Administration and Finance

Administration and Operations Manual

2.27 Communication Devices

Last Revised: 1 Jul 2010
Refer Questions To: Executive Director, Business & Support Services


This policy applies to faculty, teachers, and staff in all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.


The purpose of this policy is to: a) define when an employee qualifies for a University sponsored cellular phone, pager or PDA (“communication device”) either through the University’s preferred supplier, Sprint, or through a supplemental compensation allowance; b) discontinue University owned or supported cell phones and pagers that are not justified by the employee’s position requirements or position duties; c) eliminate cost overages and University payments for non-business use; and d) provide a clear process to request a communication device and establish policies governing use of the devices.

The University will purchase a device, data, text or/and cell phone plan from Sprint based on the business or academic requirements of the employee, or provide the employee with supplemental compensation for non-Sprint carriers. Supplemental compensation will be based on the cost the University would have paid if the employee used the preferred Sprint plan. University employees who qualify for, and receive, supplemental compensation will be responsible for acquiring and maintaining their equipment. In addition, contracts entered into by qualifying employees receiving supplemental compensation will be personal contracts that are the responsibility of the employee, not the University.

Employees receiving a device from Sprint or receiving supplemental compensation agree to have the device available at all times for business use and agree to publish the number in all ways necessary to meet the employee’s University position responsibilities. In addition, employees receiving supplemental compensation must contact the University within two (2) business days if the service is discontinued for any reason. Failure to report the cancellation of service will require the employee to reimburse the University for any payments made to the employee during the cancellation period and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Departments are not allowed to establish policies that differ from this University-wide policy.

Eligibility Requirements

The guiding principle for eligibility is that the use of a cell phone, cellular PDA or pager by an employee is for the benefit of the University, rather than the convenience of the employee.

Specifically, University employees are eligible to receive a University supported device or supplemental compensation if they meet all of the following criteria.

  1. The employee's position requires him or her to be readily accessible for frequent contact with the public or with University faculty, staff or students; and
  2. the employee's position limits his or her access to regular land-line telephones, email or video phones that would satisfy the required business communication needs; and
  3. the Department Chair, Dean or Executive Director has the funds available for the device.

Authorization for a University supported device or supplemental compensation must be authorized, reviewed, and renewed annually by the Budget Unit Head (BUH) and the BUH’s dean or executive director.

Sprint Plans – University Liable

Sprint is the preferred carrier for the University. There are a variety of communication device plans available, as detailed on the Wireless Plans (.docx) document.

Plan costs may shift depending on market conditions. The user may choose a different Sprint device but will be required to pay the difference between the current model(s) at or below $50 and the model chosen. Billable cellular minutes must be available for business use. Charges for exceeding cellular minutes for non-business reasons or charges to the account that are not business related will be reviewed monthly by the University and the employee will be required to reimburse the University for non-business charges. Incurring non-business related charges may result in the service being discontinued.

Supplemental Compensation

An employee may chose a different carrier and will receive supplemental compensations based on what the University would have paid if the employee had chosen Sprint as the carrier. Compensation for a plan through a carrier other than Sprint will not exceed the following limits:

  • Device at $50 or less;
  • Data/Text Only at $35 or less;
  • Data/Text and up to 450 anytime cellular minutes at $55;
  • Data/Text and Unlimited cellular minutes at $105

Requesting a University Sponsored Communication Device

Employees who have significant business or academic use of cell phones, mobile technology devices or pagers should work with their Budget Unit Head (BUH) to determine if they qualify for a University sponsored device. The BUH must complete the “Request for a University Communication Device” (.docx) form and have the form signed by the employee, BUH, and dean or executive director of the unit. The completed form should be submitted to Business and Support Services, 314 College Hall. The form must include a full justification of the employee’s need for a device and the level of need required. In some cases, the Provost or Vice President may be consulted. Employees approved for a device will be contacted by Business and Support Services and instructed on how to obtain a device.

Sponsored Programs

Some sponsored programs or grants provide funding for pager or cell phone usage. In instances where the principal investigator, or project, has met all of the requirements, including budgetary and sponsor approval to direct charge cellular or pager expenses as a direct expenditure on a grant, the principal investigator or other administrative/research personnel should acquire a separate contract with a cellular vendor. The principal investigator or grant administrator would then use the existing process of billing and charging the sponsor for these expenses. The grant administrator should be contacted regarding the administrative requirements prior to obtaining a cellular or pager device.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration
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