University Owned Cellular Equipment


This policy applies to the issuance, use and custodianship of all University owned cellular equipment.


University owned cellular equipment is issued to units when a single device is shared by several staff members, and on a limited basis to individuals for use in conducting official University business.  With review and approval from the Senior Vice President or Associate Vice President and Controller, staff with the following responsibilities may utilize University-issued wireless communication devices:

-positions that require communication with volatile or sensitive populations, such as police officers or psychological counselors

-positions that require frequent international communication

-positions where less expensive push to talk devices meet business needs

In all other cases, and with appropriate approvals, University faculty and staff whose business responsibilities require the use of voice, text, and/or data capable wireless communications devices will receive a stipend to cover the business use of a personal cellular device.

Information Technology Services is the only organizational unit authorized to purchase cellular equipment.  The University does not reimburse individuals for the purchase of cellular equipment.

A written justification approved by the appropriate member of the President’s Council for shared devices and by the Senior Vice President or Associate Vice President and Controller for individuals must be on file for each piece of equipment issued to employees.  Equipment purchase and monthly recurring costs will be charged to the fund or organization listed on the approval form.  Multiple phones that are assigned to departmental employees as needed (e.g., several shift employees) may be issued under the employee title to the Department head.

Charges associated with cellular equipment are not allowable on federally sponsored funds, unless an exception is authorized due to the unique nature of the project.  Use of University owned cellular telephones while driving is prohibited. An authentication mechanism to verify the identity of the user is required on all cellular equipment issued by the University.   Storage of highly sensitive data on cellular devices is prohibited.  This includes removable media such as SD or Micro SD cards.


Cellular equipment:  any mobile device with voice, text, and/or data capability operating on a commercial carrier’s wireless network (e.g. cellular telephones, smartphones, tablets, etc.)


A. Information Technology Services administers all contracts with providers of cellular equipment and service.  It issues all cellular equipment, retaining justification and custody forms for each piece of equipment for three years after the date of return. Information Technology Services also provides consultation about equipment, accessories, and monthly service plans.

B.  Department Heads are responsible for overseeing the use of cellular equipment in their unit and ensuring that charges are reviewed for reasonableness.  Department heads also are responsible for reviewing service plans and cellular equipment needs at least annually to ensure the University is using equipment effectively and participating in the most cost efficient plan (e.g., not paying for excessive minutes).

C. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that equipment is returned by the user as described below.

D. Users of cellular equipment are responsible for limiting use to business purposes and are reminded that data collected on University owned equipment is subject to public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. See also Policy 1315: Employees’ Electronic Communications.  As a general rule, users are discouraged from engaging in personal business on University owned cellular equipment.  Should the University incur incremental costs as a result of personal use of cellular equipment, including payment for unnecessary monthly talk, text, or data charges, users are responsible for reimbursing the costs.  Users are responsible for signing a use agreement upon issuance of cellular equipment and abiding by its restrictions.  Users are responsible for securing the cellular equipment in their custody and for promptly returning cellular equipment to Information Technology Services when its use is no longer necessary or upon separation from service.  Users are responsible for notifying their supervisor and Information Technology Services of lost or stolen equipment, and filing a report with Campus Police in cases of theft.

E. Members of the President’s Council are responsible for approving issuance of all cellular equipment in their areas when a single device is shared by several staff members.

F. The Senior Vice President or Associate Vice President and Controller are responsible for approving issuance of all cellular equipment to individuals.

G. The Director of Sponsored Programs is responsible for approving charges to federally sponsored projects for costs associated with cellular equipment.


This policy is effective upon signature by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and Provost and Executive Vice President and shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually, with changes to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.

Date of most recent review: December 15, 2020


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: March 12, 2009

Revision Approved: September 11, 2014

Revised February 16, 2017