First 30 Days & Beyond

Walk Through Your First Day at Columbia

Welcome to Columbia University. The first days in a new role can be exciting and somewhat challenging, especially if you are new to this large community and its sprawling campuses. This guide was created to help newly-hired faculty and staff prepare for paperwork, discussions, training and other employment requirements.

Work with your manager to establish an onboarding plan. Specify the expectations for your role and the tasks you should complete, particularly during the first days and months in your new role. 

Getting Started

Complete employment paperwork
  • I-9 and E-Verify
  • Taxation: W-4 form, IT2104 form or IT2104.1 form 
    • All new hires must complete Form W-4 before receiving their first paycheck. It is used to calculate withholding for federal income taxes and includes information on marital status, number of dependents and additional withholding amounts. You can use the IRS Withholding Calculator to make sure you have the right amount of tax withheld
  • New York State Department of Labor Law 195 form (provided by HR representative).
Obtain a Columbia ID Card
Set up Computer and Email
  • Work with your manager and/or local IT contact
  • Activate your UNI (user identity) and password
  • Review access procedures and security best practices
  • Learn more about your UNI and Email and Systems Access
Confirm and/or set up payroll and personal info
  • Set up Multifactor Authentication (DUO)
  • Log in to MyColumbia, a self-service portal to password-protected HR information and resources
    • Verify your home mailing address (click "View or Update Your Personal Information")
    • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck (click "View Your Direct Deposit Information")
Meet your colleagues
  • Talk to your manager about introductions to everyone you should get to know
  • Discuss Goals and Job Responsibilities with your Manager
    • Learn more about performance expectations, measures for success and common departmental practices and culture
  • Register for New Hire Orientation
    • Meet new colleagues and learn more about University leadership, history and resources for success
    • Register Here
  • Explore the Human Resources Website
  • Review Training Plans

Enroll in Benefits (within 31 days of your date or hire or eligibility): You will receive an email inviting you to register for benefits. In preparation, review the University's benefits and work-life resources for you and your family. For more, go to Discover Your Benefits.

After receiving the email, you can log in to CUBES (the Columbia University Benefits Enrollment System) to enroll in health, dental, retirement and financial planning, tuition and transit benefits.

Take Required Compliance Training: All Officers of Administration, Officers of the Library, and Support Staff need to complete Anti-Sexual Harassment/Discrimination and Title IX training within 30 days of your start date. Depending on your position, HIPAA, Protection of Minors and other compliance training may also be required. Ask your supervisor about the job-related training and courses you need.

Explore Columbia Discounts & Perks: In addition to health, dental, retirement, tuition, tax savings and other benefits, the University offers discounts and perks to faculty and staff across a variety of services, shopping and entertainment. 

Schedule Meet-and-Greets: In coordination with your manager, schedule 15-30 minute meetings to introduce yourself to new colleagues, consultants and others you will work with regularly.

Sign-up for emergency text notifications: Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to register online to receive real-time notifications of emergency events. 

Identify Your Performance Targets

90-Day Check-In: Meet with your manager to review performance progress, new or revised goals and competencies to stay on track for a successful career at the University. Discuss continued skill building and further engagement on your projects.

At six months: By now, your work should align to the larger school/department goals. Continue to check in on performance progress with your manager. Some departments have a formal performance review at six months. Identify requests for further assistance that your manager and/or other colleagues can provide. Consider ways in which you can help to advance other projects and goals as well.

First Year: Your manager will conduct an annual performance review. This is your opportunity to discuss your overall performance, identify skills and competencies you should continue to strengthen within your current role, address any concerns and establish goals for the next year.