Information Technologies Insfrastructure

Mobile (Cell) Telephone Policy


Mobile (cell) telephones can be an effective resource for Rensselaer as they support communications in areas where conventional telephones are not available. They are not, however, to be considered replacements for standard wired telephones. The cost incurred by cell telephones must be weighed carefully against benefits.

In general, cell telephones (i.e. telephones connected to a commercial cellular telephone vendor such as Sprint, Cingular, Verizon or Nextel) may be assigned to employees whose work requires wide mobility and/or simultaneous access to the public telephone network. In certain situations, the vendor and service plan will be decided based upon predetermined specifications.


Using Rensselaer funds to get a cell phone and who is eligible: Rensselaer faculty and staff desiring cell telephone service must submit a written request to Division of the Chief Information Officer (DotCIO),Information Technologies Insfrastructure. The application should be signed and authorized by the department head and include the account to which the service will be billed, the billing method and a justification for usage that demonstrates a clear connection to job responsibilities. Incomplete requests or requests lacking proper authorization will be returned to the requestor.

Who is not eligible: Cell telephones shall not be issued to student workers, contract employees, part-time temporary personnel, adjunct faculty or others not having a compelling use for the technology unless specifically requested by the department head.

Placing the order: All cell phone acquisitions/orders will be placed by DotCIO Information Technologies Insfrastructure.

Security and termination of service: Security of cell phones is the responsibility of the department. The department, under guidance provided by Human Resources, is responsible to assure cell telephone service is terminated in the event of job responsibility or employment status change (e.g. termination or extended leave). NOTE: If the cell telephone is stolen or otherwise misplaced, the customer must contact the vendor and DotCIO Information Technologies Insfrastructure immediately. Cell phone users are cautioned that cell phone technology is not as secure as standard “wired” phones. Consequently, one should consider using “wired” phones for highly confidential conversations.

Who pays: All costs associated with cell telephones will be borne by the department ordering the service. Such costs include but are not limited to the following: equipment acquisition, service initiation, monthly fees, per-minute cost of calls, maintenance and repair of equipment and replacement of lost or stolen equipment.

Authorizing payment: Monthly billing for cell service should be reviewed and authorized by the department head for payment using the blanket purchase order or credit card procedure.

Calling plan review: From time to time DotCIO Information Technologies Insfrastructure may review individual usage and recommend cell telephone plans to assure that the most appropriate rate plan is in use. This information will then be forwarded to the user's department for administrative review.

Personal use: Use of a Rensselaer-owned cell telephone and airtime service is intended for official Rensselaer business. However, Rensselaer recognizes that personal calls are sometimes necessary.

    Usage-based airtime plans: When the cell telephone is used for a personal call, the individual is responsible for the cost of that call. The telephone user should make note of personal calls and write a check to Rensselaer after review of the monthly call detail. The personal check should be submitted to the local department for deposit to the account billed for the cost of the call.

    Flat rate airtime plans: The customer is responsible for reimbursing Rensselaer when personal calls cause the plan threshold to be exceeded. In this case, personal calls must be reimbursed to cover the amount over threshold.

    Personal cell phones: No reimbursements will be made for charges related to use of personal cell phones. This includes, but is not limited to, monthly base charges, taxes, municipal fees, federal charges and other charges for special services (e.g. call waiting, three-way calling, voice mail).

Repair and replacement: User departments will be responsible for coordinating repair and replacement of cell communications equipment. If requested, DotCIO Information Technologies Insfrastructure will assist.

Short term rental of cell telephones: A small supply of cell telephones is available for short-term rental. Requests are filled on a first come, first served basis. The department is charged a fee for use of the cell telephone. In addition, all airtime usage charges for the appropriate days are the responsibility of the requesting department.

To Request a Cell Telephone: Submit a request to DotCIO Information Technologies Insfrastructure, Folsom Library – or – see the Information Technologies Insfrastructure web site for additional information.


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