/ Computing and Information Technology

Mobile Device Funding Policy

Institutional Funding of Mobile Devices

The purpose of this document is to detail Hope College's policy with regard to institutional funding of mobile devices and associated services. Within the context of this document the term "mobile device" refers to those apparatus that provide two-way voice, data, and/or messaging services (e.g. SMS/MMS/"texting") through a mobile telecommunications network. This includes (but is not limited to) cellular telephones, smartphones, tablets, mobile hotspots, cellular modems, and any other device capable of both sending and receiving transmissions via a mobile telecommunications network.

Personal mobile devices have become commonplace and infrequent/incidental use for institutional business is considered routine and will not be paid by the College. An employee whose job duties include either the frequent or specialized need for a mobile device may, at the discretion of her/his supervisor, be approved for either a College-provided mobile device or a fixed-amount allowance for application toward her/his personal mobile device expenses.

NOTE: A supervisor may limit the availability of either option below based on individual circumstances and/or the specifics of an employee's position.

Option A: College-Provided Mobile Device

Hope College, through Computing and Information Technology (CIT), maintains service agreements ("accounts") with one of more providers for the purpose of providing institutionally-owned mobile devices to employees. All charges (including recurring service, equipment, and overages) are paid by individual department budgets.

  • All commitments for mobile devices contracted or acquired under the College's name must be coordinated through CIT. Neither a department nor an individual may obtain or otherwise facilitate the use of a mobile device using a College credit card or other institutional payment method.
  • All equipment associated with such devices shall be provided by the College. The College will limit the makes and models provided under this arrangement. Individuals may not independently purchase devices (either in part or whole) for activation on the College's accounts.
  • The College maintains control of all mobile numbers managed under its accounts. In the event that an employee leaves the employ of the College or has a previously-assigned mobile device revoked, all rights to that number remain with the institution.
  • Employees are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all local/state/federal laws regarding mobile device usage. Regardless of jurisdiction, Hope College strongly discourages the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle.
  • In cases where an employee or her/his supervisor deem that a College-provided mobile device has been used excessively for personal reasons (including but not limited to the incurring of overage charges) the employee will be required to reimburse the department's budget for the associated charges. For any given time period an employee's personal use of a College-provided device should not exceed 40% of that same period's total use.

Option B: Employee Mobile Device Allowance

An employee that has been approved for a mobile device allowance is responsible for choosing and contracting with a carrier of her/his choice. The College provides a predetermined dollar amount each month (via the employee's paycheck) to be used toward maintaining the device and associated services.

Two levels of mobile device allowance are available: one for employees requiring only voice service for their work duties, with another covering both voice and data needs. An employee's supervisor determines which level will be allocated. The dollar amount associated with each level is consistent across campus and is paid by the associated department's budget. The College pays only the predetermined allowance even if the actual monthly costs incurred by the employee exceed that amount.

Employee Mobile Device Allowance Amounts (as of July 1, 2011)

Voice-only service $25/month
Voice/Data service $45/month
  • An employee receiving a mobile device allowance is required to maintain both functional equipment and the associated service at all times. The level of service and equipment must be consistent with the level of allowance being received (voice vs. voice/data). On an annual basis the College will request verification in the form of the previous month's bill, with failure to provide such documentation resulting in the allowance being discontinued. While receiving an allowance, failure to report the cancellation of mobile device service or a lack of functioning equipment is considered fraud with disciplinary action up to and including termination possible.
  • All contractual agreements must be made between the individual employee and the mobile telecommunications provider. Hope College's name and/or address can not be used in any manner.
  • Dollars obtained via this allowance may be used only for maintaining mobile devices and associated services; they may not be used in any other way.
  • Neither a College credit card nor any other institutional payment method may be used to pay for or secure a mobile device or associated services.
  • The employee is responsible for purchasing and maintaining all equipment and accessories associated with the mobile device and its service. Any replacement for loss or damage is the responsibility of the employee even if the situation arose from work-related activities. Outside of the normal monthly allowance, College funds may not be used to reimburse or otherwise fund employee equipment purchases or repairs.
  • The employee is solely responsible for all fees associated with maintaining her/his service and equipment, including overage charges and early-termination fees. Hope College will not pay early termination fees.
  • An employee receiving a mobile device allowance retains the rights to her/his mobile number both during and after her/his employment. However she/he is required to inform her/his supervisor of this number and keep that person updated with any changes to it.
  • Employees are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all local/state/federal laws regarding mobile device usage. Regardless of jurisdiction, Hope College strongly discourages the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle.
  • Outside of occasional, one-time circumstances, no other method of reimbursement or compensation for personal mobile device use is permitted. In cases where an employee desires to be reimbursed for occasional use, an itemized copy of her/his mobile provider's bill with specific business-related expenses (e.g. calls) noted must be included with the reimbursement request.

Use of a mobile device in a manner contrary to College policy or any local/state/federal laws will result in immediate suspension of any College-provided mobile devices (for those operating under Option A) or termination of any/all mobile device allowances (for those operating under Option B). Additional disciplinary action is possible.

Short-Term and International Mobile Device Needs

Occasionally individuals or departments may have a business-related need for either intensive short-term use of a mobile device or for associated service while travelling outside of the continental United States. In such cases Computing and Information Technology (CIT) is to be consulted prior to the commitment of any College funding.