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UW-Madison - CIO - Cellular Phones Policy

Applies to anyone using a cellular phone for UW-Madison business.

University-funded cellular service/phones are intended for University business only. Personal use is prohibited, except for essential personal calls of minimal duration and frequency. There are rules for obtaining, assigning, using, reviewing, terminating, disposal of, and reimbursement for cellular service/phones.

Official Printable PDF Surrounding text in italics is not part of the official document.
Of interest to:
IT Staff
Mobile Devices
Network and Telecomm
Personally-owned Devices
Resource Management
Data Handling Activities:   
Business Use

The following policy covers the use of cellular service/phones for business purposes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This policy is a supplement to the State of Wisconsin Cellular Phone Policy. Individual schools/colleges/divisions may have additional policies that apply to faculty and staff within their school/college/division.

University-funded cellular service/phone assigned to an individual employee

In general, the University discourages assigning University-funded cellular service to individual employees. However, Schools/Colleges/Divisions/Departments are authorized to obtain University-funded cellular service for employees in positions where the associated benefits justify the cost to the University. Employees who travel or have job responsibilities that include being out of their office or are continuously on call for extended periods are good candidates for assigned cellular service. Such determinations shall be made by the School/College/Division/Department.

An employee who is assigned cellular service (and possibly a University-owned cellular phone) must acknowledge receipt of the service/phone and acceptance of the conditions of this policy and related policies by completing the State Department of Administration Acknowledgement of Receipt. Such completed forms must be maintained at the School/College/Division office. A representative of the School/College/Division Office shall sign as the University Employer on the form.

When the employee leaves the position or the position no longer meets the criteria outlined above, the cellular phone must be turned in to the employee’s supervisor for reassignment or termination of the service.

University-funded cellular service/phones treated as a pool

In certain cases it may be more appropriate for a school/college/division/department to purchase cellular service/phones to be available for a pool of employees when they are placed in situations that meet the individual use criteria outlined above.

Employees using such service/phones shall be given a copy of this policy. The person primarily responsible for the pooled service/phone must sign the State Department of Administration Acknowledgement of Receipt form.

Annual review of University-funded cellular service/phones

Once a year, generally in October, at the time of University annual billing for telephone services, Schools/Colleges/Divisions will receive from DoIT Voice Services an inventory of cellular service/phones within their unit.

The school/college/division must conduct a review of individual and pooled cellular service/phone assignments to determine if there is a continuing need. Such reviews must be documented on the inventory listing and the listing must be returned to DoIT Voice Services.

Policies governing Universityfunded cellular service/phones

University-funded cellular service/phones are intended for University business only. Personal use is prohibited, except for essential personal calls of minimal duration and frequency.

Supervisors of employees with assigned cellular service/phones or other staff as assigned by Schools/Colleges/Divisions, and supervisors of employees using pooled service/phones, are responsible for monitoring the use of University cellular service/phones by reviewing, with the employee, the detail provided on the monthly cellular phone bill received from DoIT Voice Services.

In cases where it is deemed that the personal use exceeds minimal duration and frequency, the School/College/Division will take appropriate disciplinary action against the employee and collect reimbursement for the cost of the excessive calls at the amount charged on the bill plus applicable fees and taxes plus 6 cents per minute. Such money must be deposited to the funding source which paid the cellular service bill and must be indicated as taxable on the deposit slip.

Obtaining University-funded cellular service/phones

The State of Wisconsin has a contract for the purchase of cellular service/phones which offers a variety of plans depending on the calling pattern expected. Contact DoIT Voice Services for more information. Cellular service may not be contracted for without the approval of DoIT Voice Services. Please note that sponsored grants and contracts (funds 133 and 144) can be used to pay for cellular service/phones only after approval by your school/college.

Many cellular phones can operate on two different phone numbers; one of the numbers can be billed to the University and the other billed to the individual employee. If appropriate, such devices and service should be acquired to avoid the need for an employee to carry two cellular phones. In such cases, the policies above apply only to the University number.

Reimbursement for use of personal cellular service

Employees are discouraged from using personal cellular service to conduct University business. However, in the event that use of personal cellular service for University business is unavoidable, an employee may be reimbursed for use of personal cellular service to conduct University business, subject to collective bargaining agreements and School/College/Division policies.

Only actual, verifiable costs attributable to University business may be reimbursed. A copy of the employee’s phone bill must be attached to the reimbursement request. The employee may be reimbursed for actual roaming and related charges for individual calls and an appropriate pro-rata share of the base cellular service charge. The reimbursement request must indicate how the pro-rata share was calculated.

Conversion from State cellular service to personal cellular service

Employees may wish to terminate the use of their assigned State cellular service/phone and instead use their assigned number as their personal cellular phone number. U.S. Cellular, the current provider of University cellular service in many areas, is offering such a conversion option. Please see this DoIT Voice Services’ website for more information. (Please note that while the State Policy prohibits such conversion, the University has been granted an exception to this line of the State Policy.)

Surrounding text in italics is not part of the official document.

Published:   Aug 2007
Revised:      Aug 2007 RevA
Reviewed:    May 19, 2014
Review by:   May 19, 2016
Maintained by: DoIT Voice Services
History at:
Reference at:

Keywords:policies policy procedures requirements procedure requirement requirements, administrators faculty it-staff managers supervisors administration information-technology, mobile-devices personally-owned-devices resource-management devices mobile personal personally resource, disposal retention transmission, non-security-policy   Doc ID:59130
Owner:GARY D.Group:IT Policy
Created:2015-12-22 11:03 CDTUpdated:2016-11-27 16:55 CDT
Sites:IT Policy
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