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Getting Started

Explore the topics below to learn more about how to get settled on campus.

Creating a Human Resources Record

Your first step on campus should be to complete the steps necessary to establish a record for yourself in the Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS).  To be entered into FASIS, you must first complete Section 1 of the I-9 employment eligibility form online. Then complete the following documents: 1) a Personal Data Form with your demographic information; 2) your Federal W-4  and State W-4 tax forms; and 3) your Direct Deposit Form if you would like your paychecks electronically deposited into your account(s).  Your department will submit these forms, along with a Position/Appointment Form, to the Payroll Office. No later than three days after the beginning of your appointment, you must present employment eligibility document(s) to your department or the Payroll Office to complete Section 2 of the I-9.  It will take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for the Payroll Office to review your submitted forms and enter you into the FASIS system. At the beginning of the academic year, due to the extremely high volume of paperwork being processed by the Payroll Office, this process may take up to a week to complete.  To help reduce this delay some schools may provide the necessary Personal Data and W4 Forms for the faculty member to complete well before the start of the academic year.  The sooner you complete the forms and return them to your department or school, the sooner your information can be sent to Payroll and entered. For additional information and links to the forms, visit the Human Resources website.

Completing the Employment Eligibility Form (I9)

To comply with Federal law, Northwestern University participates in E-Verify. All newly hired employees are queried through this electronic system established by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to verify their identity and employment eligibility.

No later than the first day you will start being paid on Northwestern University’s payroll system, you must complete the Employment Eligibility Form I-9. This can be completed from any computer.  By no later than the end of the third day you must complete Section 2 of the I-9.  This can be completed in your department or the Payroll Office. If you will not be on campus on or before your first day of pay, then you must go through the remote agent verification process. Full instructions can be found on the Remote Hire Quick Sheet

When completing the I9 process, you must bring identification to establish your identity and verify that you are eligible to work in the United States.  The most common acceptable documents for U.S. persons are a U.S. Passport or Driver’s license and Social Security card.  See the acceptable document list for more information.

The I9 Form should be completed as soon as possible after you arrive on campus; failure to complete the form will not delay the entry into FASIS but it will prevent you from receiving your paycheck. Visit the HR website for additional information on the I9 process and requirements.

Obtaining Your WildCARD

Once your FASIS record is established you may obtain your campus WildCARD, the official Northwestern photo identification card. This campus ID card can be used to gain entrance to University facilities and events; use the university shuttle service; check out library materials and much more. Additionally, U.S. Bank checking account holders can use their WildCARD as their ATM/debit card. Spouses or domestic partners of faculty can obtain a campus WildCARD for a nominal fee of $15. 

Many area businesses offer discounts to card holders through the WildCARD Advantage Program. Discounts and services vary.

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Setting Up Your NetID and E-Mail

All members of the University community are provided with Northwestern e-mail accounts. In order to establish this account, you must first be entered into the Faculty and Staff Information System (FASIS). After a record of employment has been entered in FASIS, a NetID (Network Identifier) will be assigned to you.

Your NetID is your electronic identity at Northwestern. Many networked University resources are associated with it, including e-mail and the online university directory. When your NetID has been created, you will be notified and will receive instructions about how to activate it. You can activate your NetID from your own computer up to 90 days before your official start date. Once your NetID is activated, you can instantly access your University e-mail within Northwestern’s Outlook Web Application, which requires no setup and is a secure and easy way to check your e-mail from anywhere.

Benefits Enrollment

It is very important that faculty members who wish to participate in Northwestern benefits plans enroll promptly. Participation in the University’s benefits plans requires that a new faculty member complete the enrollment process within 31 days of hire or benefits eligibility. Thus, a faculty member with an appointment beginning September 1 must complete the enrollment process no later than October 1.

Information on your benefit options, a step-by-step guide on how to complete the online enrollment process, and contact information for the Human Resources Benefits division, is contained in the Faculty Benefits presentation

University Directory, Address and Name Changes

The University's online directory provides contact information for all Northwestern students, faculty and staff.  The directory will display the job title, department name, office address, phone numbers, and e-mail address for every faculty member. Each faculty member may also opt to include their home address and telephone number as well as the name of a spouse/partner. Faculty holding multiple appointments can elect to list multiple departments and one location for campus mail deliveries. 

Faculty members should update their directory information through the myHR portal.  Once you have established an e-mail account, you should check your own data, as the directory is one of the principal tools your colleagues and students will use to contact you.  Sign in using your NetID and password and click on the tab called “Personal Details”.

It is important that you maintain current records with Human Resources. Your W-2 form will be mailed to your campus address on file. Please note: in the event of an emergency or disaster on campus, we will call, text and/or send e-mail notifications to the phone number(s) and e-mail address(es) in the system (not that of your emergency contact). The emergency contact number you list will be used for contacting a close relative/friend in the event of a personal emergency. Lastly, if your professional or published name differs from your legal name, please be sure that HR also has a record of your professional/published name. All of this information can be changed through the “Personal Details” tab within the myHR portal. Some changes, such as to your academic rank, department title, etc. must be made by your school authorities; please contact your department chair to request changes to this information.

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On the Evanston campus, the University maintains several apartment buildings and single family homes that are available to in-coming faculty relocating from outside of the Chicago area. The maximum rental is generally for one year.  Units are unfurnished and contain one, two, and three bedrooms with rents at market rates.  Persons interested in receiving information and applications for rentals should email Ms. Samantha Mathis, Property Manager Assistant in Facilities Management.

The Office of the Provost maintains a website where faculty can post and browse available housing, both for rent and for sale, long-term and short-term.  

Though designed primarily to assist students, the Living Off-Campus Office, located in the lower level of Scott Hall, 601 University Place, may be able to provide some assistance to faculty in finding apartments and houses for rent and for purchase.  The Off-Campus Housing Office can be reached at (847) 491-8430.

Other excellent sources to search for rental properties or temporary housing in the Evanston area include:

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Assistance with Home Purchase

Through the University's local designated preferred banking vendors for mortgage services, loan transactions are available at preferential interest rates on primary mortgages for both tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty members.  There is also some discounting on interest rate and other terms for bridge loans.  Some fees such as the application fee will be waived for a faculty member.  The faculty member is responsible for down payment and closing costs and must meet normal bank loan underwriting approval. More information is available at the Northwestern Human Resources relocation web page

The bank contacts are:

Mr. Galen Tallas, Mortgage Lending Assistant Vice President, First Bank & Trust
Main Evanston branch at 820 Church Street; ph 847-733-7400, ext. 229;

Ms. Sandy Federici, Mortgage Loan Officer, First Northern Credit Union,
Evanston branch at 1705 Sherman Ave; ph 888-328-8677, ext. 443;

More information and resources regarding home purchase may be found in the Deans’ offices of individual schools.  Additionally, for specific information about home purchase assistance or relocation assistance in general, please call Ms. Janie Savage, Change Management Coordinator, at 847-491-4135, or Ms. Lori Anne Henderson, Director of Work & Life Resources, HR at 847-491-3612.

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First Northern Credit Union 

First Northern Credit Union (FNCU) is a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned and operated by its members.  Because there are no outside stockholders, members earn higher dividends on savings, pay lower rates on loans, and appreciate reduced or eliminated fees.

First Northern provides services to all Northwestern University employees, students and alumni.  Savings, checking, money market accounts, Visa credit cards, home equity loans, first mortgages, vehicle loans, automatic payroll deductions, mobile banking, mobile deposit, online banking, bill pay, and more are available.  All accounts are federally insured up to $250,000―with a separate coverage up to $250,000 for Individual Retirement Accounts.

FNCU has branch locations conveniently located near the Evanston and Chicago campuses.  The Evanston Branch is at 1705 Sherman Avenue.  The Chicago Streeterville Branch is at 541 N. Fairbanks Court, Suite 120.

In addition, First Northern Credit Union offers over 71,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide! They also offer over 6,800 Shared Branching locations, allowing free access to a group of credit unions around the world through which you can conduct your financial transactions.

International Faculty

The International Office assists international faculty, visitors and dependents on matters pertaining to their nonimmigrant and immigrant status.  All new international faculty members (tenure eligible, non-visiting and visiting) should take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the International Office (IO) website where you will find a comprehensive listing of requirements, policy, procedures and community resources.

It is imperative that new faculty who are not U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents maintain the proper nonimmigrant status to be permitted to work in the United States.  Maintenance of status and eligibility to work in the United States is the faculty member's responsibility and not that of Northwestern University.

Ethics and Compliance

Northwestern University has a strong commitment to ethics and compliance.  The University's "Standards for Business Conduct" provides a framework for administering University resources and establishes guidelines for acceptable standards of behavior. If you have concerns about compliance, please speak to your department chair, dean, or central administration personnel to solicit their support and help. However, if you feel uncomfortable discussing any matter with your colleague or department chair, go to the University’s ethics and compliance website. On this website you will find links to policy resources and contact information to submit any questions and voice your concerns.

In addition to these resources, Northwestern has selected EthicsPoint to provide you with a simple way to report activities that may involve misconduct or violations of University policy. EthicsPoint is a phone and web-based resource available to faculty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  It is contracted by the University to provide specially trained personnel to receive all phone and web-based reports. To file a confidential report via EthicsPoint, visit the University’s EthicsPoint website.

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Demographics on Undergraduate Students

You may be interested in learning a bit about the backgrounds of the students who enroll at Northwestern as undergraduates. The University participates in a national survey of incoming students. The most recent data from this survey can be found on the Administration & Planning website.