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Policies and Procedures

Policy 105 – Personal Use Policy

April 17, 1996
Last Updated
August 24, 2016
Responsible University Officer
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Accounting
Responsible Unit
Office of the Assitant Vice Chanellor for Finance and Accounting

Policy Statement

The use of the University's resources and services for non-official purposes is permitted only in compliance with the following criteria:

  • The cost to the University must be negligible.
  • The use must not interfere with a University employee's obligation to carry out University duties in a timely and effective manner. Time spent engaged in the non-official use of University resources is not considered to be University work time.
  • The use must in no way undermine the use of University resources and services for official purposes.
  • The use neither expresses nor implies sponsorship or endorsement by the University.
  • The use must be consistent with state and federal laws regarding obscenity, libel, or the like, and state and federal laws and University policies regarding political activity, the marketing of products or services, or other inappropriate activities.
  • Users should be aware that internal or external audit or other needs may require examination of uses of University resources or services and should not expect such uses to be free from inspection.

Application: Each case will depend upon the particular circumstances and other important factors such as materiality or reasonableness. The ultimate control, therefore, lies with each employee's supervisor, as that person should have direct knowledge of the behaviors and needs of the individual employee.

Appropriateness of Practices: Employees should consult with their supervisors in advance if they have any questions about appropriateness of certain practices. A supervisor's decision cannot, however, circumvent other policies and procedures of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that may restrict personal use beyond the limitations cited herein. For example, the use of University telephones, fax machines, mail services, and vehicles must comply with existing University policies, and the use of University resources in political activity is prohibited.

Telephones and Fax Machines: Only calls related to University business may be charged to University lines or calling cards. Personal calls may not be billed to University telephone numbers. Personal long distance calls may be made from University telephones only when these calls are placed as credit card, collect, third number (non-University) calls. This telephone policy also applies to the use of University fax machines.

Mail Services: University Mail Services states, "The campus mail system will be used solely for the distribution of U.S. mail delivered to the Campus Mail Center and for intra-University mail, including publications produced by the University or its related units but excluding student publications.” The University mail system will not be used for the distribution of non-University related publications that are designed primarily for free circulation, nor for printed publications containing only advertising or designed primarily for advertising purposes. Use of the campus mail system for real estate advertising, chain letters, or private use for personal advantage is specifically prohibited. Individuals or departments that abuse the campus mail service will, at a minimum, be billed regular first class postage for all copies distributed.

Vehicles: A supervisor also cannot allow the use of a State vehicle that is not in compliance with Motor Pool Policy.

Political Activity: Political activity by University employees is regulated by Federal and State law and University policy. No employee may use University funds, vehicles, equipment, supplies, or other resources in connection with partisan political activities. This includes the use of University electronic resources

Reason for Policy

Public Trust: The University deals constantly with the public's perception of how we conduct the business of the University. All University employees must be constantly mindful of the public trust that we discharge, of the necessity for conducting ourselves with the highest ethical principles, and avoiding any action that may be viewed as a violation of the public trust. As custodians of resources entrusted us by the public, government entities, and private donors, we should always be mindful of how we utilize these resources. As members of a campus community, we should also be mindful of our responsibility to act so that others are not deprived of access to these same resources as they perform their duties. These resources include, but are not limited to, employee's time, facilities, supplies, and equipment, such as telephones, fax machines, and computers.

Accountability: In any business environment, however, accountability must be balanced with a consideration of the needs of employees to carry on normal day-to-day responsibilities related to their personal lives. The complex task of balancing accountability to the State with the life-needs of employees calls for the University to provide direction for managers when weighing these two essential obligations.



Special Situations




Additional Information

Frequently Asked Questions


Related Data



Policy questions Will Tricomi, Office of University Counsel 919-843-5329
Policy questions Office of AVC Finance and Accounting 919-962-7242


August 24, 2016: Updated contact list
February 24, 2010
August 28, 2007