Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 5/30/24 (replaces 10/17/2022 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 48.04: Cellular Telephones and Data Devices

DATE: May 30, 2024

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish Texas Tech University (TTU) policy regarding the procurement, possession, and use of cellular telephones (cell phones) and data devices. This OP is designed to ensure the use of these devices for university business is correctly authorized and monitored and to ensure that the university is correctly reimbursed for occasional incidental or emergency personal use.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed every two years after publication by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for TTU System and the CIO for TTU with substantive revisions forwarded through administrative channels to the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer.


1.  Communication Services is responsible for negotiating and maintaining contracted rates, plans, and equipment prices with preferred service providers.

2.  The university will purchase and provide cell phones/data devices and service plans for certain employees or groups of employees who need a university-provided cell phone/data device due to security needs or other operation considerations as determined by the head of each department, such as:

a.    Emergency workers, including police, fire, environmental health and safety, and medical center workers;

b.    Facilities personnel who share cell phone equipment while on duty and other arrangements involving shared equipment use. In such cases, cell phone equipment should not be assigned to a specific individual;

c.    Athletics as required to meet NCAA compliance standards; and

d.    Research personnel who use mobile devices as data collection devices or for similar research purposes.

(1)    Grant funds cannot be used to purchase equipment but may be used to fund monthly data plans if the following are true:

(a)    Under no circumstances may equipment purchases be charged to grant funds.
(b)    All usage should be directly related to that specific grant and no other business or personal calls are allowed.
(c)    Must be approved by Sponsored Program Accounting and Reporting.

3.  To obtain an employer-provided cell phone or data device, or for plan changes that result in an increased cost or procurement of equipment, signature approval by the vice president or dean is required. For new activations or changes outlined above, the University-Provided Wireless Device Request form must be completed and sent to Communication Services.

4.  Each employee shall be responsible for the safekeeping, care, and custody of the cell phone and/or data device assigned.

5.  Cell phones and data devices should be used for official university business only; they are not to be used for personal use except for incidental uses or in emergencies. If it is necessary to use a TTU-provided cell phone for personal calls or text messages, the costs for such uses must be reimbursed.

6.  The university will not pay employees a cell phone equipment or monthly data allowance. The only exception is for those employees with an existing employment contract that explicitly provides for a cell phone allowance. Monthly cell phone allowance will be $75 regardless of data plan and number of devices an employee uses.

7.  The FOP/FOAP account manager will receive a monthly statement listing cell phone calls for each wireless user in their area. The account manager is responsible for verifying the listed calls were for official business of the university. Review must be completed and any unauthorized calls reimbursed by the employee by the end of the next billing period following the call. The formula for reimbursement of non-business calls is the monthly cost of the employee's plan divided by the number of minutes provided in the plan. This is the cost per minute, which is multiplied by the minutes used for non-business purposes. Reimbursement will be made for all non-business calls regardless of whether the minutes provided by the employee's plan are exceeded or not. Text messages will be reimbursed at actual cost according to the current vendor prescribed rate per text message.

8.  Communication Services can provide reports showing historic usage for each wireless user to assist the department head and employee in determining if the existing calling and data plan still meets the user's needs. Department heads should annually review current wireless users and determine if the need still exists for employee usage.

9.  The purchase of “prepaid” cell phones that do not provide printed detailed call information is not allowed. The detailed call information is required to ensure all usage is for official university business.

10.  At the discretion of the department head, and provided the criteria outlined in item 2 and approvals outlined in item 3 are met, an employee may request his/her personal cell phone number be ported to the Texas Tech-owned cell phone or data device to be used for university business. The Transfer of Wireless Service Agreement from an Individual to Texas Tech University form must be completed with the required signatures prior to the number being ported.

11.  At the discretion of the department head, an employee who is terminated or voluntarily terminates his/her employment or whose duties no longer require the use of a cell phone or data device may request his/her TTU-provided telephone number be ported to the personal account with the vendor he/she selects. The Transfer of Wireless Service Agreement from Texas Tech University to an Individual form must be completed with the required signatures prior to the number being ported. The individual will have three business days to have the number ported to his/her personal account before Communication Services has the number disconnected.

12.  The department head of an employee who is terminated or voluntarily terminates his/her employment or whose duties no longer require the use of a cell phone or data device is responsible for securing the cell phone or data device from the employee. The department head may reassign that device to another employee by completing the University-Provided Wireless Device Request or Transfer of Wireless Service Agreement from an Individual to Texas Tech University form, as appropriate. This is required to ensure that billing and accountability for the device are accurate. If the phone number needs to be disconnected, the department head must notify Customer Service at Communication Services that the phone number is no longer needed to ensure that the monthly billing is stopped. To ensure that the billing is transferred to the former employee's personal account, the department head is responsible for ensuring the porting process is completed within three business days.

13.  Abusing the use of university cell phones and/or data devices will result in the suspension of cellular phone privileges. Violations may subject employees to corrective action up to and including termination in accordance with TTU corrective policy.

14.  The relevant forms are located on the Communication Services website.

Operating Policies & Procedures