Mobile Telecommunications Device Guidelines

Mobile Telecommunications Device Guidelines


Office of Administration


Executive Vice President for Administration


Business and Procurement



Effective Date:


Implementation History:


Cell phone, mobile devices, smart phones

Background Information:





These guidelines are effective as of April 1, 2012, and supersedes all previous policies, guidelines, and practices for College payment for or reimbursement of communication and technology devices and services covered under these guidelines.

Why these guidelines are needed

The intent of these guidelines is to provide an effective and regulatory-compliant process for the assignment of college owned cellular phones or to cover the cost of employee owned (self-purchased) communication devices and associated services.

This campus-wide Guidelines for Communication Devices and Services is necessary to:

  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.

Guidelines Statement

Empire State College provides either a college owned communication device or reimbursement for employee owned communication device and associated services when the appropriate Division/Department Head has determined that an employee needs such devices and services to support the college’s mission effectively. Authorization for issuance or reimbursement for such devices is the responsibility of the Executive Vice President for Administration.



These guidelines apply to wireless devices for communication.

Communication devices and services include:

  1. cellular telephones and associated service;
  2. hand held computer/smart phone devices and associated service (mobile devices).

***Employees using their own device must work with the Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) to confirm the compatibility of personal services and devices with Empire State College prior to acquiring any new services or equipment***Not all devices are compatible! Failure to confirm compatibility will result in disallowance.

Eligible Employees

Employees with job functions that require the use of communication devices are eligible to receive a device or a reimbursement under these guidelines as determined by Division/Department Heads in consult with the Executive Vice President of Administration. 

Eligible employees include:

  1. Employees that are required to spend a considerable amount of time outside of his/her assigned office or work area during normal working hours and are required to have regular access to telephone and/or internet connections.
  2. Employees that are required to be accessible outside of normal working hours. (This is not intended to include occasional, incidental, or emergency access.)

Options for eligible employees include:

  1. Assignment of one of the college owned communications device covered under the college contract with Verizon Wireless (pooled minute plan).
  2. Reimbursement for employee owned communications device and related service.

Both of the options listed above must be justified by a valid business purpose. The College does not consider the assignment of a college owned device or the reimbursement for devices and related services to be an entitlement for employment by the College. The reimbursement is not considered part of employee’s salary and may be changed and/or withdrawn by the College at any time.

Guidelines for college provided communication devices

Within their areas of responsibility Division/Department Heads may authorize the use of a college owned device covered under the pooled minute plan with Verizon Wireless. These devices are considered the property of the college and not the individual employee. Personal use of the unit is allowed but should be kept to a minimum. Employees must return their device upon separation of service from the college or transfer to another position. Employees assigned a device are responsible for the maintenance and security of the device. Report any theft, loss, or vandalism of a device immediately to the Executive Vice President for Administration.

All college owned devices are assigned through the college’s accounts payable office. The accounts payable office manages all billing and service related issues and maintains a listing of all employees assigned a device and their related contact information.

Guidelines for determining when reimbursement is appropriate and necessary

Within their areas of responsibility, Division/Department Heads may request one of the approved levels of reimbursement identified on the reimbursement form for an individual who meets the following criteria:

The Division/Department Heads requesting the reimbursement will use his/her knowledge of the essential functions of the position, budget considerations, and good judgment to determine the necessity and appropriateness of the reimbursement to be provided to each authorized employee. All reimbursements will be charged to the appropriate college wide account or departmental budget. Division/Department Heads are responsible for confirming that employees in their department have devices and services for which they receive reimbursement.


The reimbursement for a communication device is not based on a particular title or position. Approval to obtain and use a device covered under these guidelines is based on actual job requirements of a faculty or staff member.

Division/Department Heads and supervisors are responsible for determining and approving the appropriate level of reimbursement amount subject to approval by the Executive Vice President for Administration. This determination should be based on the business related use of the device.

Quarterly Reimbursement

Reimbursement amounts for service plans range from $20 to $80 per month. The Division/Department Head and the employee will estimate the reimbursement based on anticipated business use. It is the department administrator’s responsibility to review services needed and business use annually and determine whether reimbursement amounts should be maintained, changed or discontinued. This is intended to reimburse monthly services only and does not include reimbursement for the cost of the actual device. The reimbursement will be paid quarterly and will be processed by the accounts payable office.

Approved reimbursement types and amounts

The reimbursement form identifies the current approved plans and amounts. To simplify administration, allowance amounts will not be prorated.

Reimbursement process


To start, a completed request form signed by the employee and the responsible Division/Department Head should be submitted to the Office for Administration. To be eligible for reimbursement the employee will also be required to submit a copy of their most recent bill. Reimbursements will be processed quarterly in April, July, October and January.

Discontinuing the reimbursement

The reimbursement will continue until the employee leaves employment or when a change in job responsibilities no longer warrants the business use of such devices, at which time the allowance will automatically end. A responsible Division/Department Head may also stop the reimbursement by sending an e-mail message to the Office for Administration with a reason for the cancelation and an effective date.

Annual review of reimbursement

Prior to the start of each fiscal year, Division/Department Head will review the devices covered by these guidelines. The Executive Vice President for Administration will notify accounts payable and or departments about any modifications needed.

Additional information

Each employee who has an eligible device and related service under the reimbursement policy must purchase his or her own device and/or service, ensuring 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; and will not enter into contracts with vendors for employee use of devices or services covered under these guidelines.

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


Exceptions to these guidelines must be pre-approved in writing by the Executive Vice President for Administration or designee.

Use of devices while driving

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

Responsibilities for approving and maintaining these guidelines

The Executive Vice President for Administration, in consultation with the President’s Cabinet, is responsible for approving modifications to these guidelines.

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. This means that all devices must be protected from loss and/or theft by utilizing passwords 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.

Any information regarding calls made on a college issued devices is considered a matter of public record and shall be made available upon request.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Mobile Telecommunications Device Agreement (file 49kB)