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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

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Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 5010: Key Authorization

Date Originally Issued: 05-08-1998
Revised: 10-16-1998, 08-01-2006

Authorized by Regents' Policy 7.9 "Property Management"

1. General

Security of University buildings and rooms is essential for the protection of individuals and University assets. To ensure security, University Lock Shops are responsible for issuing keys and installing and maintaining locks for University facilities, vehicles, and equipment. For the purposes of this policy the term Lock Shop shall include the University Industrial Security Department (ISD) which is responsible for issuing keys for the Science and Technology Park and ensuring their return. Keys for the Science and Technology Park are subject to all the restrictions of this policy unless otherwise stated in Section 8. herein. All keys issued remain the property of The University of New Mexico. Keys for University facilities cannot be produced, duplicated, or obtained from any source other than University Lock Shops. Unless otherwise stated in this policy, the term "key" includes electronic key cards.

Unauthorized possession, use, or reproduction of a University key may constitute theft or misappropriation of University property. In such case, the individual(s) involved will be prosecuted (30-14-2 NMSA 1978). Any employee who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

2. Assignment of Keys

Lock Shops may issue keys to authorized faculty, staff, and students. Student employees must provide proof of their titles and normally will be issued a key only for the room they are authorized to occupy. Employees will not be issued more than one (1) key with the same number.

The Director of the Physical Plant may authorize Lock Shops to issue keys to non University employees who work for organizations affiliated with the University, including vendors, contractors, and consultants doing business with the University. Non-employees issued keys are subject to the same requirements as employees.

2.1. Department Authorization

Vice presidents, deans, assistant deans, directors, and department heads are responsible for determining which employees are issued keys. This authorization may not be delegated to a subordinate. These administrators should use good judgment when determining who needs keys. Keys should be issued only to individuals who have a legitimate need for a key. Master and sub-master keys are normally issued only to individuals who need access to buildings outside of regular building hours and special care should be taken when assigning these keys to students. Keys should not be authorized for on-call or temporary employees except under unusual circumstances.

Vice presidents, deans, assistant deans, directors, and department heads may authorize keys only for their department and are responsible for informing employees of their responsibilities as stated in Section 2.3. herein. Administrators authorized to sign key authorization cards must have a signature card on file with the appropriate Lock Shop. This allows the Lock Shop to verify signatures on authorization cards. Rubber stamped signatures will not be accepted.

2.2. Authorization Card

To obtain a key, employees must take an authorization card to the appropriate Lock Shop. A separate authorization card, containing original signatures, is required for each key issued. Authorization cards with changes on them will not be accepted. Keys cannot be authorized by telephone. Employees must show the Lock Shop University identification and photo identification when picking up a key.

2.3. Individual Assigned Key(s) and Key/Access Card(s)

Employees may use University keys and key access cards for access to their assigned work areas and should lock doors when leaving their work area. Employees must ensure that keys and key codes are safeguarded and properly used. Keys must be returned to the Lock Shop in accordance with Section 3. herein. Employees may not lend or exchange an assigned key or key code.

2.4. Residence Hall Keys

Keys to residence halls and student family housing are subject to applicable sections of this policy and the administrative procedures of the University Housing and Food Services Department. Keys and locks to residence hall facilities, student family apartments, and service areas of the Housing and Food Services Department are maintained by an in-house locksmith who works closely with the Lock Shops. Lost or stolen keys must be reported to the information desk at the residence hall or the student family housing office. The person assigned the key will be charged for re-keying:

  • if the person cannot locate lost keys after a reasonable time, or
  • if keys are not turned in when checking-out or changing residence.

Re-keying charges are published by the Housing and Food Services Department.

3. Key Return

Employees must return keys to the appropriate Lock Shop when:

  • the keys are no longer needed;
  • the employee is reassigned;
  • a supervisor requests the keys be returned; or
  • the keys are unusable due to re-keying or remodeling.

New or replacement keys will not be issued to an employee until unused keys are returned or a lost key fee has been paid as stated in Section 4.1. herein.

When there is a disciplinary problem, where a supervisor has reason to believe that the employee will not return the assigned key to the Lock Shop, the supervisor may request the employee to surrender the assigned key(s) to the supervisor. The supervisor must give a receipt to the employee. The supervisor should return the employee's assigned key(s) with a copy of the receipt to the Lock Shop within one (1) working day.

Employees on extended leave, such as summer vacation or sabbatical leave, are encouraged to turn keys into the Lock Shop and have the keys reissued upon return.

3.1. Separation of Employment

3.1.1. Staff Employees

When a staff employee leaves the University, the employee will return his or her key to the appropriate Lock Shop and turn in a signed Termination Check-Off List to the University Payroll Department. For a copy of the Check-Off List refer to "Separation of Employment" Policy 3225, UBP.

3.1.2. Faculty - Main Campus

The University Faculty Contracts Office will notify the Payroll Department of a faculty employee's separation of employment. The departing faculty member must return his or her keys to the Lock Shop and turn in a signed Faculty Termination Checklist to the Payroll Department. Faculty should contact the Faculty Contracts Office for a Faculty Termination Checklist form.

3.1.3. Faculty - Health Sciences Center

A departing faculty member must return all assigned keys to the Lock Shop in the Health Sciences Center and turn in a signed Faculty Termination Checklist to the Personnel Office in the Health Sciences Center. Faculty should contact the Health Sciences Administration Office for a Faculty Termination Checklist form.

3.1.4. University Hospital Employees - Health Sciences Center

A departing hospital employee must return all assigned keys to the Lock Shop in the Health Sciences Center and take a receipt to the Hospital Personnel office. The Hospital personnel office will verify that hospital employees separating from the University have returned all assigned keys.

3.1.5. Check-Off Lists

Check-off lists enable the Payroll Department to verify that keys are returned. If an employee separates from the University without returning assigned keys, a lost key fee of $10.00 for each individual key and $25.00 for each master key may be deducted from the employee's last paycheck. If the fee is not withheld from the employee's last paycheck, the University has the right to pursue collection of the fee(s).

3.2. Students and Student Employees

Students must return all assigned keys to the Lock Shop at the end of each spring semester and upon withdrawal, transfer, or graduation. Departments are responsible for ensuring that students return their keys. If a department believes a student has not returned a key, it should inform the Lock Shop immediately. If a student needs to retain his or her key for the summer, the cognizant dean or director must send written authorization to the Lock Shop before the end of the spring semester. Students who do not return keys will not be allowed to register for classes or receive their transcripts and/or diplomas.

4. Facility Security

4.1. Lost or Stolen Keys

Anyone finding a key should turn it into the Lock Shop. Employees must report lost or stolen keys to the appropriate vice president, dean, assistant dean, director, or department head and the University Police Department immediately.

In the event a key is lost, the employee responsible for the key must pay a fee to the University Cashiers Department. A department may not pay or waive this fee for the employee. There is a $10.00 fee for each individual key and a $25.00 fee each master key. The cost of replacing electronic key cards will be determined by the department that is responsible for the purchase of key cards. These fees will be refunded if the employee finds the lost or stolen key and returns the key(s) to the appropriate Lock Shop. There is no fee if a key(s) is stolen and a police report is provided to the Lock Shop; however, anyone filing a false policy report will be subject to discipline and/or criminal charges.

To obtain a replacement key an employee must bring a receipt for payment of the fee, a new authorization card, and a copy of the police report to the Lock Shop. Employees must show the Lock Shop University identification and photo identification. If the key is not to be reissued, the employee must bring a receipt for payment of the fee and a police report to the Lock Shop.

4.2. Re-keying

When a key is lost or stolen, the vice president, dean, assistant dean, director, or department head is responsible for deciding whether to re-key an area. If the area is not re-keyed, security may be compromised which could affect insurance coverage for any property reported missing in the future.

4.3. Installation of Locks

University Lock Shops must approve the installation of locks on University buildings. Private locks may not be used on University buildings. Departments will be charged for locks installed, removed, or re-keyed during a remodeling project.

5. Vehicle and Equipment Keys

5.1. Vehicle Keys

Vice presidents, deans, assistant deans, directors, department heads, or administrative coordinators may request a vehicle key from the University Automotive Center. Departments will be charged for vehicle keys.

5.2. Equipment Keys

If departments choose, they may request keys to University equipment, such as desks, file cabinets, or lab benches from the Lock Shops. The signed key authorization card must include the key number from the lock. If re-keying is necessary, departments will be charged for re-keying locks on equipment.

6. University Key Fees

6.1. Lost or Stolen Keys

These fees are discussed in Section 4.1., herein.

6.2. Broken Keys

Broken keys will be replaced without charge if all the broken parts are returned to the appropriate Lock Shop.

6.3. Deposits

Any $1.00 key deposits currently held by the University will be refunded to employees upon separation from the University and return of the applicable key(s).

6.4. Contractors

There is a $25.00 fee per key for all outside contractors performing duties on campus. The Director of the Physical Plant may waive this fee for continuous service providers; such as the Veteran's Administration. The fee will be refunded when keys are returned to the appropriate Lock Shop at the completion of duties. The department contracting with the outside contractor shall verify that keys have been returned to the Lock Shop before authorizing final payment. The University Facility Planning Department shall verify that construction contractors have returned keys before authorizing final payment. The cost of re-keying may be withheld from the University's final payment for those outside contractors who do not return University keys.

7. Electronic Key Card Security Systems

Departments may decide to install an electronic security system for the protection of specialized facilities, such as biomedical research facilities, telecommunication facilities, animal research facilities, or computer rooms, etc. The purchase and installation of such systems must be approved and coordinated with the Physical Plant Department and the campus Police Department. The Physical Plant Department and the campus Police Department will ensure compliance with safety and security requirements, including the provisions of this policy.

8. Science and Technology Park

The University Industrial Security Department (ISD), located at 801 University Blvd., Suite 300, is responsible for issuing and monitoring keys and key/access cards for facilities located in the Science and Technology Park. Only ISD may issue keys and approve locks on buildings in the Park. In addition to University employees and students, keys may be issued to employees of the Science and Technology Corporation and tenants leasing space in the Park. These individuals are subject to all the requirements listed in this policy with the following additions.

8.1. Key and Access Card Authorization

Senior management of organizations leasing space in the Science and Technology Park must authorize keys and key/access cards for the leased space under the provision of Section 2. herein. Authorization sheets are used instead of authorization cards. Authorized individuals will have access capability added to their Lobo Card. Individuals who do not have a Lobo Card (e.g. tenants) will be issued a white access card. Access cards will be returned to ISD when they are no longer needed or the individual is not longer authorized building access.

8.2. Lost or Stolen Science and Technology Park Keys

Anyone finding a key for the Science and Technology Park should turn it in to ISD. Individuals must report lost or stolen keys to ISD and the appropriate vice president, dean, assistant dean, director, or department head or tenant senior management. The individual responsible for the key or card must complete a lost key report at ISD. The report will be forwarded to Campus Police. The individual must also pay a lost key fee to the ISD. There is a $10.00 fee for each individual key and a $25.00 fee each master key. The cost of replacing electronic key cards will be determined by ISD. The fee will be refunded if the individual finds the lost key and returns the key to ISD. To obtain a replacement key, the individual must pay the fee to ISD and show photo identification. If the key is not to be reissued, the individual is still required to pay the fee to ISD. There is no fee if a key is stolen and a police report is provided to ISD; however, anyone filing a false police report will be subject to discipline and/or criminal charges.

A lost key, especially a master key, will require an evaluation by ISD to determine if security has been compromised and re-keying is required. Re-keying deposits may be included in the lease agreement. The cost of re-keying will normally be paid by the tenant. University employees must pay the lost key fee but are not responsible for the cost of re-keying.

9. Emergencies

In cases of emergencies, employees can enter a building and/or office by contacting the campus Police Department. The Lock Shop will not open locked doors.

10. Exceptions

Any exceptions to this policy must be approved in writing by the Executive Vice President for AdministrationWhen requesting an exception, the vice president, dean, assistant dean, director, or department head should include department procedures designed to ensure key security. The dean, assistant dean, director, or department head will take a copy of the approved procedure to the appropriate Lock Shop to obtain a key.