Building Entry and Access


The policies provided herein apply to all George Mason University faculty, staff, students, university contractors, and all organizations and visitors who have authorized use of university facilities.  Administrative Policy Number 48 applies to all George Mason University locations, owned and leased, including Fairfax campus, Arlington campus, Prince William campus, and the Center for Innovative Technology.

Keys issued for student housing are NOT covered under Administrative Policy Number 48.


George Mason University is committed to providing security for its students, faculty, staff, and property while providing building access to students, staff, faculty, and authorized visitors and organizations.  The purpose of this policy is to maintain security while providing access to university facilities for the benefit and betterment of the university community.  It is recognized that certain tasks require unrestricted access to buildings and areas for authorized persons.  It also is recognized that university police, department chairs, directors, and supervisors are charged with ensuring adherence to Administrative Policy Number 48 and shall take appropriate actions to prevent security and access violations.


The responsibilities of the schools, colleges, departments, institutes, centers, and individuals charged with monitoring building entry and access are set forth below.

A. University Police

University Police have the responsibilities for monitoring Administrative Policy Number 48 and recommending new and/or revised policies and procedures.  The University Police are charged to:

1. Act as the regulatory body for key and access control;

2. Enforce applicable university policies, state laws, and provisions that apply to access and security of university facilities;

3. Establish and maintain a file (Signature Card for Key Authorization, UPD-132), identifying faculty and staff responsible for authorizing access to university facilities;

4. Establish and maintain signature cards and files identifying individuals holding keys to university facilities;

5. Issue keys to all individuals;

6. Review all requests for re-keying;

7. Receive keys from all departing faculty, staff, and students, where applicable;

8. Provide the Vice President for Operations with a quarterly report of all external key approvals for check and balance purposes;

B. University Program Areas

University vice presidents, deans, directors, and chairs are responsible for maintaining and controlling building entry and access as set forth in Administrative Policy Number 48. They are responsible for:

1. Designating an individual as the authorizing person to approve requests for access to the areas or facility under the control of their respective program area or activity.2. Securing their respective areas in accordance with the policies set forth in this Administrative Policy Number 48.

C. Access Coordination

1. The Director of Physical Security has designated authority for the issuance of exterior building door keys to faculty and staff.

2. Deans and vice presidents can authorize the issuance of interior building master keys and other master keys for their respective facilities with approval of the University Police, unless it causes unauthorized access and security breaches.

3. Vice Presidents, deans, chairs, and directors are responsible for authorizing the issuance of office keys for their respective areas.

4. Key authorization individuals should limit the issuance of keys to rooms based on the following:

a. The presence of dangerous and/or hazardous materials
b. The presence of valuable equipment
c. Classified research, and
d. Confidential records and/or related work activities


Keys shall be issued ONLY to the faculty, staff, or student whose name appears on the key issuance form (UPD-40).  The issuance of keys to students shall be restricted to graduate research and teaching assistants, authorized student government individuals and authorized individuals participating in student activities.


The Director of Physical Security has been designated authority for the authorization of keys to be issued to George Mason University faculty and staff housed in leased space.


Access to university facilities is to be controlled and secured in accordance with Administrative Policy Number 48.

A. Procedures for key control and issuance.

1. Key Request Form, UPD-28, shall be completed by each person requesting and receiving a key.
2. All request forms shall bear a valid authorizing signature.

3. Individuals receiving keys must have valid university identification at the time of issuance. Keys will be issued ONLY to the person whose name appears on the Key Request Form (UPD-28).

4. Each key holder shall fill out a Key Issuance Form, UPD-40, which will be held on file at the Key Control Office.

5. All keys are to be stamped “GMU: DO NOT DUPLICATE” and engraved with a special key code identifying the key in the record system. Keys are not to be duplicated.

6. In the event a key is lost or a lock is re-keyed, a new Key Request Form, UPD-28, shall be completed and submitted for each individual issued a key.

B. Restriction of Keys and Access

To restrict keys and access to a particular area or facility, the authorized individuals should make a written request to the University Police. Building masters, floor masters, sub-masters, and exterior building keys are always restricted.

C. Procedures for Lost or Stolen Keys

1. Any person who loses university keys must contact the Key Control Office and fill out a Lost Key Report, UPD-25.
2. Stolen keys or keys thought to be stolen must be reported immediately to the University Police.

D. Procedures for Re-Keying Locks

1. The University Police will review all requests for re-keying and shall approve or disapprove such requests.2. Removing keys from the university master system will be restricted to avoid contamination and substantial expense to the university’s key and lock systems.

E. Procedures for Control of Electronic Access

1. Electronic access is available to some university facilities.  The individual requesting access must complete an Electronic Building Access Authorization Form which requires approval by the dean of a school or college and submit the form with university identification to the Photo Identification Office for processing and encoding.2. Faculty and staff access to university facilities by electronic access cards may be granted indefinitely.

3. Student access to university facilities by electronic access cards is limited to one year, with renewals available. Students requiring renewals must complete the Electronic Building Access Authorization Form and submit it to the Photo Identification Office with a valid university identification.

F. Liability and Service Charges

Key control and building access are primary concerns of the university and the seriousness of accountability is emphasized.

1. The expenses incurred by key control and facility access will be shared by those departments and/or individuals who use the service.  Departments or organizations will be charged for the following services:

Key Issuance No charge
Key Duplications $5 per key
Key Confiscation for Violations $160 per key

Re-keying of locks will be billed by the Physical Plant. Charges are based on each job.

2. Employee checks may be placed on hold if keys due upon departing the university or for former offices after being relocated are not returned to the Key Control Office, if necessary.3. Student records may be placed on hold including transcripts and degrees, if keys are not returned to the Key Control Office.

4. Keys will be confiscated for a breach of security. All applicable laws concerning possession of state-owned keys will apply. The state code for possession or duplication of certain keys is outlined on the Key Issuance Form, UPD-28.


All amendments and additions to Administrative Policy Number 48 are to be reviewed and approved by the Senior Vice President and Provost.


The policies herein are effective August 1, 2001.  This Administrative Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President
Peter N. Stearns