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University Policy 73

Use of Telephone and Voice Mail Service during Regular Business Hours

Initially approved: September 25, 2000
Revised March 12, 2001

Policy Topic: Business Administration and Auxiliary Services
Administering Office: Cat Card Office

All department/unit telephone numbers (7xxx lines) shall be answered by a live person during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. weekdays).

This university policy is conditioned by State statute, an executive order by the Governor, and University policy. Senate Bill 531 states in part: "While automated telephone systems and voice mail are intended to improve the efficiency of government, the first duty of government is to serve the people, and efficiency should not impede the average citizen in attempting to contact a State agency for service or information." Further, the Governor has directed that phones at cabinet agencies shall be answered by a person.

In light of the above policy, university policy concerning the use of voice mail includes the following provisions:

  1. Voice mail may not be used to answer a 7xxx telephone line during regular business hours. The only exception to this policy is student organization office numbers.
  2. Voice mail may be used to answer any 7xxx telephone numbers during non-business hours. (Exception: emergency numbers.)
  3. Voice mail may be utilized to answer calls to individual employees' intercom telephone numbers (2xxx or 3xxx) during either regular business or non-business hours.
  4. When voice mail is used to answer published intercom numbers (2xxx or 3xxx) during regular business hours, an escape must be provided for callers to reach a live person by pressing "0".

In order to implement the above policy fully, each department/unit should insure that the following guidelines are followed:

  1. In the event that an office is unable to answer their 7xxx lines during regular business hours, they should make arrangements with another office to have their calls forwarded.
  2. For all incoming calls to a 7xxx line, no transfer should be made to an intercom line (2xxx or 3xxx) before determining if someone answers that line. If not, the determination should then be made as to whether the caller would like to leave a voicemail message or whether someone else in the office might assist them.

Callers who experience the use of voice mail where prohibited by the above policy are encouraged to notify the Cat Card Office.

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