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Building Access Procedures and Guidelines

General Statement

The University of Northern Iowa is actively concerned for the safety of all UNI faculty, staff and students on campus. Safety is best achieved when members of the campus community work together to promote a safe environment. The following provides guidelines for access to UNI buildings. It is intended to promote discussion and share responsibility in providing safe access to academic and administrative buildings on campus. Auxiliary units or programs designated with responsibility to run specific facilities are responsible for having written guidelines and procedures that address access, safety and security.

Office Location                                                                            Office Hours

UNI Facilities Management                                                                                    Monday - Friday
Physical Plant Building                                                                                             6:00 am to 5:00 pm
1801 W 31st St                                                                                                          (6:00 am to 4:30 pm Summer Hours)
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0189
319-273-4400
 

Keys & Locks

Keys are distributed on campus according to the terms listed below. The term key or keys refers to mechanical keys and electronic keys. All keys remain the property of the University. Reproduction of a university key is forbidden.

Access/Key Requests

Access/Key request for individual faculty, staff, and students must be done on an Access/ Key Request Form and approved by a department head or appointed authorized contact.

Request for replacement keys to individuals, require the approval of the dean, director or vice president. Certain special orders will require the consideration of Physical Plant Director and the approval of the Vice President for Administration and Finance before being accepted.

All student (graduate and undergraduate) and student employee key & access requests are granted for up to a year, and due back on May 15th, or upon the student's graduation, whichever occurs first. A request for an extension from the current due date will be accepted starting on May 1st of each year. Please choose extension request to complete.

All key & access requests require adequate justification, which will be explained on the key request form. Students may request their own keys, however the requests must be approved by the designated departmental staff member.

Additionally, the key holder is responsible for any fines associated with keys checked out to them. Fines are not to be paid by the department or with university funds. The key holder may have the fine charged to their U-Bill, payroll deducted, or pay with check or cash.

There is no key deposit. All access/key requests must be forwarded to the Physical Plant Facilities Access Office (0189) 48 hours prior to the desired issue date.

Departments that have special access or key control requirements may need to establish internal procedures to meet those requirements (e.g. Public Safety, Physical Plant, Health Center Pharmacy, ITS, etc.). The Physical Plant has the authority to review any special needs before proceeding, or to refuse the issue of access or a key if guidelines are not met.

Key exchanges and reproduction of keys are not permitted.

Affiliates of the University or contractors need to be set-up in our systems prior to getting a UNI ID card. Please complete an Affilliate/Contractor Form and send to PHPworkorders@uni.edu, along with the contact person that will be requesting access/keys.

Summary Page of Request

Shows a list of all the access/key request that were submitted by the creator.  This information is very beneficial to the creator of the form, since it shows the status of each request made.

Pending: Still waiting for approval from the supervisor of the individual needing the access or key.

Approved: Was approved by the supervisor, waiting on key shop office to process request.

Locksmith: The request is currently being processed.

Denied/Rejected/Cancelled: See notes in the reject reason box to understand why the request was denied, rejected, or cancelled.

Processed: The keys are ready for pickup or have been picked up from the Physical Plant Facilities Access office and electronic access activated.

Click on this link to see your summary list. 

Key Pickup

The key requestor will be contacted when the key is ready. Keys may be picked up at the center east entrance to the Physical Plant. The issuant will be required to sign a Key Agreement stating they will be responsible for their key(s). All individuals picking up keys must have some form of photo identification.

Electronic access is provided through the University's ID card. The requester will be notified when access has been granted to them via their UNI email.

Returning Keys

Individuals leaving the university, or transferring to another department, must return keys to the Physical Plant. The individual will receive a receipt indicating the keys that have been returned and the Physical Plant Facilities Access office will notify the department when keys are issued or returned. The Public Safety Department will be notified if individuals who are leaving have not returned their keys. If a student does not return keys, transcripts or registration will be held until the keys are returned.

A department head can have the individual leaving turn in their key(s) to the department.  We recommend the department contact the Physical Plant Facilities Access office to get an up-to-date list of the individual’s key(s).  It is the department head’s responsibility to provide a key return receipt to the individual as prove of the key(s) returned. The key(s) must then be returned to the Physical Plant – Facilities Access Office within 2 business days, along with a copy of the key receipt.

Lost Keys

The Public Safety Department, Physical Plant Facilities Access Office, and the appropriate Building Coordinator and department head should be notified immediately when an employee has lost his/her keys. A charge will be assessed for EACH lost key prior to the issuance of a new key. The replacement process is the same as outlined in "How to Request Keys", but requires the signature of the dean, director, or vice president. Replacement charges will be assessed for each lost key and must be paid before a replacement key will be issued. The key holder is responsible for any fines associated with keys checked out to them. Fines are not to be paid by the department or with university funds. The key holder may have the fine charged to their U-Bill, payroll deducted, or pay with check or cash. Additional charges could be imposed if re-keying or reprogramming is required. The Building Coordinator and department head will be responsible for assisting with return/collection or payment of the fine.

Employee Absence

When employees are going to be absent for more than four weeks through phased retirement absences, FMLA leave, or other reasons, university keys must be turned into the Facilities Access Office before leaving.  Key shop will hold their keys until the employee returns back to work. 

Supervisors should also make sure to contact the Facilities Access Office to deactivate electronic access during the leave period.

Key Audits

Each year, the Physical Plant - Facilities Access Office will initiate key audits by providing department heads with a list of keys issued to their department.  The department and the individuals must verify that all keys are secured and accounted for.  Extra keys can be returned at any time to the Physical Plant Facilities Access Office.  Departments can request a key audit list at any time by contacting the Facilities Access Office.  Any inaccuracies between the Physical Plant - Facilities Access Office and the actual inventory, will be reviewed, then reconciled. Additional keys will not be issued to the department or individuals until the audit report is completed. Department heads are the only employees issued multiple keys for the same area.  Keys are university property and the Facilities Access Office can ask you to return your keys at any time.  Key logs can be audited by Physical Plant anytime throughout the year to ensure the security of UNI.

When a departmental key audit occurs, Physical Plant will provide to the department a report of keys issued to each employee.  This report will include all departmental keys.  Department responsibilities include verifying all employees are included in the report, informing Physical Plant of any discrepancies, ensuring key logs are up-to-date, and unused keys are returned.  Physical Plant staff will schedule an on-site audit to review/resolve discrepancies and to add stamped serial numbers to keys.  Employees may be asked to sign new key agreement to resolve discrepancies.  At the completion of the audit, the department will be provided with an updated report of keys issued.

Key Logs

Key Logs are required for departmental keys that are loaned on a temporary basis.  All department heads are responsible for the keys checked out to them. Keys must be secure at all times. The key log sheet must be maintained to track all keys that are issued to the department.  If key logs are not maintained, indicating lack of need for the key, the departmental key may be recalled.  Additional keys will not be issued to the department or the individual if any key(s) are not accounted for. The individual(s) that checked out any lost key(s) will be responsible for the replacement fine.

Transfer Keys

Physical Plant - Facilities Access Office will not transfer individual or departmental keys from one person to another.  All keys must be returned to the Physical Plant - Facilities Access Office immediately after an employee transfers departments or leaves the university.  When a new employee starts, an Access/Key Request form must be filled out and approved to receive keys. All keys checked out must have a key agreement on file.

Lock Change Requests

Lock change requests are placed through a FAMIS Service Request. Requests for lock changes are reviewed and discussed with the requesting party, building coordinator and department head before the change is made. Access/ Key Request Form for the individuals affected should be sent to mail code 0189.

A thorough review of the area affected by the lock change is completed before the change is made to avoid compromising anyone who may need access to the area. In certain cases of security, a special series lock can be installed. These requests are limited and must have the approval of the Vice President of Administration and Finance before proceeding.

All lock change requests are subject to refusal when the change impacts access by maintenance personnel or campus police.

Cabinet Key Requests

Cabinet key requests are placed through a FAMIS Service Request.

In your request include the department name, deliver to address and name of the person making the request. Enter the quantity of keys and a description of the key or cabinet along with the account number that should be charged for the key material and labor.

Cabinet keys are not assigned to individual employees. They are assigned to the department.

Non-Responsive Electronic Keys

Non-responsive electronic keys will be replaced at no charge. Notify the Physical Plant Facilities Access Office to arrange for an electronic key exchange.

Appointed Authorized Contact

The Appointed Authorized Contact form is used to appoint a person in your department to authorize building access. The appointee can be responsible for requesting and removing card access, making building schedule change requests and reporting system problems.

Building Hours

Standard open hours for academic and administrative buildings are Monday through Thursday 7am-10pm; Friday, 7am-5:30pm. These buildings normally will be closed during weekends and university holidays.

Standard open hours for academic and administrative buildings when classes are not in session are Monday through Friday 7am-5:30pm and closed weekends and university holidays.

Buildings may also be closed at other days/times when the university is unexpectedly closed or all classes cancelled (i.e. closed due to weather) based on the time of day of the university closure.

Operating hours for auxiliary units or programs with designated responsibility to run specific facilities are to be determined by each area, with approval by their respective supervisors.

Building Hours Change Form

Process of Request

Shows a list of all the building hours change request that were submitted by the creator.  This information is very beneficial to the creator of the form, since it shows the status of each request made.

Pending: Still waiting for approval from the supervisor of the individual needing the building hours change.

Approved: Was approved by the supervisor, waiting on the Physical Plant and/or Energy Management office to process request.

Locksmith: The request is currently being processed.

Denied/Rejected/Cancelled: See notes in the reject reason box to understand why the request was denied, rejected, or cancelled.

Processed: The request for the change in the building hours has been made.

Click on this link to see your summary list.

Approval and Handling of Requests for Non-Standard and Special Building Hours

Requests for permanent changes to standard operating hours should be submitted to the appropriate dean or vice president.

Requests for temporary exceptions to standard operating hours should be submitted to the point of contact identified for the specific building.

Evaluation of such requests should consider:

  • Is another facility open to allow for the same function to occur? Minimizing the number and hours of open buildings allows conservation of energy and financial resources.
  • Are others on campus at the proposed time and place? Consider what student safety issues may be germane if the proposed access is allowed.
  • How can student and staff safety be assured if access is granted? It is strongly recommended that any areas with extended, non-standard operating hours create a safety plan in consultation with UNI Police.

In order to ensure proper heating, cooling, ventilation and appropriate locking/unlocking schedules, approved changes to a building’s standard operating hours should be modified using the Building Hour Change Form. It is also suggested that all department heads within the facility be notified of any substantive changes.

The University Registrar may adjust standard building hours to accommodate requests for specific classes or activities. Any changes initiated by the Registrar shall be sent to UNI Police, Physical Plant, and the specified building contact person.

To request a change in your building's hours for special events please fill out the Building Hour Change Form.

Requests for after-hours access

Faculty and staff (including graduate assistants) who are issued keys or electronic access may enter facilities at their discretion. Others (i.e. student employees, assistants, etc.) issued keys may enter facilities based on the parameters of their identified responsibilities. Individuals in buildings after hours may be asked to show their university identification.

After-hours access for students is at the discretion of the appropriate building contact who is also responsible for notifying UNI Police and Physical Plant of such decisions.

Students who are allowed access to specialized areas in UNI academic buildings must follow established safety guidelines for those areas. Specialized areas are understood to include science labs (research and teaching), art and theatre production areas, machine shops, studios, practice rooms/rehearsal spaces and other areas where specialized equipment or materials are kept. Department heads are responsible for making sure that faculty, staff and students are aware of the safety guidelines for the specialized areas in their buildings.

As a general practice University Police will not provide after-hours access.

After a building is closed, no door shall be blocked open. Nor will any individual not approved for access be admitted to the building.  

Electronic Access System Procedures

Access and Use

    1. Only authorized personnel, as determined by this policy and authorized by the Physical Plant Director and Administration and Finance Technology Services Director, will be involved in, or have access to electronic access data.
    2. Access to the software for programming, assigning access levels, and scheduling doors shall be limited to Physical Plant Facilities Access staff, AFTS staff, and the Assistant Director of Residence/Technology. 
    3. University Police will have access to all electronic access data from the Department of Public Safety office location.
    4. When an incident is suspected to have occurred, only authorized personnel may review the reports from the electronic access system.  
    5. In general, the University will not permit either the installation or use of electronic access as a tool to monitor routine performance or management issues involving University personnel.

Device Procurement, Installation, and Maintenance

  1. The installation of new electronic access, their locations, and purpose must be approved in advance by the Physical Plant Facilities Access staff. A request for electronic access installations should be submitted via a FAMIS service request.   
  2. All electronic locks must connect to the University’s centralized electronic access system, in accordance with University product, installation, maintenance, and support standards.
  3. All costs associated with the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the system will be the responsibility of the requesting department.