To comply with Cornell Policy 5.1, the college requires the CSG have access to all technology equipment regardless of location, state of operation or support structures to perform the following tasks:

  • Apply and maintain Cornell inventory markings
  • Gather information from the owner on network configurations, operating system versions, anti-virus and other system protective measure settings
  • Understand the general function of the computer to coordinate necessary college-level security settings and assess areas of vulnerability
  • Know the physical location of equipment in case of emergency

Provide information technology assistance, oversight, and resources for the college's instructional, research, and outreach missions, and the administrative functions that support them. 

We achieve our mission by providing exceptional customer service and focusing our resources on the unique technical needs of our customers and facilitating the use of other Cornell and vendor supplied services where efficiency and economy can be gained by utilizing shared commodity services elsewhere.

CSG is an administrative department at the college level reporting to the Assistant Dean of Administration and Finance and is headed by the Director of Information Technology. The department is organized into areas of responsibility and is managed by the leaders in each functional area working together in the CSG Management Team.

Director of Information Technology - Randi Rainbow
The director has overall responsibility for the activities of the department and the strategic use of resources in accomplishing the college's missions through interaction and support of the faculty, staff, and students of the college.

Assistant Director of Information Technology - Mary Miller
The assistant director supports the director in developing and implementing strategic direction in the college and leads the operations support group. This group is responsible for the support of operationalized activities from procurement through disposal of equipment and software.

Systems Administration - Richard Hine
The systems administrator is responsible for working with customers to understand the services required for  their activities and develop or broker the appropriate shared services in a safe, secure, efficient and cost-effective manner.

Administrative Reporting and Web Development Manager - David Hiner
The manager of administrative reporting is responsible for the development of collaborative tools and reports that allow for visibility into the college practices, finances and activities. The web development manager aspect ensures web sites, web-based tools and data stored within the college is accessible, secure and supportable.

Our Approach to Support Services
We are part of a collective of services provided by the college administration. Each is specialized in a technical area, but all are tasked with the joint success of administrative support for all operations and assisting in the navigation of Federal, State, University, and College requirements.

To effectively utilize our IT skills and services it is important to start the conversations as early as possible and integrate those services and activities with the other administrative functions they impact.

The Computing Services Group (CSG) provides help and support for college members.  These services are intended to help users with all computing related services and to connect users with the appropriate resources and support staff.

Standards of Technology Support - Technical support for desktop computers, laptops, college owned portable devices and attached hardware and software is provided by the staff of the CSG on a departmental basis.

University IT Services  - Cornell's Computing IT services provides hundreds of technologies and resources for students, faculty and staff. 

Helpdesk  - Submit a ticket to the helpdesk for assistance with computer, web and media related services.

Computer Use Policies  - Information regarding computer use policies and support, including general support information, services and equipment types offered, and limitations of support provided by CSG.

The Computing Services Group (CSG) attempts visibility and accountability for the practices it employs when the organization could be perceived as providing inequitable services based on personal or non-professional measures. Department practices documents are an outline of internal practices that are not regulated, but could be misused if undocumented.

Disposition of Outdated Information Technology Equipment
Technology equipment has a limited useful life in a business environment. This can be based on expected failure of equipment and cost of continued usage, usefulness reduction due to evolution in the technology it interfaces with or by changes in business practices rendering it superfluous. Many of these changes do not render the equipment useless, just useless for the business at-hand. The unused equipment should be triaged and recycled or reused based on reasonable needs.

Disposition of Outdated Information Technology Equipment

Technology Purchasing Policies
The University has set guidelines and developed relationships with certain vendors (preferred vendors) to ensure the best pricing and support arrangements are available to Cornell units. These policies are the business implementations of those guidelines.

Purchasing of Windows-based Desktops and Laptops
Through renegotiation in the PC Configuration Project, the University developed a standard set of configurations expected to account for 95% of windows-based computing needs and reduce fiscal outlay by $1.5M annually.

Human Ecology Compliance with the PC Configuration Project

Computer and Technology Ordering Process
University procurement policies require the use of e-Shop for computer purchases and the use of specific vendors when possible. These documents outline the order process and how to order equipment that would not otherwise meet these requirements.

The Use of Standards
As with all organizations, staff resources and funds are finite. In order to ensure the equitable and efficient use of the resources that are available, these standards have been developed to outline the general practices of the department in providing support.

The development and employment of standards is not meant to replace the need for dialogue or the healthy discussion of the necessity and extent of standards. All standards are living documents that require maintenance and upkeep to be relevant as technology changes. Only through this discussion and understanding do we build standards that are valuable.

All standards allow exceptions. The process for requesting an exception is simple, just ask. There is a case-by-case determination of exceptions to standards that can be made by the subject matter expert with IT Director approval.

Support Expectations
All individuals are allowed (and expected) to understand the extent of services provided by the Computer Services Group (CSG) and the need for reasonable levels of self-support of office-based administrative, instructional and research equipment and software. These standards documents outline the service areas provided by CSG and which are the customer's responsibilities.

Standards of Technology Support
Whenever new services or equipment is acquired, our support technician will review this document with the individual and discuss support options based on the technology needs. Whenever equipment or software is purchased that requires a different level of support, there is an additional conversation.

Standards of Technology Support

Standards of Audio Video Support
The use of audio-video, teleconference and web conferencing has become a ubiquitous need in many activities. These technologies bring a different set of challenges that should be understood to develop services that are effective and meet customer expectations.

Standards of AV Support

Standards of Engineered Systems and Brokered Services
Many needs will not be met by single computers or technology devices, but require complex engineered solutions or services that are provided by contract. This standard is being developed to facilitate the use of services and systems outside the direct control of the customer or in some cases even the college.

Standards of Engineered Systems and Brokered Services document (under development)

Practices for the Handling and Storing of Confidential Information
The college, unit or individual use of confidential information for instruction, research or outreach is controlled to limit the liability of the organization and individuals. For Cornell University, information containing any of the following data elements, when appearing in conjunction with an individual's name or other identifier, is considered to be confidential:

* Social Security Number
* Credit Card Number
* Driver's License Number
* Bank Account Number
* Protected health information, as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

College Business Practices for Handling and Storing Confidential Information

The Computing Services Group is charged with ensuring college technical system adhere to Federal and State laws, Cornell policies and College guidelines.  We understand that many forms of compliance can be uncomfortable or make processes more complex and time-consuming, but, in many cases, the cost of non-compliance can be much worse.

Most compliance documents only outline the "end result" requirement and leave it to local authority to determine the best way to comply.  For each projects compliance needs, we will work with you to determine the best way to meet the requirements while minimizing the impact on daily operations.