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Cell Phones and Tablets

Business and Finance

PDF Version: FIN Cell Phone Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
  3. Definitions
  4. Policy Statement
  5. Procedures
  6. Related Information
  7. Policy History

I. Introduction

  1. Authority: Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) § 23-54-102, et seq. (2019) authorizes the Trustees of Metropolitan State University of Denver ("MSU Denver" or "University") to establish rules and regulations to govern and to operate the University and its programs. The MSU Denver Trustees retain authority to approve, to administer, and to interpret policies pertaining to University governance. The MSU Denver Trustees authorize the MSU Denver President to approve, to administer, and to interpret policies pertaining to University operations.

  2. Purpose: As a general rule, MSU Denver shall not own or otherwise provide cell phones to its employees. It is important for certain employees to use cell phones or tablets for conducting official Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver or the University) business. There may be urgent business needs where employees need to be able to be contacted and to contact the University at any time. In these cases, the University will reimburse employees for the business portion of their cellular plans. Additionally, some employees may need tablet devices to conduct their work. In these cases, the University may provide tablets to employees to conduct their business. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines, criteria, and conditions of business use of University-provided and personally owned mobile devices. The policy provides guidelines for the use and administration of MSU Denver resources, as well as the administration of a monthly reimbursement program.

  3. Scope: This policy applies to employees and departments of Metropolitan State University of Denver.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Responsible Executive: Chief Financial Officer

  2. Responsible Administrator: Controller

  3. Responsible Office: Accounting Services Office

  4. Policy Contact: Accounting Services Office, 303-615-0039

III. Definitions

  1. Cell Phone: Any wireless device used for voice communication. This includes wireless devices used for text, data, or email communication, if they are also used for voice communication.

  2. Tablet: A general-purpose computer contained in a single panel. Its distinguishing characteristic is the use of a touch screen as the input device. It receives data and email communications via wireless connections either through a Wi-Fi network or a data network provided by a communications carrier.

IV. Policy Statement

  1. Cell Phone: When the President, Provost, or appropriate Vice President determines that an employee, typically Director-level or above, is required to be available via cell phone to the University at all times, a maximum amount of $60 per month may be reimbursed to the employee. The reimbursement is not taxable per IRS Guidelines.

  2. Tablet: When the President, Provost, or appropriate Vice President determines that an employee has a business use for a tablet, they may authorize the employee’s department to purchase a tablet from the Auraria Campus Bookstore.  The purchase should be the most cost effective tablet, taking into consideration the primary business purpose need of the employee. As a general rule, the tablets should only provide connectivity through wireless devices, and not through a mobile phone carrier to ensure that it is the most cost effective price. The President, Provost, or appropriate Vice President must approve exceptions to this rule. If an exception is provided, the University will only purchase the tablet with the additional connectivity. No reimbursement will be made to the employee for these monthly charges.

  3. Exceptions: The President may grant exceptions in writing to this policy on a case-by-case basis based on University business needs.

V. Procedures

Procedures for Obtaining a Cell Phone Allowance

In applying for a cell phone allowance, employees, along with their supervisors, will take several steps:

  1. Employees:
    1. Prepare a memo outlining the business or academic need for being reimbursed a portion of their monthly cell phone expenses.
    2. Identify the portion of the use on three months of cell phone that is related to school business. This amount will be used to justify the monthly reimbursement. The maximum reimbursement available to any employee is $60 per month. The following formula can be used to calculate the reimbursement:
      1. Number of Minutes for Business/Data Use = % of Reimbursable Charges
      2. Number of Total Plan Minutes/Data Use
    3. Turn in the memo to the next level supervisor for their approval.
    4. Determine whether the employee’s position requires a mobile device and/or Internet service based on the job duties and responsibilities.
    5. Determine the source of funds to be used to pay for the reimbursement.
    6. Determine the appropriate reimbursement based on the employee’s analysis of their expenses.
    7. Fill out an initial “Check Request form” and attach the memo and analysis. Identify the Fund, Org, Account, and Program to be charged for the reimbursement.
    8. Forward to the President, Provost, or appropriate Vice President for their approval.

  2. Supervisors: Once Accounts Payable receives the appropriate documentation, it will process the reimbursements monthly to the employee. Employees are responsible for paying all amounts due as agreed upon between the employee and the service provider. Employees will need to provide a copy of their monthly summary billing page to show they are maintaining their service, and fill out the check request form. Employees are also responsible for providing the department/University with the current cell phone number. Employees must notify their supervisor within five working days of inactivation of the device.

The reimbursement expires at the end of each fiscal year. Employees must reapply for reimbursement at the start of each new fiscal year.

VI. Related Information

  1. MSU Denver Device Security Policy
  2. MSU Denver Email and Electronic Communications Security Policy

VII. Policy History

  1. Effective: July 1, 2019

  2. Revised: January 1, 2014; January 1, 2013; December 7, 2012.

  3. Review: This policy will be reviewed every three years or as deemed necessary by University leadership.

  4. Approved By: President

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