2329 Payments for, or Reimbursements of, Costs Associated with Cellular Telephone

Document purpose

To govern University payments for the purchase and use of cellular telephones. For the purpose of this policy, the term "University" also includes the Health System.


November 2006


May 2023

Responsible Office





  1. Purchase and Installation of Mobile Telephone Equipment:  

    1. Ordinarily the University will not pay directly or reimburse individuals for costs associated with the purchase or installation of mobile telephone equipment. However, in those instances where an individual is able to justify a significant University business need for such equipment, approval may be granted for the purchase and installation of such equipment with University funds.
    2. Written justification of the business need must be provided, in advance, by the requester through the appropriate department Chair or Senior Business Officer to either the Dean or Vice President, as appropriate, for their written approval.
    3. The purchase of a University funded cellular telephone, as well as the associated installation costs and cellular service, should be initiated by contacting the Telecommunications Office, and providing that office with a copy of the approved justification. The user’s department should also submit a copy of the approved justification to the appropriate purchasing entity (i.e., University, Health System), along with the proper purchasing form.
    4. Grant or contract funds may not be used to cover the purchase or installation of cellular telephone equipment, unless specifically authorized in the grant award and approved, in advance, by the Office of Research Services 
    5. Cellular phones that are purchased with University Funds are the property of the University. Upon separation from University service, an employee is responsible for returning the cellular equipment to the home department.  
  2. Payment for Monthly Charges Associated with Cellular Telephone Usage:  

    1. The University will pay monthly use charges directly to the supplier for cellular telephone equipment that has been purchased with University funds. Such charges include airtime usage, directory assistance, toll charges, local land charges, roamer charges and roamer surcharges.  
    2. The University will not make payments directly to the cellular service suppliers for any monthly use charges associated with cellular telephone equipment that was not purchased with University funds.  
    3. The University will reimburse individuals for the monthly charges associated with University related business calls placed on personally owned cellular phones. Requests for reimbursement must be submitted on a properly completed and approved disbursement form that is supported by the original telephone bill, with the detail of the calls to be reimbursed appropriately identified.
    4. Grant or contract funds may not be used as the funding source for ongoing monthly charges, unless specifically authorized by the sponsor in the award document and approved by the Office of Research Services. However, unless specifically prohibited by the terms of the grant or contract agreement, monthly toll charges made in support of a grant or contract may be charged to individual accounts, on a charge by charge basis, with proper documentation.
    5. All charges associated with personal calls on University owned cellular phones must be reimbursed to the University account against which the total charges have been applied within 30 days of the close of the billing period.  
  3. Auditability of Charges:

    1. Amounts charged to University funds for cellular telephone equipment, installation and monthly use charges will be audited, periodically, to ensure compliance with established policies and procedures.