University Policy Office
CELLULAR TELEPHONES AND PAGERS
Approval: Approved by the President on March 19, 2012
Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040
Responsibilities: Budget Managers
Cell phones, pagers, and other hand-held electronic wireless communication devices are often needed by university employees to maximize efficiency in their work. Due to the wide array of products, services, and other issues related to electronic devices, the following policy has been developed.
NOTE: Throughout this document the term “cell phone” is utilized and should be considered interchangeable with pagers and other electronic hand-held devices that have electronic wireless communication capability.
A. UCM issued cell phone and plan: It is at the discretion of each budget manager to determine whether or not a cell phone should be issued to an employee under their supervision. The Office of Technology will maintain a chart of current cell phone costs to include costs associated with devices, cell phone service, data plans, and texting. On a monthly basis budget managers will receive a bill for cell phone plan services and charges that will be processed for payment. Monthly charges from AT&T will be monitored for overages, with consistent and large overages being addressed as needed with the appropriate budget manager. University issued cell phone devices and plans will be coordinated and conducted through the Office of Technology.
B. Cell phone reimbursements and stipends: Budget managers have the authority to approve the reimbursement of UCM conducted business on a personal cell phone plan. In addition, budget managers have the authority to approve a monthly stipend to cover the cost of UCM business conducted on a personal cell phone plan. However, the maximum monthly amount that can be paid via the reimbursement or stipend method is the amount that would be paid for a UCM issued cell phone plan, which can be obtained from the chart of current cell phone plan costs. UCM will not reimburse or provide a stipend for the costs associated with a personal cell phone device. Please note overhead costs are associated with creating and disbursing reimbursements and stipends, which drives up the overall cost of paying reimbursements and stipends. Personal cell phone devices and plans will be the responsibility of the individual and not the university.
C. Personal use of UCM issued cell phone: A UCM issued cell phone should be used to conduct UCM business. However, since no per minute cost is incurred for calls made after 7:00 PM Monday through Friday or on weekends, personal cell phone calls are permitted during these time frames. It is understood from time to time a personal call between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM Monday through Friday may be necessary especially if an employee is not assigned a land line, but personal calls should be the exception as opposed to the rule. Personal calls made during the 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM will count against the Any Time Minutes assigned to the plan, but as long as the Any Time Minutes assigned to the current plan are not exceeded, no issue exists. Should the number of Any Time Minutes in any given month for the plan be exceeded, the employee is technically responsible to reimburse UCM for the cost of any personal calls made at the current listed per minute rate. However, since UCM has reached an economy of scale with the pooling of minutes, the expectation exists that the overall pool of minutes will not be exceeded because of a limited number of personal calls initiated. Even though budget managers are ultimately responsible for cell phones costs, which includes the base amount of the monthly plan selected, the cell phone device, and any overages, the Office of Technology will monitor cell phone usage to ensure employees are on the right plan. If overages happen on a regular basis or a significant overage is identified for a specific employee, the responsible budget manager will be contacted accordingly to review the charges and current environment for the specific employee and determine future direction.
D. Cell phone versus land line: The cost to maintain dial tone on traditional telephones (analog or digital) is for the most part a fixed cost, which is covered by the Office of Technology, with the exception of grant-funded programs and third-party entities. The monthly cost for a land line is significantly less when compared to the monthly cost of a cell phone and plan. In addition, the cost of long distance calls per minute on a land line is much more cost effective than the cost of cell phone minutes when the assigned Any Time Minutes of a cell phone plan are exceeded. Therefore, using the rationale that a cell phone should be issued to replace the use of a land line is not acceptable at this time. As technology and the cost of technology continue to change, the use of cell phones instead of land lines will be reviewed.
E. Budgeting for cell phones: The cost of providing landline telephones and dial tone is centrally funded out of the Office of Technology. Because of the fixed cost nature of providing land line dial tone service, centrally funding the service makes sense. However, centrally funding cell phone services and plans is not as straight forward. Any time a cell phone is added, additional costs will be incurred with the total cost varying depending on the cell phone service selected. In addition, the cost of cell phone devices can range in cost from next to nothing upward of $600. Given the current cell environment at UCM, each budget manager will be responsible for the cost of cell phone devices and the monthly charges associated with the cell phone plan and services selected for the employees of their department.
F. Cell phone protocols: The University takes the personal safety of its employees, students, and the general public very seriously. It is the university’s desire to prevent dangerous driving conditions; therefore the following rules are applicable:
1. In the interest of safety, university cellular telephone users are discouraged from using cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.
2. Texting is prohibited while driving UCM vehicles or while driving any vehicle on UCM business.
3. Missouri and most other states have laws regulating the use of cell phones while driving a motor vehicle. All employees that travel on university business are expected to observe all traffic laws.
A. Cell phone billings: The Office of Technology has responsibility and oversight of university cell phone plans and services. On a monthly basis, the Office of Technology will distribute departmental cell phone charges, to include charges for cell phone devices, cell phone plans, calls, roaming, texting, data, paging, overages, and other charges associated with a university-supplied cell phone number. Billing details will be available upon request. Billing discrepancies should be handled promptly through the Office of Technology.
B. It is the budget manager’s responsibility to ensure personal costs associated with a university issued cell phone and plan is reimbursed to the university.
C. Misuse of a university issued cell phone and plan may result in termination of cell phone services and plans.
D. Lost or stolen cell phones shall be reported immediately to the Office of Technology. Appropriate communications will be conducted with Public Safety and the cell phone service provider. Any costs associated with a lost or stolen cell phone will be the responsibility of the budget manager.