UC San Diego SearchMenu

Using Cell Phones for UCSD Business

Read the guidelines for the appropriate use of personal and UCSD-issued cell phones.

Note: The information on this page supports the UC-wide requirement for issuing and using cell phones for university business. Your department might have more restrictive guidelines, so please check with your business office.

UCSD-provided cell phones

Departments can provide cell phones to employees for UCSD business. Department heads base their decisions on factors that include an employee's:

  • Frequency and duration of business travel
  • Need to conduct business from off-site or remote locations
  • Need for contact in emergencies or outside typical work hours
  • Frequency of telecommuting

If a UCSD-provided cell phone is required for business purposes, the preferred method is to purchase the phone and service plan through UCSD. See How to Order Cell Phones for specific procedures.

The Express Card can also be used to purchase a UCSD business cell phone through an outside vendor; however, the service plan for the phone must be billed to UCSD.

Usage guidelines:

  • If you use the UCSD-provided cell phone for personal use, limit this to "incidental" use.
  • You must reimburse UCSD for any personal calls that result in noticeable incremental charges.
  • Avoid using the equipment under any circumstances when use might create or appear to create a hazard, including use while operating a motor vehicle. The new California law will not affect the University cell phone policy (PDF).
  • You can use the Express Card to pay for monthly service charges if you didn't purchase the phone through UCSD.

For more information about records retention and responsibilities related to university-owned cell phones, see Using UCSD Cell Phones, PDAs, and Laptops.

Personal Cell Phone Reimbursements

An employee may request reimbursement for the business use of a cell phone or similar device purchased with the employee’s own funds. If the individual incurs additional charges on a calling plan for business calls over the plan limit, the University will reimburse those charges at the excess minute rate, upon receipt of supporting documentation.

Expand all

Unacceptable Reimbursements

No reimbursements shall be made for the following situations:

  • Business calls made within the coverage of the personal calling and/ or data plan.
  • Partial business use on an Internet, fax, messaging, or similar service purchased with an employee’s own funds. 

Acceptable Reimbursements

The following guidelines must be met if you use your personal cell phone for UC San Diego business:

  • Your data charge must be listed as a separate item charge from regular calling plan on your bill.
  • You can be reimbursed for data and texting services only if it's more cost-effective than having UC San Diego issue a data-only device in your name.
  • Your Department must indicate that texting is a business requirement on the reimbursement request.
  • Your cell phone must be issued in your name.
  • You will not be reimbursed for business calls that fall within the regular charges of your calling plan or personal rollover minutes.
  • You will not be reimbursed for personal calls that exceed your contract limit.
  • You will not be reimbursed for cell phone insurance.
  • You can request reimbursement for business calls that result in charges beyond your regular calling plan.

If you have met the above criteria, submit a reimbursement request by submitting a payment request through MyPayments and include an itemized statement identifying each business call.

Expand all