Business cell phones


The UW Medicine Device Use and Allowance Policy provides for the use of UW-funded devices or stipends for business purposes only. Personal cell phone expenses are not allowed to be charged to any University funds, even if an employee has full intentions to reimburse the University.

Who can purchase a business cell phone?

UW Issued Devices: UW entities, such as a department or division, may purchase cell phones and pay for the monthly usage cost of the phone. The cell phone can be assigned to an individual and use of the device must be limited to business use. 

Personally Owned Devices: If you use your personal cell phone or other mobile device for business purposes, administrators and department heads may choose to provide a taxable, monthly allowance to be paid to you as an offset for the business use of your personally owned device.

While permitted by UW Policy, approval of a UW-issued cell phone to an individual or payment of a stipend as described above will be granted only in rare and limited circumstance. In order for a department/division to request a phone, they must demonstrate that accessibility through a mobile device is a required element of an employee’s position. Additionally, at least one of the following must be true:

  • Your position requires frequent international travel
  • You primarily work away from your office and a mobile device is the primary means of communication
  • The cell phone is intended for use within a business unit or clinical service by multiple people and is not assigned to an individual
  • The cell phone is allowable as a direct expense under the terms and conditions of a sponsored award for the purposes of the sponsored award

How do I request a business cell phone?

Ask your division to have a cell phone be issued to you or to request a stipend for payment of costs on a personal cell phone. This should be done in writing, such as email, and should include a justification for the need of a cell phone, using one of the above criteria. Your division will prepare the appropriate paperwork for the request and submit the request for approval to the division head. It will then be sent to the department for approval of the chair and School of Medicine CFO.  If all approvals are received, the division will be notified to proceed with the purchase of the cell phone.

What do I do if my business cell phone is lost or stolen?

If a UW issued cell phone is lost or stolen, notify your division immediately so they can contact the vendor and request that the account be suspended. The division should also contact the appropriate police agency, depending on whether the cell phone was lost or stolen on campus or off campus.

Personal cell phones


Special discounts and benefits are offered by most major carriers. Discounts range from 15% - 18% and are available to employees of the University and affiliated organizations. Visit the UW IT Connect site for more information and to view specific discounts by vendor.