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Cornell University

Software Licensing

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Some software at Cornell is acquired through software licenses that are managed by the university. Some of these software licenses enable all faculty, staff, or students to use the software at no cost. Others limit who is eligible to use the software or have a fee. Each licensed product has its own eligibility criteria, and not all products are licensed at all locations.

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Software Acquisition and License Management

CU Software is the university’s central software licensing resource, currently managing 25 different license agreements for more than 100 products. Most of these agreements have annual or multi-year terms, which are continually evaluated and renewed. CU Software is a collaboration between Cornell Information Technologies (CIT), Procurement and Payment Services, and the Cornell Store’s Technology Connection.

  • Software license and contract management is managed by Procurement and Payment Services.
  • Software sales and fulfillment and software license renewal are managed by The Cornell Store.
  • Software technical support, electronic software distribution, and new software license assessment are managed by CIT.

CU Software's core service is software acquisition and license management. We help the Cornell community save on software costs by using economies of scale and promoting software license opportunities, on average saving the university an estimated $2.1 million a year. We handle all the details involved in providing the lowest prices for the software the Cornell community uses. We encourage all departments to consider assigning their software licensing to us so the university can maximize its purchasing power.


  • Reduce software license fees
  • Reduce software administrative costs
  • Reduce the incidence of non-compliance and software piracy


  • Use a standard evaluation process to determine whether to manage software licenses at the university level.
  • Inform the Cornell community of software availability
  • Provide methods of ordering software
  • Distribute software
  • Fulfill requirements of vendor contracts
  • Manage billing, collecting, and reconciling designated accounts

We also provide installation and registration support for the software we manage. Faculty, staff, and students in all Cornell locations and formal affiliations—Ithaca, Geneva, New York City, Washington, Qatar, and more—can use CU Software's services.

Support Contact:

Cornell IT Service Desk

Normal Business Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-6pm (Eastern Time)
Emergency Service Disruptions: After Hours Support


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