4.9.1 Wireless Communication Devices

A. Purpose

To provide guidance regarding eligibility for wireless communication plan allowances.

B. Persons Affected

Employees who have an official state business need for a communication device and meet eligibility requirements as described below.

C. Definitions

  1. Communications Device - cellular telephones, or personal digital assistants (PDA) with email capability, or telephone/PDA combinations, or iPhones, or wireless communication adapters (i.e., Internet Cards), and any necessary accessories (including batteries, hands-free devices, cases, carrying devices, chargers, and data cabling)
  2. Director Level or above - includes Provosts, Associate Provosts, Deans, Assistant Deans, Associate Deans, Executive Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents, Directors, and Registrar.
  3. Official State Business Needs - the employee frequently engages in work-related travel, the employee is frequently out of the office on University business, or the employee is a member of key personnel needed in the event of an emergency.
  4. Key Personnel for Emergencies or Other Critical Contact - examples include police, certain network administrators, and key facilities staff (others by approval of their appropriate Vice President).
  5. PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) - a handheld device that has the capability to combine computing, telephone/fax, internet and networking features.

D. Policy and Procedures

  1. Monthly Communication Plan Allowance

    The monthly allowance will be $65. In the event an employee requires an allowance in excess of $65, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by submitting a request, first approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean, to the Vice President for Business Affairs.

  2. Initial Eligibility

    1. Director level or above

    2. Key personnel for emergencies or other critical contact

    3. Significant business-related use

    4. Funds available in departmental budget

  3. Wireless Communication Device Reimbursements and Allowances

    1. To receive a wireless communication device allowance, the employee's department head must submit an approved “Wireless Communication Device Allowance Request Form” to the appropriate Department Head. The final executed form will be forwarded to Payroll Services for final processing. The monthly communication plan allowance is to be reviewed and approved annually during the budget cycle and shall remain effective throughout the year or until this policy is revised and the employee is not eligible for the allowance according to the revised policy.

    2. Department Heads are responsible for notifying Payroll if an employee's job responsibilities change and the provision of a monthly communication plan allowance is no longer approved. Additionally, department heads must complete and forward a “Termination of Wireless Communication Device Allowance” form to Payroll Services.

    3. Wireless communication device allowances are taxable compensation subject to required tax withholdings. Such allowances are not an entitlement and are not part of the employee's base salary. Allowances do not qualify as compensation for TRS or ORP contribution purposes.

    4. UT Tyler does not purchase communication devices. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by submitting a request, first approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean, to the Vice President for Business Affairs.

    5. Loss, theft or damage to device: UT Tyler will not provide replacement costs for any loss, theft or damage to the equipment; it is, therefore, recommended that individuals purchase device insurance through the service provider.

    6. Numerous service plans are available in the telecommunications market. Eligible employees may choose any provider and plan. Provider contracts resulting from such choices are between the employee and the provider and in no way obligate UT Tyler. UT Tyler does not endorse any particular service provider or plan.

  4. Duration of Communication Allowance

    1. The monthly communication plan allowance is to be reviewed and approved annually during the budget cycle and shall remain effective throughout the year or until this policy is revised and the employee is not eligible for the allowance according to the revised policy. The monthly communication plan allowance will be discontinued if:

      1. The employee’s job duties change and the department head does not consider that the new duties support a business need for a wireless communication allowance or

      2. The employee terminates employment with the University.

    2. Department heads are responsible for notifying Payroll if an employee's job responsibilities change and the provision of a monthly communication plan allowance is no longer approved. Additionally, department heads must complete and forward a “Termination of Wireless Communication Device Allowance” form to Payroll Services.

  5. Reimbursements of Business Calls or Electronic Data Usage

    1. If an employee is not receiving an allowance for wireless service, they may be reimbursed for business calls made or electronic data used on a personal device with appropriate documentation and prior departmental approval. Upon approval of the appropriate Department Head, they may be reimbursed subject to the following conditions.

      1. Service Plan is exceeded as a result of business-related usage,

      2. Employee must present a billing statement reflecting the itemization, and iii. Employee will be reimbursed only the amount attributable to business calls or electronic data usage.

    2. If an employee is receiving an allowance for wireless service, they may not be reimbursed for any business calls or electronic data usage except in extraordinary circumstances at the discretion and approval of the Department Head.

  6. Termination of Communication Allowance

    Immediate termination of an employee’s communication allowance may occur for any of the following reasons:

    1. Employee no longer meets continuing eligibility requirements

    2. Department head notifies Payroll Services of a change in an employee’s job responsibilities, such that the provision of a monthly communication plan allowance is no longer applicable; or

    3. Employee fails to provide billing statements requested for periodic review.

  7. Exceptions to this Policy

    Any exceptions/deviations not already addressed in this policy will require the approval of the Vice President for Business Affairs. .

E. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Financial Services every five years or as legislation changes.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  07/01/2008

LAST AMENDED:  04/15/2016