FI0730 – Telephones and Other Communication Devices

Effective: February 13, 2017
Revision No: 3
General Policies Procedures
University Provided Equipment Contacts
Technology Allowance Related Policies

The University recognizes that cellular telephones, smart phones, data plans, and the ability to remotely connect to the Internet are routinely needed by various employees to efficiently perform their University responsibilities. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for obtaining these services. Campuses and units have the option to establish more restrictive procedures with respect to this policy.


General Policies[top]

  1. Cellular telephones, smart phones, data plans, and/or air cards (for mobile Internet access) to conduct university business may be obtained through the campus telephone services department or personal devices may be used and a technology allowance provided.
  2. All service and equipment must be procured in a manner described below. Direct purchase of services or equipment by a department is prohibited, including using the University's procurement card for such purchases. (Note: Cell phone batteries are an acceptable departmental purchase.)
  3. Campuses are responsible for establishing a pre-approval process for both university provided equipment and technology allowances. This process must include approval by the Chief Business Officer or designee.
  4. Wireless communication device usage is subject to audit.
  5. Departments are responsible for ensuring that all departmental users have read and understand this policy and the University's ACCEPTABLE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES POLICY IT0110, both of which apply not only to University devices but also to personal devices used to store, process or transmit University information or that are otherwise connected to University information technology resources.
  6. Confidential or sensitive University information should not be stored on University or personal wireless devices, unless password protected. Also, while using these devices employees should exercise caution if discussing sensitive information, such as University information considered confidential or proprietary.
  7. Employees should not use wireless devices where prohibited by law, regulation, or by the management of a facility (e.g. driving in states where prohibited, in medical facilities, or in airplanes.)
  8. Violations of this policy or ACCEPTABLE USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES POLICY IT0110 may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. See HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY HR0525 for more information on disciplinary action.
  9. Under the Tennessee Public Records Act, any record made or received in connection with the transaction of University business is a public record, unless confidential under federal or state law, regardless of whether the record was made or received on or through University provided resources or personal resources. Public records are subject to inspection by any citizen of Tennessee, including a representative of the media. Billing records or any other record of communications (such as e-mails) made or received on a University provided or personal wireless device in connection with the transaction of University business are subject to inspection unless confidential under federal or state law.

University Provided Equipment[top]

  1. A cellular telephone including data plans and/or air card may be obtained by contacting either the campus Telephone Services Department or the Telephone Services Department in Knoxville, which is responsible for obtaining state-wide competitive service contracts for these services. The associated charges will then be billed directly to the University account.
  2. Personal long distance calls should be made using a personal cell phone. A personal long distance call can only be made using a University phone (cell or land line) in the case of an emergency and notification of the supervisor of the date and phone number of the call. A campus or department may request reimbursement for the call.
  3. Employees should never loan their University wireless equipment to anyone other than another employee. Employees remain responsible for all use of their wireless device.
  4. Employees are responsible for coordinating the repair of University wireless device through Telephone Services. Employees should immediately report any theft or loss of University wireless device to Telephone Services.
  5. Upon separation from University service, employees must return University wireless devices to their department.
  6. In the event of a disaster or emergency affecting the University, University wireless devices may be retrieved and redistributed to predefined areas.

Technology Allowance[top]

  1. An employee may obtain a technology allowance to offset the business use of personal wireless devices as well as home Internet connection. The allowance will be paid every regular pay period to the employee through the payroll system and will be identified separately on their payroll remittance. The employee is then responsible for purchasing their own device and/or service. The allowance is intended to offset the business use of these devices/service and not as a reimbursement for the total cost of them. Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, the allowance represents taxable income and will be reported on the Wages and Tax Statement (W-2). The amount of these allowances may not exceed $125 a month unless approval is obtained from the Chief Financial Officer or designee. The Recurring Pay Request (ZPRECPAY000) transaction in IRIS should be used to initiate, change or terminate the allowance. Wage type 2MOB should be selected. This transaction will be electronically routed to the department head, and other campus officials, and the Chief Financial Officer (if applicable) for their approval. Campuses are responsible for establishing and communicating any preapproval requirements outside of this IRIS transaction.

Health Science Center:
Institute of Agriculture:


Mark Paganelli  (865) 974-2588

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