available in more locations.
    • Rome requires that you install the Cisco VPN program on your computer, please see the appropriate link below for your operating system.
    • It is fine to configure your system to connect to both Rome and Athens.

VPN Installation Instructions

NOTE: These installations are for West Campus only. To use them, your primary affiliation must be with the Columbia University Medical Center. If your primary affiliation is with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, please call extension 4-Help for assistance. Windows 64-bit Compatibility Issues Windows 64-bit systems are not compatible with the Cisco VPN program or the Rome wireless network. Please connect to the Athens wireless network instead, and use the NYP/CUMC SSL VPN Service Web Site if you need to connect to a resource from off-campus. For complete installation instructions, please select the appropriate link for your operating system:

Unsupported Operating Systems: The following operating systems are not fully supported by CUMC IT or Columbia, however the VPN installation files and some instructions have been provided as a courtesy.

For more information please contact Michael Weisner (212) 851-2229 or email