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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

September 10, 2004

Make other plans for personal long-distance calls at work

by Anne Krapfl

Making personal long- distance phone calls from your desk and reimbursing the university when the bill arrives no longer is permitted under a policy change that goes into effect immediately. (See section 2.5 (10), regarding use of ISU phones, in the University Policy Manual, online at

Instead, employees should pay directly for incidental or emergency personal long-distance calls made from the university. Options include:

  • Use a personal cell phone
  • Purchase a prepaid phone card
  • Use a calling card provided by your home long-distance provider
  • Place collect calls
  • Use a pay phone on campus (phones accepting credit cards for long-distance calls are in the library, Hub, Memorial Union, Beardshear and the Memorial Union)

The old system, in which employees reviewed monthly phone statements and reimbursed the university for personal long-distance charges, was labor-intensive and inefficient, said Warren Madden, vice president for business and finance. The university spends an estimated $460,000 annually copying, distributing and using employee time to review telephone bills, primarily so employees pay for personal long-distance calls.

The change removes the language that allowed the call-now, pay-later practice.

Employees who make personal long-distance calls on university phones by error or in emergencies should notify a supervisor and reimburse the expense. While department officials will continue to monitor telephone use, most employees no longer will be required to review their bills.


Iowa State employees no longer may make personal long-distance phone calls from university telephones and reimburse the university when the bill comes.