VP, Finance and Business Affairs, Asst. VP for Information Technology
- Policy Objective
- Eligibility Criteria
- Acquisition Options
- Department Head Responsibilities
- Employee Responsibilities
- Stipend Determination
- Stipend Guidelines
- MCD Stipend Request
- University owned MCD Request
1. Policy Objective
- Drew University recognizes that the performance of certain job responsibilities may be enhanced by the provision of mobile communication devices and services (MCD). For the purposes of this policy, a mobile communication device is defined as a cell phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) that allows for two-way communication and the service plan providing for operation of the device. This policy establishes methods for making a MCD available to employees and reimbursing for service.
2. Eligibility Criteria
- It is the responsibility of each department to determine if a MCD is required to perform the employee’s job functions. Each department has unique operating characteristics but general criteria for determining eligibility are as follows:
- Employee has regular on-call responsibilities and is required to respond to critical and/or time sensitive issues after normal business hours.
- Employee is responsible for monitoring and responding to alarms generated by critical systems after normal business hours.
- Employee regularly works remotely from an established office and/or campus and has limited or no access to campus communication services.
- Exceptions to the above criteria may be made by the Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs.
- If an employee meets the above criteria on an irregular (periodic or one-time) basis it may be more cost effective to use the standard petty cash reimbursement process to compensate for business usage.
- The Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs, in consultation with the Department Head will review all applications and issue final determinations on eligibility and compensation levels.
3. Acquisition Options
There are three (3) ownership options: University-Owned Executive, University-Owned Standard and Employee-Owned. A description of the three ownership models is as follows:
- University-Owned Executive – With this option, the MCD and service plan are owned by the University, not the employee. The University is legally responsible for the MCD, contracts and costs. Employees may use the MCD for both business and personal usage as it is considered a component of the employee’s taxable compensation package. The Executive option is open to Cabinet-level employees and others as defined by the Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs. No usage log is required. Cabinet-level employees also have the option of utilizing the University Owned Standard (section 3.2) or Employee-Owned (section 3.3) options as described below.
- University-Owned Standard – With this option, the MCD and service plan are owned by the University, not the employee. The University is legally responsible for the MCD, contracts and costs. Employees shall use the MCD for Drew business only as outlined in section 5.2.2. The University recognizes that there may be emergency or extenuating circumstances under which the phone is needed for personal use. Those occasions must be rare and non-routine in nature. Employees are responsible for reviewing and annotating their monthly bill and determining if any personal use has occurred and if so reimbursing the University. Phone bills should be kept on file for three years for audit purposes. This option is open to all employees required to carry a MCD. Departments may also utilize this option for devices shared by multiple employees.
- Employee-Owned – With this option, the MCD and service plan are owned by the employee, not the University. The employee is legally responsible for the MCD, contracts and costs. Employees may use the MCD for both business and personal usage. The employee will be provided a taxable monthly stipend by the University to reimburse the cost of business usage but shall not include taxes and fees. No usage log is required. This option is open to all employees required to carry a MCD.
4. Department Head Responsibilities
- University and Employee Owned
- Determining whether the employee’s position requires a MCD based on his or her job duties and responsibilities.
- In consultation with the employee, determining which of the allowed ownership options is most appropriate to an employee requiring a MCD.
- Determining the source of funds to be used to pay for a MCD.
- Monthly review of service invoice and processing for payment.
- Ensuring that the usage substantiation requirements in section 3.2 are satisfied; and
- Removing access to a University-owned device as covered by this policy if documentation of phone activity shows excessive personal use.
- Determining the appropriate monthly communication service stipend for the employee within the monthly stipend amounts based on amounts spent for University-owned phones.
- Completing the necessary forms to document the approval. A copy of the completed and approved MCD Procurement Request Form must be retained in a departmental file.
- If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract period, a University decision (unrelated to employee misconduct) results in the need to end or change the MCD contract, the Department will bear the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation. For example, the employee’s supervisor has changed the employee’s duties and the MCD is no longer needed for University purposes. If the employee does not want to retain the current contract, change or cancellation fees will be reimbursed by the University. Appropriate documentation of fees is required.
- It is the responsibility of the Department Head to review MCD needs in his/her department on at least an annual basis to determine if monthly stipend amounts should be changed or discontinued. The Department Head should notify Payroll immediately when any changes to stipend amounts are needed during the year by completing and processing a new MCD Procurement Request form.
5. Employee Responsibilities
- University and Employee Owned
- An employee must notify his/her Department Head as soon as possible and in no case more than five (5) working days beyond inactivation of the communication service or loss or theft of the MCD. The MCD must be available for the performance of responsibilities as designated by the Department Head. In general, this means in possession of, and turned on, during those times specified by the Department Head.
- University-Owned Devices
- If an employee’s required MCD is lost or destroyed through negligence, the employee may be required to replace it at their expense, per Department Head discretion. Ensure that the device is used for University business only. The University recognizes that there may be emergency or extenuating circumstances under which the phone is needed for personal use. Those occasions must be rare and non-routine in nature. The employee must reimburse the University for any itemized cost of personal use. Ensure that adequate substantiation of all personal phone calls is maintained. Employees are responsible for reviewing and annotating their monthly bill and determining if any personal use has occurred and if so reimbursing the University for any itemized cost. Phone bills should be kept on file for one year for audit purposes.
- Ensure the physical protection of the device from damage and unauthorized use.
- Ensure that the device is returned to the University when it is no longer needed or when the employee terminates employment with the department.
- Employee-Owned Devices
- An employee receiving a University stipend must provide his/her department with the phone number of the MCD and enter it into the emergency notification system within five (5) working days of activation.
- The employee must be able to show when requested by their Department Head, that the monthly bill, excluding taxes and fees, is at least the amount of the University stipend. If the monthly bills do not, on average, equal or exceed the amount of the stipend, the Department Head may adjust the amount of the stipend to a lower amount or may discontinue the stipend for the employee’s service.
- The employee is personally responsible for complying with any contract entered into with a communication service provider including payment of all expenses incurred (including long distance, roaming fees, and taxes). In the event that an employee leaves the position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of the service plan.
- If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract, a personal decision by the employee, or employee misconduct, or misuse of the phone, results in the need to end or change the MCD contract, the employee will bear the cost of any fees associated with that change or cancellation. For example, the employee quits, and no longer wants to retain the current MCD contract for personal purposes. In extenuating circumstances a Manager/Director/Chair may choose to waive this requirement.
- The University stipend for the MCD and service plan is not considered an entitlement, is not part of an employee’s base salary, and may be changed and/or withdrawn by the University at any time. It will be paid in monthly installments through the payroll system from departmental funds as authorized by the Department Head.
6. Stipend Determination
- Determining Stipend Amount
- After eligibility is established it is necessary to determine the appropriate level of the stipend. The stipend amount should be linked to the employee’s job duties and responsibilities. The stipend should include the appropriate quantity of usage and features that are required for the performance of the employee’s job responsibilities.
- The cost of the University’s service plans provides a guideline for determining stipends for Employee-owned devices. Stipend amounts above the standard service plans will be reviewed for appropriateness by the Vice President of Finance and Business Affairs.
- A department may partially or wholly reimburse the activation charges of a MCD service plan and the purchase or upgrade of a MCD, if such purchase or upgrade is necessary for the performance of the employee’s job duties. The department may also contribute toward the replacement of aging or non-functioning MCDs, provided the employee’s job responsibilities continue to require the use of a MCD at the time of replacement.
- The employee may obtain a more expensive plan and MCD if desired for personal use, but will only receive the stipend amount agreed upon for University business use. Payment of bills for the MCD and service are the responsibility of the employee, not the department.
- If business use results in a billed amount that is more than the stipend amount, reimbursement may be sought with appropriate documentation and Department Head approval through regular expense reimbursement procedures. Stipend amounts received by the employee will be processed through the payroll system. These stipends are considered taxable income.
- The cost of the stipend will be borne by the departmental budget. The Department Head is responsible for verifying that sufficient funds are available.
- Devices and service must be purchased from an approved service provider of the University. Information on approved service providers will be provided by the Office of Telecommunications.
- Employees may purchase MCDs and service plans from the carrier of their choice. In many cases, contracted discounts are available to employees. However, the employee discount amounts may vary, depending on the selected vendor. Current discount percentages may be obtained by calling the carrier’s customer service office.
- An employee may be required to purchase a specific MCD and service plan if full integration with Drew services is required. Any restrictions on MCDs and plans will be discussed with the employee as part of the approval process.
- The employee is responsible for the selection of and enrollment in an appropriate MCD service plan. The plan must, at a minimum, cover the requirements identified by the Department Head. The employee may select service from any vendor whose service meets the requirements of the employee’s job responsibilities as determined by the Department Head.
- The employee and Department Head must sign a MCD Procurement Request Form (Attachment 1) that: (1) documents the business need for a cell phone, (2) outlines the requirements the employee will observe in obtaining a phone and service plan that meets department requirements, and (3) defines the conditions for making it available when needed (as defined by the department, e.g., for on-call use).
The Mobile Communications Device Policy (above) allows departments to arrange for a monthly stipend for their employees to cover the cost of business use on their personal mobile communications device. To determine how much the stipend should be for various levels of service, please see the tables below.
*Stipend rates are based on the discounted corporate rates charged to Drew University by the primary carrier (AT&T Wireless). The choice of preferred carrier and rates are reviewed yearly or as market conditions dictate. In general, the cost of a MCD stipend should not exceed the cost of providing the same level of service with a university-owned device. It should likewise not exceed the cost of the employee’s personal phone plan.*
Voice Only Plans
$32.00 (add $6 if no voice plan is included)
In some cases, the employee receiving the stipend may not already have a personal cell phone. Or, the employee’s existing personal phone may not meet their business needs. In this case, the employee may be eligible for a one-time stipend payment to offset the cost of a new phone. This one-time stipend payment should not exceed the amount the department would pay for a similar University-Owned phone purchased through our agreements with AT&T and Verizon (see table below). If you have any questions, please contact the Telecommunications Office at x3333.
Regular Cell phone
“Smart Phone” (data-capable)