10-01.04 – Cellular Telephone Equipment and Services Policy

  1. Policy Statement:

    Employees must follow the procedures established by this policy to request Towson University (“University”) cellular telephone equipment and services and to pay the University for the personal use of University cell phones.

  2. Reason for Policy:

    To establish University policy regarding the assignment, procurement and use of University cellular telephone equipment and services; to ensure that the University is properly paid for the personal use of a University cell phone.

  3. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Fiscal Officer

    Responsible Office:
    Office of Technology Services 

  4. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All University employees and departments.

  5. Procedures:

    1. Policies Related to Assignment, Use and Responsibilities Concerning University Cellular Telephones

      1. Assignment of Cellular Telephones:

        1. University cell phones shall be assigned for University business only. A University cell phone may be an appropriate tool to conduct University business when it is demonstrated an employee’s communications needs cannot be met with other available alternatives such as a paging device, a radio, or standard telephone equipment. Examples include employees that: are mobile for most of a work period, respond to emergencies, are responsible for restoring services, or are vital to University decision-making.

        2. University cell phones will be assigned to the President, Provost and Vice Presidents consistent with their responsibilities as the University’s senior management and chief decision makers.

        3. It is preferable that departments establish a pool of cell phones to be distributed on a temporary basis. This pool of phones can be used to address short-term University needs. Distribution to employees should be on an as-needed basis, thereby reducing the need for permanent assignment of these devices to individuals.

      2. All cell phone and service requests (new or upgrades) are required to be made to Towson University’s Office of Technology Services. Only the University President, Vice Presidents, Provost and department heads are authorized to approve cell phones and services, but may not approve their own. Smart phone requests must also be approved by the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Department heads will ensure that employees assigned University cell phones comply with all University policies and procedures, including the requirement that employees pay the applicable fee for personal cell phone use as outlined in section B of this document. The procedure for requesting and returning cellular telephone equipment is as follows:

        1. The requesting employee must fill out a “Request for Cellular Telephone and Service” form with the following information:

          1. name, department, job title, PeopleSoft department, and University telephone number;

          2. justification of cellular need and estimated monthly usage;
          3. employee and department head signature; and,

          4. Vice President for Administration and Finance’s approval for all smart phones. 

        2. The request must be submitted to the Office of Technology Services in person, by fax, or via campus mail.

        3. If approved, the Office of Technology Services will determine an appropriate service provider, equipment needs, and the most cost-effective service plan based on expected usage.

        4. A copy of this policy will be provided to the employee, who must sign the required “Cellular Telephone Assignment” form at the time of phone and accessory delivery.

        5. The Office of Technology Services will retain the original “Cellular Telephone Assignment” form, provide a copy to the employee, and send a copy to the employee’s department head.

        6. Employees who separate from the University for any reason are responsible for returning to their department any cell phones and/or equipment and paying for any personal cell phone use, as more specifically provided in section B.

      3. Employee Responsibility Concerning Usage of Cellular Telephones:

        1. A University cell phone is to be used only for University business; employees shall pay an annual fee for personal cell phone use.

        2. Employees have an obligation to use University cell phones in a responsible, informed and safe manner; conform to network etiquette, customs, and courtesies; and, observe all applicable laws or regulations. 

        3. Employees using University cell phones are responsible for securing them. Losses shall be reported immediately to the Office of Technology Services. Employees may be held liable for lost, stolen or damaged University cell phone equipment.

        4. Employees should avoid calls such as person-to-person, credit card calls, directory assistance (411) or any other calls requiring the services of an operator, while using a University cell phone.

        5. Using a cell phone while operating a University vehicle is prohibited.

        6. Use of a University cell phone is a privilege that may be revoked at any time for inappropriate conduct, including the failure to pay the fee for personal cell phone use. Any violation of this policy may result in revocation of cellular access, notification to University management, and disciplinary action.

      4. Department Responsibility Concerning Usage of Cellular Telephones

        1. Each department is responsible for maintaining a cell phone accessory inventory log (including, but not limited to, chargers, spare batteries, headsets, carrying cases and vehicle mounting hardware) for every employee with a University-issued cell phone. Changes to the inventory log must be submitted to the Office of Technology Services by the 25th of each month.

        2. Department heads are responsible for reviewing charges to their budgets to ensure proper use of cell phones and to ensure corrective action is taken regarding inappropriate use of University cell phones.

        3. Departments will maintain cell phone bills for a period of three years.

        4. Departments are encouraged to review periodically their employees’ cell plans with the Office of Technology Services to assess whether it is the most cost-effective plan available.

        5. The Office of Technology Services shall be notified immediately by a department to terminate unneeded cellular service. 

      5. University Responsibility Concerning Usage of Cellular Telephones

        1. The University’s Management Advisory and Compliance Services department will conduct random reviews of usage and charges to verify that cell phone policies and procedures are followed.

        2. The Office of Technology Services will review plans periodically to determine if employees are using the most cost-effective plan.

        3. The Office of Technology Services will maintain a University-wide inventory of cell phones and accessories.

    2. Payment for Personal Use

      1. Employees who intend to use a University cell phone for personal use shall select the personal use option when filling out the “Request for Cellular Telephone and Service” form.

      2. Employees shall pay $180.00 at the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1) if they select the personal use option (“Personal Use Fee”). The Personal Use Fee shall be made payable to Towson University and remitted to the University Bursar’s Office. It is the responsibility of the employees to assure annual payments are remitted. If an employee enters into the personal use option anytime after the first day of the fiscal year, the fee shall be calculated on a prorated basis. The University reserves the right to change the annual fee at any time.

      3. The University shall cancel the cell phone of any employee who is discovered to have made personal calls without choosing the personal use option; upon cancellation, the employee will be required to reimburse the University for all costs incurred.

    3. Procedure for Business Call Reimbursement

      1. An employee who elects to use a personal cell phone for occasional business use can request reimbursement for these calls.

        1. The employee must submit the cell phone bill with call records noted to the department head for review and approval.

        2. If approved, the employee may request reimbursement from Working Fund. The cost of this reimbursement should be calculated as follows:

          1. If the business calls are part of the employee’s personal cell service plan’s packaged minutes, the per-minute reimbursement rate is the total plan cost (including fees but not taxes) divided by the number of peak minutes provided by the plan. Example: If a 700 peak minute plan costs $58 and fees are $2 and taxes are $3.50, the per-minute charge is $60 divided by 700 = $.086. This rate should be multiplied by the total number of business call minutes plus any roaming charges incurred.

          2. If the business calls result in additional usage charges beyond the employee’s personal cell service plan’s packaged minutes, then the cost is the per-minute rate assessed by the service provider plus any roaming charges incurred.

    4. Procedure for Business Data Reimbursement

      1. An employee who elects to use a personal cell phone for regular business use can request reimbursement for data plan charges.

        1. The requesting employee must substantiate the need for data usage associated with business use.

        2. The employee must submit an itemized summary of cell phone charges to show costs exclusively associated with the data plan feature.

        3. If approved, the employee may request reimbursement from the Working Fund. The cost of the reimbursement should be calculated as follows:

          1. The total cost of the data-only feature as set by the cellular provider, not to exceed $30 per billing cycle.

          2. If business data or roaming charges occur in excess of the data plan, the employee will not be eligible to submit for additional reimbursement.

Related Policies: 

None.

Approval Date: 04/08/2005

Effective Date: 04/08/2005

Updated Date: 04/24/2009
12/10/2009
11/28/2011
03/26/2015

Approved By: President’s Council 04/08/2005

Signed By: President’s Council

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .