Among steps Miami is taking to improve efficiency and decrease expenses is a policy that creates a more balanced system for compensating employees who often use a cell phone in their jobs.
Miami has been providing cell phones and cellular service for employees for several years to enhance communications with them during time away from the office.
With the growth in personal ownership of cell phones, inconsistent reimbursement procedures for personal calls on university phones and the need to reduce spending, university officials have issued an updated policy.
The new cell phone policy will include a stipend system for those who use cell phones extensively for university business and will be phased in by division between July 1 and Dec. 31. Some staff who currently have university-owned phones will not qualify for stipends under the new policy. Officials estimate it will save Miami up to $140,000 annually, with actual savings determined by implementation within each division.
For most employees who use university cell phones, the new policy means the university will no longer purchase cell phones nor provide a monthly service plan, but instead employees may be approved to receive a stipend to cover a portion of their cell phone charges. Miami will continue to fully pay for phones/phone service for a small subset of users in specific departments to cover critical needs; however, fully paid phones may not be used for personal calls.
The amount of the stipend has been determined by reviewing usage patterns and is intended to cover approximately 75 percent of real cost based on comparable plans offered by Miami's office of telecommunications. Eligible individuals will be identified by their supervisors or department heads.
The Policy on Cellular Telephone Service in MUPIM, section 19.6.B, covers all mobile devices, including traditional cell phones, smart phones and other devices that have data plans. The text of the new policy changes is available online at http://www.miami.muohio.edu/documents/secretary/MUPIM.pdf. In addition, more information is available in a list of frequently asked questions below in a PDF file.