Cell Phone Policy

Robert Morris University Cell Phone Policy
Effective 12/1/2009

RMU is amending its current cell phone policy in an effort to manage cell phone service and Information Technology (IT) support costs. At the same time, these changes will provide many employees greater flexibility in their choice of service providers and equipment.

The University requires certain employees to have and use cell phones in the course of performing their job duties. The University will make a cell phone and cell phone service options available to these employees at service levels appropriate for their job requirements. IRS regulations will be followed concerning the taxability of phones, service plans and stipends.

Employees who are required to use cell phones for RMU business fall into three categories:
  1. Employees in positions that will be provided RMU-owned cell phones and an RMU selected service plan. See “RMU-owned Equipment/Support/Billing” below.
  2. Employees in positions that will receive a financial stipend in their paycheck to help defray the cost of a cell phone and service plan. Such employees are required to purchase their own cell phone and service plan.
  3. Employees who are issued an RMU cell phone at the start of their workday and turn it in at the end of their workday. RMU selects and provides the service plan.

This benefit will be administered by Human Resources and managed by Information Technology.

  • Who will receive an RMU-owned Cell Phone?
    RMU will supply RMU-owned cell phones for employees in positions that meet any of these requirements:
    • The employee is a Vice President or above, or an academic Dean.
    • Upon approval by a Senior Vice President or above, if
      • The employee is required to be reachable by phone at all times during the workday and their job requires that they have no set workspace. These employees typically check in their cell phones at the end of a workday.
      • The employee is responsible for students while traveling, and does not use the cell phone other than while traveling with students. These phones are typically managed by an office and checked out for trips.
      • The President or Senior Vice President determines that an employee should have the phone for University business.

  • RMU-owned Equipment/Support/Billing
    • The provider of cell phone service will be determined by IT, and the provider may change over time.
    • Cell phone equipment will be limited to devices selected and approved by IT.
    • IT will provide technical support for RMU-owned phones and assist with replacement equipment.
    • IT will provide technical support for RMU-developed applications for the equipment.
    • Billing for the equipment and services will be centrally paid and charged back to departments. Department budget managers will receive copies of the monthly detailed charges for their employees. Budget managers should contact the Help Desk, x2211, for assistance with adjusting usage charges.
    • Employees will be responsible for reimbursing RMU for all applications, games, music, and other entertainment charges incurred in their personal use of the equipment. Individual owners of RMU-owned equipment and their respective and budget manager are responsible for identifying those personal costs.

  • Must I accept the RMU-owned cell phone?
    Employees described above who are eligible for an RMU-owned cell phone may opt out in favor of a stipend if they agree to communicate their cell number as required by their position. Refer to the policy provisions for the stipend below, as this opt-out does not provide for University support of equipment chosen by the employee.

  • RMU Stipend for Cell Phones
    RMU will defray the cost of a personal cell phone service plan for employees required to be on call for the University, upon approval from a Vice President or above.
    • The cell phone account and service plan contract will be in the individual’s name and not in the name of the University.
    • The stipend will be set annually and approved by the Vice President, Financial Operations, and may vary by job function.
    • Employees receiving the stipend may choose their preferred service provider, device and plan. RMU will negotiate discounts with the major service providers and communicate those discounts to all employees.
    • Employees receiving the stipend manage all interaction with their service provider for all support, including
      • equipment purchases, repairs, problem resolution or replacements
      • plan and options selection
      • technical support for using their device
      • billing questions
    • Employees will be responsible for paying their own cell phone charges, with the stipend intended to defray some or much of the cost of the phone (depending on choices made by the employee).
    • The list of eligible employees will be reviewed annually by the appropriate Senior Vice President annually for eligibility.

  • Cellular Air Cards
    Cellular air cards provide Internet connectivity for computers while that computer is in range of a cellular network. Cellular air cards should not be used when a computer can utilize a wired or wireless network, as the relative usage cost of cellular air cards is high. RMU will maintain a pool of cellular air cards that may be lent to employees who need to conduct business while traveling, as long as one of the air cards in the pool is available. RMU does not guarantee the availability of a cellular air card for employee use. Employees must contact the Help Desk to borrow a cellular air card.

RMU will supply RMU-owned cellular air cards for specific department or employee use (not in the Help Desk pool) under these conditions:
  • The employee must be required to travel in their position at the University, and may only use the air card while traveling.
  • The employee’s use of the air card has first been approved by their immediate supervisor and then also has been approved by a Senior Vice President or above.

Attachment A – RMU Specifications for RMU-owned Equipment

Apple iPhone
AT&T Service Plan
1350 domestic minutes/month
Unlimited domestic data 
Unlimited domestic texting

Basic Phone
Current no-cost model from the service provider
AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint service plan, to be determined by function
400 – 900 domestic minutes, to be determined by function
Unlimited domestic texting
No data

Attachment B – Stipend Information


Stipends will be paid to eligible employees to defray the cost of owning and using a cell phone for RMU business and will be paid monthly through the payroll system.

The amount of the stipend will be reviewed annually and set by Financial Operations in conjunction with Information Technology. If there are any changes to the eligibility or the amount of the stipend, those changes will be communicated to each eligible employee.

RMU does not specify or limit the type of equipment or service plan selected by the eligible employee. Eligible employees may utilize discounts negotiated for RMU employees with major carriers, but are not limited to using any carrier with whom RMU has negotiated a discount and may opt-in to minute-pooling arrangements, commonly referred to as friends & family plans. The RMU website provides information on discounts available at

Eligible employees will obtain their equipment and service plans independently of RMU, and will go to their carriers for equipment upgrades, replacements, or any questions regarding their cell phone or cell phone plan.