Key Control Policy
Date Enacted or Revised: February 2010; Revised August 2016; March 15, 2022
McNeese State University has developed this Key Control Policy to achieve accountability for all keys to University buildings and/or offices, to provide appropriate security, and to reduce the University’s risk of property loss and other losses. Waiver of any provision of this policy requires the written approval of the University president.
Policy and Procedures
It is the responsibility of the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations to oversee the University’s key control plan. The following policies and procedures are to be followed.
The term key(s) is to be used interchangeably with other means of access control such as swipe cards, proximity cards, and/or biometric entry.
Key Issuance to University Employees
Keys will only be issued to McNeese State University employees with documented approval of the employee’s department head or other appropriate supervisor.
Documentation of supervisory approval of the Key Request Form, along with other required information on the Key Request Form, will be forwarded to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations, which will review and approve the key(s) to be produced if there are no other questions or concerns.
Once the requested key(s) are produced, the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations will notify the key requestor that keys are available for pick-up.
To take possession of the key(s), the requestor must perform the following:
- Present valid identification to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations in the form of a driver’s license or a McNeese ID card.
- Read and agree to the terms and conditions of the McNeese State University Key Agreement and sign the Key Agreement in person at the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations.
Employees shall not loan, transfer, or give possession of keys to another person, nor may the employee modify or alter keys in any way. Further, employees are absolutely prohibited from duplicating keys.
The issuance of duplicate keys to the same individual is strongly discouraged, and by documented exception only. If more than one key is deemed necessary to be issued to the same individual, the request must be accompanied by a justification approved by a supervising director, dean or higher level position, where appropriate.
Each key request generates a new key agreement. Multiple releases of a single key to a department are tracked on a single key agreement, which must be signed by the supervising dean, director/department head, or an equivalent supervisor, where applicable.
Campus grandmaster keys shall not be specifically issued to anyone and are only utilized by emergency personnel in extreme emergency situations.
Return of Keys
- When an employee leaves the University, the departing employee must return all keys to the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment as part of the employee exiting process. This must be done before the employee receives full clearance from the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment for a release of his/her final paycheck. Employees should never turn over their keys to their supervisor, coworker, or the employee taking their place. Departing employees who have signed a key agreement will be assessed $25 for each unreturned key, and the amount will be deducted from the departing employee’s final paycheck.
- The process for departing employees is as follows:
- When the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment receives notification of a departing employee, the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment shall request, and the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall provide, the employee’s signed key agreement for use in the employee’s exiting process.
- During the employee exiting process, the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment shall take custody of keys from the employee and indicate keys received in the HR section of the Exit Checkout Form for Supervisors.
- If a key or keys reflected as issued on the key agreement are not returned by a departing employee, the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment shall document the unreturned keys on the key agreement and on the Exit Checkout Form for Supervisors and report to the departing employee’s immediate supervisor that the keys have not been returned. If the employee had not notified the supervisor in writing in a timely manner so that security adjustments could be arranged, and the employee has signed a key agreement, a charge of $25 will be assessed the departing employee for each unreturned key. The assessment will be deducted from the departing employee’s final paycheck.
- The Office of Human Resources and Student Employment shall provide a copy of the signed key agreement indicating returned and unreturned keys to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations for its records.
- If an individual is still employed by the University, and the employee transfers to a different office or building, the employee must return the key(s) of his/her previous department to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations. After keys are returned, the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall indicate on the key agreement that the employee has returned keys, and the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall provide a copy to the employee for the employee’s records. Employees should ensure that they have received this documentation as this is the official record that the employee is no longer responsible for the keys.
- If an employee has been placed on administrative leave, the employee shall surrender key(s) to the Office of Human Resources and Student Employment before the employee departs campus to begin administrative leave.
- If an employee has no further use for a key, to be relieved of responsibility for the key, the employee should return the key to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations.
Key/Access Control Records
The Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall maintain the following:
- A current record of key agreements that document keys issued to employees and keys returned by departing employees.
- A current computer database specifically identifying keys created, keys issued, and keys returned, including serial number identification, to aid in key inventory control, accounting, and tracking.
- Documentation of the annual key physical inventory.
Procedures for Key Duplication or Replacement
- Individuals who have lost their key(s) shall notify their supervisor within 48 hours and ask their supervisor to authorize new key(s) to be cut by filling out a new Key Request Form.
- If an employee suspects that their keys have been stolen, they shall immediately notify University Police and their immediate supervisor.
- When keys are discovered missing, the department head or unit director and the department head’s or unit head’s supervisor, after consultation with the University Police chief and the director of facilities and plant operations, shall have the responsibility for assessing the level of compromised security and must decide whether locks should be rekeyed to protect employees and property. The department, through its budget, shall bear all costs of replacing all keys, and lockset cores if necessary, to reduce security risks. This may include reissuance of keys to other occupants of the office or building. Upon request by the department, the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall acquire the necessary supplies and equipment, assist the department in implementing the necessary key and lock changes, and shall interdepartmentally bill the department for actual costs.
Charges for Replacing Keys
Keys are specifically created with varying levels of access and may contain varying levels of security. An individual key may only control an individual office or may control multiple offices or a building. Depending on the key lost or stolen, a lost key may cause a minor security concern or potentially a major security breach. Depending on the key, fees assessed to departments for lost or stolen keys may range from a minimum of $25 to several thousand dollars.
Damaged, worn, or broken keys (both parts), if brought to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations, will be replaced at no charge.
Key Release to University Students
Key(s) may be authorized for students who are leaders of an officially recognized student organization when the organization’s office is housed in a University building. The University department head or sponsor of the organization must grant written approval to release a key to a student by completing a Key Request Form and shall assume joint responsibility for the key. Both the student and sponsoring employee must read and sign a Student Key Agreement Form at the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations. The department head or sponsor who has co-signed the Student Key Agreement Form with the student shall collect the key from the student when the student no longer has a business need for the key, and the department head or sponsor shall return the key to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations.
Except for extraordinary circumstances, students, including graduate assistants, not meeting the criteria of the preceding paragraph should not be granted possession of a key to a University facility. If a University employee wishes to provide a student with a key, that employee or department will assume the full responsibility for doing so, including financial charges associated with keys not returned.
Annual Physical Inventory of Keys
The Office of Facilities and Plant Operations shall coordinate a physical inventory of issued keys annually. As part of the inventory process, key holders shall inspect their physical keys and record the key identification numbers of the physical keys on the Annual Key Inventory form. If an employee possesses or finds a physical key that is not listed on the key agreement, the employee shall record the key ID number on the Annual Key Inventory Form. Employees should return unneeded keys to the Office of Facilities and Plant Operations.
This policy is distributed via the Administrative Advisory Council and the University Policies webpage.