Telecommunications Policy

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Policy Name: Telecommunications Policy
Policy ID Number: 03-05-008
Version Effective Date: June 3, 2014
Last Reviewed on: January 1, 2019
Policy Applies To: University wide
Responsible Office: Information Technology


INTRODUCTION AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This policy covers the assignment and use of university telephones, fax, mobile (cellular) phones, PDA’s, and wireless internet cards in support of the operational and educational goals of the University. Access to telecommunications systems are a privilege and all users are accountable for professional and ethical use of these systems including, but not limited to, respect for the rights and privacy of others.

This document supersedes:

  • Telephone and Fax Policy
  • Voicemail Policy
  • Telephone Reimbursement Policy
  • Office Moves, Adds, and Changes (MACs)

New Jersey City University (NJCU) strives to provide consistent, convenient and cost effective telecommunications services to its employees. 

This endeavor requires a clear understanding of policy and procedures that forward the following objectives:

  • simplify the University’s relationship with telecommunications vendors;
  • apply standards for all telecommunications equipment and service agreements used;
  • provide a system for monitoring telephone usage patterns so that plans can be modified to better meet the needs of the University community;
  • ensure that the University’s acquisition of telecommunications services are cost-effective; and
  • provide guidelines to employees who may require mobile services to conduct University business;

Mobile (cellular) telephones are an effective resource for NJCU because they enable communication in areas or situations where conventional telephony is not available or is impractical. However, the cost incurred by mobile telephony must be weighed carefully against any benefits.

Definitions

  • Telephone Switch – The heart of the University telephone system. It is also known as a Public Branch Exchange (PBX). All telephones and facsimile devices are connected to the switch via the University cable plant.
  • Telephone – The University provides several models, depending on service requirements. There are two basic formats: Analog and Digital. Analog telephones, also known as "Plain Old Telephone Sets (POTS)" are the traditional line that sends a standard "dial-tone" signal to the PBX to make a call. There are three models available:
  • Standard POTS
  • Standard with CallerIDÆ display and message indicator
  • Emergency telephone box which auto dials the Security Office

Digital telephones are “intelligent” devices that communicate with the PBX using a proprietary network protocol. This allows the devices to provide the functionality of traditional multi-line telephones, auto-dialing, CallerID displays, voice mail notification light, a secondary in-bound line, and much more, over a single telephone connection. While some of these services are available through analog sets, the functionality in digital phones is presented through a discrete set of buttons, as opposed to using a series of numeric combinations. There are several models available:

  • Standard, single line phone with CallerID® and message indicator
  • Standard, single line phone with CallerID®, message indicator, and extended function buttons
  • Multi-line phone (2-6 lines) with extended function buttons

Extended multi-line phone (6-16 lines)

  • Voice Mail – A centralized automated answering service available to both analog and digital devices. The voice mail system provides additional functionality that allows a telephone number to act as an automated telephone attendant.
  • Facsimile Machine – Also known as a “Fax machine”, this device is used to send a copy of a document (single or multi-page) over the telephone system to another fax machine or computer with a modem and Facsimile software.
  • Mobile Phone – There are several varieties of mobile phones, including satellite, cellular, and proprietary systems. For this document, the term is used as a synonym for a cellular-based telephone (also known as “cell phone”).
  • PDA – An abbreviation for “Personal Digital Assistant”. This is a device that provides various functions to assist in managing appointments (Calendar), contacts (Address Book), tasks and notes. Most modern PDA’s also serve as a data repository, storing and presenting pictures, audio, video, and other more traditional types of data, such as Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. Most modern PDA’s also provide access to Email and the Internet by connecting to proprietary and/or standard wireless networks. It is important to note that PDA functionality can also be imbedded in cell phones (e.g. the Apple iPhone). Conversely, cell phone functionality can be imbedded in a PDA (e.g. the RIM Blackberry Pearl).
  • Wireless Internet Card – A device that provides connectivity to a commercial wireless internet service such as Verizon’s Wireless National Broadband. This device is generally used to attach a laptop to the Internet wherever the service is available. The device can be obtained as a PCard that plugs into the PCard slot of a laptop computer, as PC adapter card that installs into a desktop computer, and as a USB-connected stand-alone unit.

POLICY

  1. Ownership and Access
  • The telephone and voice mail systems and infrastructure, are owned by NJCU, and operated and maintained by the Department of Information Technology (IT)
  • Employees may use these systems to conduct university business in accordance with NJCU policies and guidelines.
  • Basic telephone service will be provided by IT as needed. Basic service includes a single-line telephone with an assigned extension, access to the local calling area, and voice mail.
  • The ability to make long distance calls requires approval from the department head and an authorization code provided by the Department of IT.
  • Each department will be given a telecommunications budget based on the average use. These budgets will be reviewed and adjusted, as needed.
  • All telephone charges will be charged back to the department.
  • It is the responsibility of the department head to review these charges and take appropriate action if misuse is discovered.
  • Additional services, upgraded hardware, fax machines, and special purpose telecommunications equipment, and any installation or setup fees for these services will be charged to the requesting department
  • Accepting a University telephone, fax, cell phone, pager and/or voice mail account constitutes an agreement on behalf of the user to abide by University Policy and Guidelines that govern the hardware and/or service.
  1. Telephone and Fax
  • A telephone extension is provided to all employees upon employment. This extension may be accessible from off campus (direct dial) or on campus only, depending on the nature of employee’s responsibilities.
  • Telephone and fax services are for university business. Personal calls should be limited and brief.
  1. Voice Mail
  • Voice mail is provided to all employees upon employment.
  •  Employees are responsible for maintaining their voice mail greeting and processing their voice mail messages in a timely manner.
  • Employees must set a temporary message when out of the office for an extended period of time.
  • In the event of an unexpected or prolonged absence, the department head should contact the University Help Desk to request access in order to change the message.
  1. Cellular Phones and Pagers
  • IT will contract for a set of usage plans, handsets, features and telephone accessories that will serve the needs of most employees. During the period when one or more of these contracts is in force, the University will only purchase cellular telephones or cellular telephone service agreements for employee use on the basis of these contracts, unless a specific exception is granted.
  • Cellular phones and pagers will be issued when there is a compelling reason for an employee to have immediate access to a phone or paging system and when budget is available.
  • An employee may not operate a personal business from a University cell phone.
  • The use of University-owned cellular equipment to make or receive personal calls is discouraged, although it is understood that usage for personal reasons may be necessary in emergency situations.
  1. PDAs and Wireless Internet Services
  • All Vice Presidents will be issued a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)/Cell phone.
  • All other requests for PDAs must be approved by the Divisional Vice President.
  • Wireless Internet service offered as a feature on a cell phone and/or PDA, or as a separate service through a PCard or USB cellular modem is granted with the approval of the Divisional Vice President.

PROCEDURES

  • General
    • The IT Telecommunications Unit will monitor changes in cellular telephone technologies and make recommendations for improvements in the University’s equipment on an as needed basis.
    • User departments will be responsible for coordinating repair of mobile communications equipment with the University Help Desk.
    • Department managers and supervisors are responsible for educating subordinates about appropriate telephone procedures and monitoring their usage.
  • Telephone and Fax
    • Requests for telephones and fax lines, equipment, and additional services must be requested through University Help Desk and approved by the Associate Director of Information Technology, Telecom Unit (who will determine need and provide advice on the most appropriate equipment and plans), and the budget authority for the employee’s department.
  • Cell Phones and Pagers
    • University faculty and staff who are requesting a cell phone for work related purposes must contact the department head. The department head will evaluate the request and, if approved, submit a request through the University Help Desk.
    • Requests for cell phones must be approved by the department manager, who will determine need, and final approval must be provided by the Divisional Vice President. The justification for providing a cell phone to an employee should demonstrate a clear connection to the employee's job responsibilities.
    • The Associate Director of Information Technology, Telecom Unit will secure a cell phone-calling plan. The selection of cell phone calling plans will be based on matching NJCU business use to the least expensive option and modified based on written justification by the employee’s supervisor. Monthly cell phone bills will be received by the Associate Director of Information Technology, Telecom Unit for payment approval.
    • The relationship with cellular providers shall be managed through the IT Telecommunications personnel. IT staff will place all orders for cellular telephones and services with the contracted vendor and take delivery of equipment. IT staff will distribute the equipment to the individual requesting the service and provide training as needed.
    • Monthly billing for cellular services will be processed centrally using NJCU’s chargeback system. Upon request, duplicate detail pages will be sent to the Department Director. Any discrepancies should be communicated to the IT Telecommunications Unit.
    • Use of cell phones for personal use may not be charged to NJCU.
  • PDA’s and Wireless Internet Services
    • Requests for a PDA must be approved by the head of the department and by the Divisional Vice President. If approved, the Department of Information Technology will arrange service and provide technical support.
    • Wireless Internet service must be approved by the head of the department and the Divisional Vice President. Once approved, the Department of Information Technology will arrange service and provide technical support.
  • Voice Mail
    • Additional voice mail services may be requested through the Help Desk. This includes multiple mailbox menus, departmental call distribution menus, and announcement mailboxes.
  • Lost, Stolen, and Damaged Equipment
    • Handsets or other equipment that is damaged in the course of business should be reported to the University Help Desk for replacement or repair.
    • Lost or stolen cellular equipment should be immediately reported to the employee’s supervisor, to the Department of Public Safety, and to the Associate Director of Information Technology, Telecommunications Unit so that the service can be cancelled. All costs incurred for replacement or repair will be the responsibility of the employee’s department.
  • Employment Termination
    Employees, who separate from the University, will:
    • No longer have use of the voice mail, email, cell phone, PDAs, wireless internet cards, or pager systems;
    • Clear existing email, messages and pages;

The University reserves the right to limit or terminate access to telecommunication systems if deemed to be in the best interest of the institution and with the approval of the VP of Administration and Finance. Violations of the use of the University’s telecommunications resources or policies, procedures or rules regarding telecommunications systems may subject the employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination depending upon the severity of the infraction, or legal action

Guidelines

  • Use the following guidelines when requesting telecommunications services.
  • The justification for mobile telephony should demonstrate a clear connection to the user's job responsibilities.
  • Typical rationale for providing a cellular phone supposes that an employee either cannot conduct University business on a land-line telephone or for which it would be inefficient to use a land-line telephone. Cellular phones are generally assigned to employees for whom the nature of their work requires wide mobility and simultaneous access to the public telephone network (i.e., University senior staff, directors, deans, technicians
  • Cellular telephones should not be issued to student workers, contract employees, part-time, temporary personnel, adjunct faculty, or others not having a compelling use for the technology unless specifically requested by the department head.

DATE TO INITIATE REVIEW AND UPDATE
As deemed necessary or appropriate by the Policy Coordinator but at a minimum, at least every 5 years from the date of last review.