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University Policy 68

Cellular Phones

Initially approved: June 1, 1999
Revised:  March 13, 2000
Revised:  June 17, 2009
Revised:  March 25, 2019

Policy Topic:  Business Administration and Auxillary Services
Administering Office: Office of Administration and Finance


It is the policy of Western Carolina University (“WCU” or “University”) to offer a monetary allowance to designated University employees for business use of personal mobile communication devices (“MCD”).


WCU provides services to a dynamic population of faculty, staff, and students on a continuing basis.  To ensure continuity of services, designated employees may seek authorization to use personal MCDs for University business and receive appropriate reimbursement for the business use. 


“Convenience MCD” means a University-owned mobile communication device that is not permanently assigned to an individual.

“Mobile Communication Device” or “MCD” means any wireless electronic device used for contacting or communicating with WCU personnel and includes pager or related equipment; mobile phone or related equipment; or smart phone.


  • Process
    • Application: Participants must complete a University MCD Application form and obtain the proper signatures in order to receive the allowance.
    • Recertification: The allowance will be re-certified by management annually.  As part of this process, any employee receiving an MCD allowance is required to show that the allowance does not exceed the expenses the employee actually incurs in maintaining the device by presenting a copy of their annual contract or monthly billing statement at time of re-certification.
  • Designated Employees
    • An allowance will be provided for designated employees at WCU whose job responsibilities require that a mobile communication device be carried to fulfill their official state business obligations.
    • These employees are:
      • Members of the Chancellor’s Executive Council that must be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7);
      • Employees that must be available 24/7 to meet information technology service needs, campus security requirements, and continuity of facilities services;
      • Employees that work in external and government relations;
      • Employees whose job descriptions require at least 20% of their time in travel status in addition to job requirements to conduct official state business while on the road;
      • Other employees as approved by the Chancellor or a member of Executive Council as special requests.
  • Reimbursable Amount
    • The University may offer allowance options to employees based on the employee’s business need.
    • The employee will be compensated each pay period for the use of his/her personal MCD.
  • Requirements
    • Employees who receive the reimbursement are reasonably expected to maintain an accessible, charged, and operational MCD at all times and timely respond to work related calls and/or messages.
    • Employees who do not agree to the MCD policy and procedures may not be eligible for the allowance.  Agreement but failure to adhere to the MCD policy and procedures may result in the employee’s forfeiture of the allowance.
    • An employee who allows MCD service to lapse while receiving the allowance will not be eligible to receive the allowance for a period of six months and may be required to reimburse the university.
    • Being available as defined by this MCD policy is unrelated to any other policy related to “on call” employees.
    • Cell phone numbers must be kept with the department, as well as provided to other University personnel as necessary to complete official University business.
    • An employee receiving an MCD allowance is ineligible and will not be reimbursed for business or personal phone calls while in travel status as outlined in OSBM Budget Manual Section 5.11.3.
  • Public Records
    • Funding for MCD Allowance Plans originate from state sources; thus, it is the opinion of OSBM that records created through the use of the personal MCD device, such as text message logs, telephone call logs, telephone contact lists, et cetera, could be considered Public Records.
  • University-owned MCD
    • Due to the nature of their business, some departments may need to maintain a Convenience MCD. The Convenience MCD is typically treated as a floating MCD not permanently assigned to an individual.  (For example:  an on-call cellular telephone with a published number in case of a network outage.)  Convenience devices will be maintained by the appropriate departments and provided to individuals as needed to conduct University business.  These convenience devices may be paid for from state funds or non-state funds.  Convenience phone bills will be reviewed and approved by designated supervisors on a monthly basis.  Personal calls are strictly prohibited on convenience MCDs except due to emergency circumstances; in such emergency circumstances, any ensuing charges will be reimbursed by the employee to the University. 


This policy shall be reviewed and revised every two (2) years.


University Policy # 95, Data Network Security and Access Control

University Policy # 117, Information Security Policy

University MCD Application Form

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