Last Revised: 31 January 2020

Refer Questions to: Executive Director, GTS


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 or through a supplemental compensation allowance; b) discontinue University-owned communication devices or its supplemental compensation allowance for an individual’s personal communication device when not/no longer justified by the employee’s position requirements or position duties (at the University’s sole discretion); 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.

Based on the business or academic requirements of the employee, the University may purchase a device and data, text, and/or cell phone plan from the preferred carrier. or provide the employee with supplemental compensation for non-preferred carriers. Supplemental compensation will not exceed the cost the University would pay if the employee used the preferred plan.

Departments may not establish any policies that differ from this University-wide policy.

Employee Responsibilities

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 communication device from the preferred carrier 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 position responsibilities and/or requested by the University. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

The guiding principle for eligibility for a University-owned communication device or supplemental compensation for a personal device is whether such use 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-owned device or supplemental compensation if they meet all of the following criteria—final approval is always at the sole discretion of the university.

  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.

All device provision or supplemental compensation must be reviewed and authorized annually by the employee’s budget unit head (BUH) and/or the BUH's dean or executive director. Approval will be withdrawn where it is determined, in the sole discretion of the University, that continued use of a University-owned device or supplemental compensation for a personal device is no longer justified and/or the employee is no longer eligible under this policy.

Sprint Plans – University Liable

Sprint is the preferred carrier for the University. There are a number of plans available based on employee responsibilities and department/University needs for the position.  Please consult GTS, for current plan information.

Supplemental Compensation

An employee may choose a different carrier, or hold a personal contract with Sprint, and receive supplemental compensation up to and not to exceed what the University would have paid if the employee had participated through the University contract with the preferred carrier.  Supplemental compensation will not exceed the following limits:

  • Unlimited text and voice plan with 5 GB data allowance at $46 or less;
  • Unlimited text, voice, and data plan at $51 or less.

*Note: decisions about the choice of the above plans is at the sole discretion of the University.

Employees that meet the above eligibility requirements should work with their BUH to complete the "Communication Device Request" form. The form must be signed by the employee, BUH, dean or executive director of the unit, and lastly by GTS. The form must include a full justification of the employee's need for a device and the level of need required. A current and complete (all pages) bill must be attached to the form.  In some cases, the provost or vice president may be consulted.

Requesting a University Sponsored Communication Device or Supplemental Compensation

Employees that meet the eligibility requirements above should work with their Budget Unit Head (BUH) to complete the “Communication Device Request” form and have the form signed by the employee, BUH, and dean or executive director of the unit.

Upgrading a Device

Devices may be upgraded after two (2) years through the University contract with Sprint.  Please contact GTS to get current pricing for the upgrade.  Complete the "Communication Device Request" form, add your device phone number to the justification section, identify the exact device you would like to upgrade to and the price you were given, obtain required signatures (as stated above) and submit to GTS.

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