Mobile Device Funding Policy
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 any equipment that provides 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.
Mobile devices are commonplace among all segments of the population and incidental use of a personal device for institutional business is considered routine and will not be paid by the College. An employee whose job duties include exceptionally frequent or specialized use of a personal mobile device may, at the discretion of their supervisor, be approved for a fixed-amount allowance for application toward their personal mobile device expenses.
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 their 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 is appropriate for the assigned duties. The dollar amount associated with each level is consistent across campus. 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, 2023)
- 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 being used must be continually consistent with the level of allowance being received (voice vs. voice/data). The College may request verification of service 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 their mobile device and its service. Any replacement for loss or damage is the sole responsibility of the employee even if the loss/damage 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 their 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 their mobile number both during and after their employment. However, the employee is required to inform their supervisor of their 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. Per Hope College's Vehicle Usage Policy, cell phones and texting are not permitted to be used by the driver while operating a Hope College vehicle. Regardless of the jurisdiction or vehicle, Hope College strongly discourages the use of mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle.
Use of a mobile device in a manner contrary to College policy or any local/state/federal laws will result in immediate termination of any/all mobile device allowances. Additional disciplinary action is possible.
The Board of Trustees may approve an employee to receive a mobile device and service that is paid and managed directly by the college. Such approvals are very rare and must be coordinated with Computing and Information Technology (CIT).
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 traveling 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.
It is not the intention of CIT to develop and enforce policies to bureaucratically offend and limit the people it serves; rather, these policies exist to ensure reliable, secure and fair technology solutions continue at Hope College.
As you read this policy statement, please keep in mind that its intention is to maintain an excellent technology infrastructure and not to limit creativity, academic freedom, or other appropriate and welcomed activities.
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