Cell Phone Policy

Implemented: Aug. 19, 2015
Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Walla Walla University (the “University” or “WWU”) provides cell phones to employees who require mobile service to adequately complete their job functions. The University cell phone policy establishes procedures by which the Information Technology department will distribute, service, and support University-supplied cellular devices and services.

  1. Eligibility: It is generally expected that occasionally, an employee who has not been supplied a University-owned cell phone may find it convenient or useful to use their personal cell phone to conduct University-related business and that such occasional use alone does not constitute a valid justification absent other factors. Such factors include (a) sufficient frequency and regularity such as to justify year-round coverage, (b) otherwise significant out-of-pocket cost to the employee, (c) significant travel involved in position, (d) whether the job function can in large part be performed without the use of a cell phone, and (e) whether the nature of the cell phone use is vital and urgent to the business purposes of the University.

  2. Application Process: After a review of the eligibility criteria, supervisors who deem that a University-provided cell phone is absolutely necessary for one of their employees to adequately complete their job functions, should submit a formal written application to their area Vice President stating why the job cannot be adequately performed without a University-provided cell phone and explaining how the eligibility criteria is met. The VP will carefully review the request and the justifications provided by the supervisor. The VP will also consider the possibility and potential to shift workloads to other employees who already have use of a University-provided cell phone. If the Area VP approves the request, the request, including the related justification, will then be forwarded by the VP via email to the cell phone manager in the Information Technology department. The cell phone manager will contact the employee and begin the process establish the employee on the University cell phone plan.

  3. Standard Phones: In general, newly-eligible employees will be issued a modern Verizon smartphone (“Standard Phone”). Existing employees will also be issued a standard phone upon replacement, regardless of the model currently in use that is being replaced. These standard phones will be chosen by the account administrator to ensure they meet the security, reliability and price requirements set forth by the University. See, however, section 4 below for an accommodation made by the University for employees who desire to personally acquire an alternate phone.

  4. Alternate Phones: If an employee prefers a different model than the Standard Phone, the University will purchase such the phone (“Alternate Phone”) on their behalf assuming it meets the security and reliability requirements set forth by the University. However, the employee will be personally responsible for covering the full cost of the phone, shipping and taxes. University funds, including monies from the employee’s department, may not be used to defray this cost. This policy applies to all University-provided phones regardless of job function or position. The employee understands and agrees to willingly and regularly use the alternate phone for University business without consideration to the fact that personal funds were invested towards the purchase of said phone.

  5. Ownership: The physical handset, once delivered, is the property of the employee. While in the employ of WWU, and part of the University cell phone plan, WWU reserves the right to remotely clean/wipe/reformat the device if it is deemed necessary and appropriate to protect institutional data or security. 

  6. Device Insurance: Most new cell phones ship with a 12-month manufacturer warranty. Said warranty almost always covers manufacture defect but does not protect against accidental damage. For this reason, it is recommended that employees purchase third-party cell phone insurance, especially for those who purchase alternate, more expensive, handsets.

  7. Replacement Cycle: Employees are eligible to upgrade their current cell phone model (at WWU’s discounted pricing) after a minimum of 24 months of use. For alternate phones, employees will be responsible for the entire upgrade cost as per paragraph 4 above. Upgrades prior to eligibility, are prohibited. If an employee’s cell phone is lost, stolen, becomes damaged or inoperable prior to the normal 24-month upgrade cycle a standard phone will be provided at no cost.

  8. Accessories: Accessories beyond those which come with the standard phone are the personal responsibility of the employee and may not be purchased with University or departmental funds. This includes car chargers, blue tooth devices, protection cases and the like.

  9. Local Number: New cell phone activations receive a local cellular phone number. Employees will receive a local, not long distance, number corresponding to their work location.

  10. Backup: The backup and restoration of cellular device data including the applications and data is the responsibility of the employee. Note: This is usually accomplished by syncing your data via Apple iCloud, Google Play store, etc.

  11. Travel in North America: Salaried employees may use their cell phones in Canada and Mexico by alerting the cell phone manager of their travel dates. Hourly employees may use their cell phones in Canada and Mexico with approval from their area vice president and financial administration. Once the cell phone manager receives approval confirmation, services will be added to the line. In all cases, approval must be completed at least 3 business days prior to the travel in order to provide the cell phone manager enough time to make the appropriate plan changes.

  12. International Travel: When traveling internationally the University requires the SIM card to be removed from the device to ensure that significant usage fees aren’t accidentally accrued. The device can be used internationally if the employee purchases and inserts a SIM card from a carrier in the country(s) they are visiting. This ensures the proper function and easily discernable cost for the individual.

  13. Cell Phone Directory Listing: The cell phone number of any employee on the University cell phone plan will be listed on WWU’s website in a location that is password-only accessible by other WWU employees (but not by WWU students). One of the business purposes for supplying employees with WWU cell phones is so that they are available to other WWU employees while away from the office. This business purpose includes that such other WWU employees will be able to locate their cell phone number in order to place a call to them.

  14. Reimbursements for Personal Phones: WWU does not permit departments to reimburse WWU employees who are otherwise eligible to be a part of the University cell phone plan for the monthly cost of their personal cell phones in lieu of receiving a University-provided phone. Exceptions will only be made if it can be demonstrated that the University cell phone plan does not have adequate coverage in areas to which the employee regularly travels for related business purposes.

    Minor and incidental use of a personal cell phone to conduct University-related business is expected in the ordinary course of employment and will therefore not be reimbursed to an employee who does not meet the eligibility requirements set forth herein. If the request for a University-provided cell phone is denied, the employee is advised to desist from the use of a personal cell phone if such use results in additional out-of-pocket costs to the employee.

This University cell phone policy, including future changes and updates is posted for employees to review on the University website. It is reviewed and updated periodically. All members of the University cell phone plan will be notified when significant changes are made to this policy.