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9.4.9 Procedures for Acquisition of Mobile Communications Equipment and Related Data Services for University Business

I.  Introduction

These procedures outline the acquisition of mobile communications equipment and related data services used for University business.

In general, an employee will not be reimbursed for personally-owned mobile communication devices and related services or be provided with such by the University. Limited exceptions are provided for employees with job responsibilities requiring essential and significant use of such services.

II.        Mobile Communication Equipment and Related Service Plans for Business Use by Individuals

Employee stipends that defray the cost of using personally-owned mobile communications equipment and data or Internet service plans for University business may only be approved by the President, the employee's respective Vice President, or the Director of Athletics for Athletics Department employees.

Qualification for a stipend requires both of the following conditions to be met:

1.  The employee performs essential work in one of the following functional areas:

  •            Advancement
  •            Information technology
  •            Public safety and essential services
  •            Faculty or staff who frequently travel on University business

2.  The employee's job requires significant use of mobile communications equipment and/or Internet service plans.

Departments may not:

  •      Directly purchase mobile communications equipment or related service plans, including Internet service plans,      for business or personal use by individual    employees.
  •      Reimburse employees for business use of personally-owned mobile communications equipment or related service  plans, including Internet service plans. (Note: mobile communication and data/Internet business expenses incurred while in travel status will continue to be reimbursed through the travel reimbursement process.)

III.       To Request a Taxable Employee Stipend

Payment of a taxable stipend is initiated by the employing unit and processed through Human Resources. Documented senior administrative approval (President, Vice President, or Athletic Director) is required for every employee stipend. Upon authorization, Human Resources will process the request by adding the stipend amount to the employee's appointment.

Stipends remain in force until the employing unit notifies the Human Resources Office to remove the stipend from the employee's appointment. Annually each June, employing units should review all stipends to identify those that should be discontinued.

The annual, per employee stipend amount cannot exceed $900 and is limited as follows:

  •      Up to $500 per year – for mobile communications equipment and any related service plan (see definition) only; or
  •      Up to $500 per year – for Internet service plan (see definition) only; or
  •      Up to $900 per year – maximum per employee for both mobile communications equipment (including any related service plan) and Internet service plan.

The stipend may not be grossed-up (increased an additional amount) for income tax purposes. Employees provided stipends are subject to applicable IRS rules.

IV.       University-provided Mobile Communications Equipment and Related Service Plans for Business Use by Groups

With senior administrative approval, departments may purchase mobile communications equipment and related service plans for groups of employees who will share the equipment for University business purposes. Departments are responsible for identifying and requesting equipment and services that meet their business needs in the most economical fashion, including, for example, the purchase of pagers. All purchases of equipment and services for group use must be coordinated through Administrative Technologies, in compliance with their established purchasing procedures.

Departments must monitor the use of group equipment and related services to ensure that they are used for only University business. Departments must retain documented evidence of senior administrative approval for shared group equipment purchases.

V.        Policy Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy will rarely be approved. To request an exception, departments should fully document the business need for the exception in writing, obtain department head approval, and forward to the Vice President for Finance and Planning for final approval.


Mobile Communications Equipment

Applies to wireless/handheld devices that require a service or data contract for operation, such as cell phones, smart phones, Blackberry devices or push-to-talk phones.

Does not apply to: one-way communication devices (such as pagers), two-way radios (such as those used by security or maintenance personnel), iPads, laptops, or other mobile communications devices that do not require a service or data contract to operate. These types of devices may be purchased in accordance with University procurement and property management policies.

Related Service Plan

Applies to all cellular phone and cellular-delivered data service plans across any type of network for Mobile Communications Equipment as defined above.

Internet Service Plan

Applies to all service plans, including required hardware, intended to provide non-mobile communications equipment (such as desktops, laptops and iPads) access to the Internet (such as cable internet, DSL, MiFi, cellular broadband modem, etc.)


Mobile Communications Stipend Request Form

Mobile Communications Stipend Cancellation Form

University Group Phone Request Form


Initiating Office:  Vice President for Finance and Planning

Contact:  Comptroller's Office, 438-5672

Effective:  10/2013

2018-12-07T11:07:30.604-06:00 2018