Cell Phone PolicyIn an effort to bring consistency and fairness to the support of cell phones and data plans used by Brandeis staff and faculty, the University’s Policy Committee has approved new standards and guidelines, effective August 1, 2015. Below is information on the new policy, actions you need to take within your individual department, and some answers to frequently asked questions.
Currently, the use of Brandeis-sponsored cell phones varies widely from department to department, creating huge disparities in who is receiving financial support for their cell phone and data plans and how much they are receiving. To create standardization in this area, the policy committee spent a year analyzing the situation at Brandeis and researching the best practices from other universities and not-for-profit institutions.
Many institutions have moved away from direct support for cell phones altogether, under the philosophy that in this day and age, almost everyone has a cell phone and data plan. This is completely different from even 10 or 15 years ago when fewer people carried cell phones and voice and data service plans were much more restricted.
Brandeis recognizes that the use of cell phones and mobile access to data is critical for certain job functions. For this reason, the University will provide a pre-established, tax-exempt stipend of $50 per month to cover business-related cell phone and data plan expenses. This stipend will be provided only to specific individuals in your department who you approve as meeting the criteria under the policy guidelines (see below) and who are then registered with the Office of Financial Affairs.
Brandeis will no longer purchase or own any phone equipment (with a few public safety and facilities exceptions, noted below) or carry service contracts used by employees. Employees will maintain their own equipment and service contracts.
We understand that this change will create some disruption for some employees. However, we believe that clearer definitions of who is eligible and consistency in the stipend level is the right approach and the fairest thing to do.