Procedure 5.22.2, Cellular and Other Mobile Computing Devices

System Procedures
Chapter 5 - Administration

Click here for a PDF copy of this procedure.

for Board Policy 5.22

Part 1. Purpose.

Electronic communication is an important part of contemporary business practices, including the operations of colleges, universities and the system office. The purpose of this procedure is to clarify institution and employee responsibilities associated with provision of cellular devices and mobile computing devices.

Part 2. Definitions.

Subpart A. Cellular device. Cellular device means a cell phone or a mobile computing device with voice capability. A cellular device is characterized by the fact that service plan cost generally is determined by the amount of use.

Subpart B. Mobile computing devices. Mobile computing devices are portable computing and telecommunications devices that can execute programs. This definition includes, but is not limited to, notebooks, Palmtops, personal digital assistants, IPods, BlackBerry devices, and cell phones with internet browsing capability. Use of a mobile computing device may or may not require a wireless communication service plan or incur connection charges.

Subpart C. Department cellular device. A system cellular device purchased and maintained by a college, university or the system office department or division for use by more than one employee or other authorized user while engaged in their assigned duties.

Subpart D. Other wireless communication service. Other wireless communication service is any subscription-based communications service that relies on commercial cellular services for data or voice transmissions. These services are often marketed using names such as mobile content, wireless music services, cellular services, 3G wireless services, text messaging services, digital cellular services, mobile wireless services, mobile data services, wireless data services, wireless telecommunications services, analog cellular services, cellular data services, etc.

Subpart E. System cellular device or plan. A system cellular device or plan includes a cellular device or service plan provided to an employee by a college, university, or the system office for business purposes.

Subpart F. Voice over Internet Protocol applications or VoIP. Voice over Internet Protocol applications and related devices are outside the scope of this procedure. The downloading of VoIP applications onto System-owned equipment is governed by System Procedure 5.22.1, Part 4, Subpart B(4), Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources.

Part 3. Eligibility for Cellular Device, Mobile Computing Device, or Other Wireless Communication Service Plans.

A college, university or the system office may provide a cellular device or a mobile computing device, or other wireless communication service plans to an employee if it is determined by the college, university or the system office to be a necessary business expense under one or more of the following criteria:

a. Availability of device and service is integral to the performance of specific duties within the employee's job description;

b. A substantial portion of the employee's work is conducted outside of the building or buildings where the employee is assigned to work;

c. The employee does not have an assigned office or workspace and needs to be contacted on a regular basis by college, university or system office constituents for assigned services or to provide needed information;

d. It is a job requirement that the employer be able to reach the employee outside of the employee's normal work hours.

A college, university or the system office is not required to provide a device or service plan

Part 4. Authorization and Annual Review.

Subpart A. Authorization. To be approved for a device (and service plan, if applicable) under this procedure, the following procedures are applicable:

  1. The supervisor of an employee requesting the device and plan must determine if the employee meets the threshold eligibility requirements in Part 3.
  2. A device shall be issued only if approved by an authorized administrator of the college, university or system office.
  3. Documentation to support the decision to issue the device and plan must be retained by the appropriate administrative unit at the college, university or system office consistent with records retention standards and be available for review and audit.
  4. Colleges and universities are encouraged to procure devices and plans under state or System negotiated contracts when possible.

Subpart B. Annual review. The employee's supervisor and the authorized administrator annually must review and document the continued business need for the device and plan.

Part 5. Employee Responsibilities.

a. An employee who receives a cellular device or mobile computing device under this procedure is responsible for ensuring that the device is available for service during applicable business hours and as needed.

b. The employee must immediately return the device upon request by the employee's supervisor or upon the end of employment.

c. The employee must comply with the provisions in this procedure.

Part 6. Cellular Devices.

Subpart A. Personal use. System cellular devices and services are intended for system business. In accordance with Minn. Stat. § 43A.38, Board Policy 5.22, system procedure 5.22.1, Minnesota Management and Budget Human Resources/Labor Relations Policy #1423, personal use of a system cellular device and plan is allowable only for incidental and de minimis use. Improper personal use may result in revocation of the employee's cellular device and plan usage or cellular device allowance, reimbursement for unauthorized calls, and disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Subpart B. Monthly review of invoices. The employee must review and initial the cellular device invoice monthly and identify any use not permitted under this procedure before submitting the invoice to the employee's supervisor or authorized administrator assigned to review and approve the monthly cellular device bill.

Subpart C. Payment options for cellular devices and plans. Colleges, universities and the system office may pay for business-related cellular devices and plans only through either reimbursement to the employee for occasional, incremental actual expenses or direct payment to a vendor for a cellular device and service plan owned and managed by the institution unless otherwise authorized by a collective bargaining agreement.

Subpart D. Reimbursement for occasional, incremental actual expenses. Business calls. Occasional business call expenses made from an employee's personal cellular device are eligible for reimbursement if:

  1. The employee has not been issued a cellular device by a college, university or the system office or the assigned cellular device does not receive service in the area from or to which the call was made; and
  2. The employee has incremental costs directly attributable to the business calls.

Reimbursement shall be made in accordance with guidance provided by the system office.

Subpart E. Personal calls while on travel status. Certain bargaining agreements or compensation plans provide that an employee in travel status overnight may claim expense reimbursement for actual personal telephone calls up to a defined limit. In addition to the incidental and de minimis use provided for in Part 6, Subpart A, employees who are issued a cellular device may make limited personal calls in lieu of claiming such reimbursement for calls while in travel status.

Subpart F. Department cellular devices. A college, university or the system office may purchase cellular device equipment and service plans if the college, university or the system office determines the cellular device is necessary for the efficient operation of a department and the cellular device will be used by more than one individual.

  1. A department cellular device may be provided to meet the department’s business purposes. The equipment is designated as property of the college, university or system office and must be returned to the department daily or as required. Examples of such department users might include, but are not limited to, parking cashiers, delivery drivers, maintenance or security personnel who need to be accessible by phone during their work shift.
  2. Purchase of department cellular device equipment or service plans must be approved by an authorized administrator. At the time of purchase, the responsible party for each department cellular device must be identified. The responsible party must perform the actions required under this procedure.

Related Documents:

  • Policy 1B.1 - Nondiscrimination in Employment and Education Opportunity
  • Procedure 1B.1.1 - Report/Complaint of Discrimination/Harassment Investigation and Resolution
  • Procedure 1C.0.1 - Employee Code of Conduct
  • Policy 1C.2 - Fraudulent or Other Dishonest Acts
  • Policy 3.26 - Intellectual Property
  • Policy 5.22 - Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources
  • Procedure 5.22.1 - Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources
  • Policy 5.23 - Security and Privacy of Information Resources
  • Frequently Asked Questions (pdf)

    To view any of the following related statutes, go to the Revisor's website ( You can conduct a search from this site by typing in the statute number.

  • Minnesota statutes 136F.46, Non-profit Foundation Payroll Deductions
  • Minnesota statutes 136F.80, Grants, Gifts, Bequests, Devises, and Endowments
  • Minnesota statutes 136F.81, Transfer of Gifts
  • Minnesota statutes Chapter 43A.38, subdivision 4, Use of state property

Date of Adoption: 4/05/10,
Date of Implementation: 4 /05/10,

Date & Subject of Revisions:

4/2/15 - created new Part 2, Subpart E to clarify that devices and plans provided to employees for business purposes are property of the system. Amended Part 6, Subpart A, Subpart E and Subpart F to clarify that personal use of such devices and plans are governed by state statute and are allowable only for incidental and de minimis use; and specify repercussion of improper use.

1/25/12 - The Chancellor amends all current system procedures effective February 15, 2012, to change the term "Office of the Chancellor" to "system office" or similar term reflecting the grammatical context of the sentence.

There is no additional HISTORY for Procedure 5.22.2.