Mobile Device Policy

Mobile Device Policy


Finance Office/Chief Financial Officer


Chief Financial Officer


Business and Procurement



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

Guidelines established April 2012, updated 2017, revised and made official policy 11/2020.


Mobile Device, Telecommunications, Reimbursement, Data, Issuance

Background Information:

First enacted in April 2012, the Mobile Device Policy was created to do the following:

  1. Establish guidelines to identify eligible employees;
  2. Outline communication device and service options for eligible employees (Empire State College plan or employee plan);
  3. Ensure compatibility of devices with ESC’s network and software systems;
  4. Ensure compliance with laws and regulations; and
  5. Ensure security and privacy of both student and staff electronic information.



The purpose of this policy is to provide an effective and regulatory-compliant process for the assignment of college-owned mobile devices, and the reimbursement for employee-owned mobile devices.


Eligible Employee: Eligible employees are employees with job responsibilities that require them to be available in a timely fashion outside of regular work hours, and who do not have adequate access to a personal mobile device and unlimited data plan that can handle this volume of calls.

Mobile Device: Smartphone or tablet device that has a cellular number associated with it, e.g., iPhone and iPad devices, Windows Smartphone and Tablet devices, Android Smartphone and Tablet devices, and associated data services. Tablet devices are distinguishable from laptop computers by their embedded operating systems and need to install applications via an "app store." Laptops could be considered mobile devices for the purposes of this policy.

Personal Mobile Device: A Mobile Device that is owned by an employee of the college and is approved to connect to the college’s business systems in accordance with this policy.


Empire State College will provide eligible employees with one of two options: a college-owned communication device or reimbursement for an employee-owned communication device and associated services.  The appropriate Division/Department Head, along with the Office of the President, will determine an employee’s need and ability to support the college’s mission effectively.

Authorization for the issuance of or reimbursement for such devices is the responsibility of both the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in conjunction with the Office of the President. The issuance of or reimbursement for a mobile device is based on the actual job requirements of faculty and staff, and not based on a particular title or position. Eligible employees must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Frequent mobility: The job requires considerable time outside the office during working hours and it is imperative to the functioning of the college that the employee be immediately accessible to receive and/or make frequent business calls during those times.
  2. After hours availabilityThe job requires the employee to be immediately accessible to receive and/or make frequent business calls outside of working hours. Employee must be readily accessible due to the specific nature of their duties and must be available for emergency responses or time sensitive consultation after normal office hours.

The Finance Office will review employee usage of college-owned devices and reimbursement amounts on a quarterly basis. The Finance Office, along with the relevant parties, will determine whether the college-owned device is necessary to an employee’s function, and whether the reimbursement should be maintained or discontinued.

Reimbursement rates will be a flat $35/month and will only be available for eligible employees. This is intended to reimburse monthly services only; it does not include reimbursement for the cost of the actual device. The reimbursement will be paid quarterly and will be processed by the Finance Office.

The college reserves the right to discontinue both the issuance and reimbursement of mobile devices for any reason, including financial necessity.

Additional information

Under the reimbursement policy, employees with an eligible device and related service must purchase his or her own device and/or service, and ensure the devices compatibility with the college’s systems.

Empire State College will not provide direct payments to a vendor for the purchase of devices or services covered under these guidelines for any individual. In addition, the college will not enter into contracts with vendors for employee use of devices or services covered under this policy.

Employees are entitled to reimbursement for only one device and the employee will be the direct holder of a contract with the service provider.

Use of Device While Driving

In the interest of the safety of employees and other drivers, SUNY Empire State College requires employees to comply with all applicable laws while driving.

Security and Privacy

Employees using personal devices to conduct Empire State College business must comply with applicable state and federal laws related to the protection of student and employee personal information and identity. All devices must be protected from loss and/or theft by utilizing passwords, encryption, two-step authentication, or other similar means of protection. State and federal laws also indicate that personal devices can be impounded in the case of legal action involving information that can potentially be stored on the device. 

Applicable Legislation and Regulations


Eligible employees must fill out the Mobile Device Request Form in order to begin the process of receiving a college-owned device or reimbursement. The Division/Department Head will then submit the request to the college’s Finance Office, who will involve all relevant parties in the approval process as necessary. Once approved, the Finance Office will submit the request to ITS for fulfillment.

Related Regulations and Policies 

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Annual Mobile Device Request Form (password required)