Mobile Computing Device


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for the appropriate purchase and usage of Mobile Computing Devices [Laptops, Cell Phones, Netbooks, Tablets PC’s (HP EliteBook 2740p), Tablet Slates/Pads (iPads), and PDA/SMART phones (phones with data/network connectivity capabilities)].


The policy sets standards for the purchase, operation, and support of Mobile Computing Devices for Azusa Pacific University employees. This includes any type of portable or handheld computing device capable of transmitting packet data either directly (through APU’s wireless network) or via connection to another network service (e.g. WiFi hotspot or cellular service).


The Information Technologies (IT) department strives to provide the best customer service possible to all members of the university community. However, some services are not always a necessity for certain job descriptions and/or duties that are required. Information Technology (IT) has responsibility for specifying requirements for mobile computing devices used at APU. IT’s responsibility to provide stewardship guidelines, manage University risk and assess the impact these devices can have on the operation of APU’s infrastructure or the information stored therein. It will also allow IT to properly support and maintain these devices.


Department Cell Phones:

The use, purchase and replacement of cell phone are governed by the “Voice Communications Devices” policy and the Cell Phone Allowance Policy.

Laptops/Notebooks/Tablet PCs

In APU’s context, a laptop functions as a replacement to a desktop computer which provides the added functionality of wireless networking capability for increased connectivity and greater mobility. Purchase and replacement of laptops are governed by the “Computer Refresh Policy and Procedure”.

Tablet PCs

A Tablet PC is a portable computer that optionally uses a touchscreen for input that includes a stylus (digitizer pen) for handwriting recognition and also includes a keyboard and touchpad (mouse).


A Netbook is similar to a Notebook but is smaller, lighter, less powerful and its purpose is to be primarily used with web based software as opposed to native software installed on a computer (i.e. Microsoft Office). A Netbook may be purchased in conjunction with a desktop computer to replace a laptop, but should not be used as a primary computer due to physical and software constraints. The purchase and replacement of a Netbook and desktop are governed by the “Computer Refresh Policy and Procedure”.

Tablet Slates/Pads

Tablets also known as slates or pads use virtual keyboards on touch sensitive screens as the primary interface method.  Examples of Tablet Slates/Pads include iPad, Xoom, G-Slate, Galaxy Tab, etc.

Personal PDA/Smart Phones

A PDA/Smart Phone, is a combination of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)  and a cell phone, allowing for network connectivity capabilities. The network connectivity capabilities range from connectivity to Local Area Networks (enterprise network) to internet connectivity through the service provider’s network. The use, purchase, refresh and replacement of PDA/Smart Phones are governed by the Cell Phone Allowance Policy.


All services used are to be for business purposes only. If there is a need/ or request to use the services for personal use, the University is to be reimbursed by the employee. The credit will be made to the departments cost center account and line number 554510. If there is an on-going occurrence of over usage by an individual user, the designee will contact the department head of that user.

Selection and Purchase

Standards for some Mobile Computing Devices will be set by IT and reviewed each year with attention given to cost, business functionality, service availability, software compatibility, software licensing, supportability, and security. These standards will specify models, vendors, related service providers, and software packages approved for use with these devices.

Tablet Slates/Pads 

Tablet Slates/Pads will be purchased by IT only when the following conditions are met: 1) approval for purchase is granted by both the department Vice President or Dean and the CIO; and 2) funds are provided by the department. Please refer to the Computer Request Form for requests to purchase Tablet Slates/Pads.


Given that Mobile Computing Devices may be storing and transferring critical APU data while connected to the internet, all APU Policies (Acceptable Use, Email, Data Security, etc.) are applicable and will be enforced. Mobile are strongly recommended to password protect access to stored information and take precautions to ensure the device is not lost or stolen.

Cellular Carrier Data / Service Plans

Many Mobile Computing Devices come with the ability to connect to the internet through Local Area Networks (LANs), WiFi hot-spots or through a cellular carrier’s network (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.). These services are also advertised as “3G or 4G” networks.  Connectivity through a cellular carrier’s network requires a separate data/service plan for each device. It is the employees responsibility to pay for the data/service plan unless otherwise agreed upon with the department’s budget manager through the approval of the Cell Phone Allowance Policy. IT will not support tethering devices together for shared internet access. Support for tethering is provided by your cellular carrier.


Software/Apps purchased for cell phones, PDA/Smart phones, and Tablets are not reimbursable as the licenses cannot be transferred to APU. In addition, if a particular application is found to be causing problems with the APU Network for whatever reason, IT reserves the right to ask that software not be used on campus or be removed from the device. If the software is not removed from the device APU has the right to revoke access to APU resources from the device.

Please refer to the Software Standards policy for additional guidance/
information on software purchases and support.

Security of Data

Data stored on mobile devices is often at more risk than data stored on desktop computers or network shares due to the public environments that the devices can be used in and their risk of being lost or stolen. Hence, confidential university data must not be stored on mobile computing devices. In addition, all data stored on mobile computing devices should be backed up regularly. Due to the diversity of devices available, security and backups are the responsibility of the employee. For backup suggestions and recommendations, please contact the IT Support Center.


The IT Support Center will provide, to the best of its ability, connectivity support to the APU network for all Mobile Computing Devices that meet APU network standards. Instructions and assistance will be provided for access to APU Email on the device. Access to APU software and services cannot be guaranteed, however selecting devices with a full web browser experience will increase the likelihood of future service availability. 

Network Access and Support

Authorized Mobile Computing Device users will be allowed to access any APU network directly through the Wi-Fi network, which requires authentication through a web browser. To ensure the security of APU’s networks, users should not leave Ad-hoc detection or the capability open on their Mobile Computing Device.

Department Responsibility

Once an employee’s employment with the university has been terminated, the manager/supervisor is to immediately notify the IT Support Center so that the service can be suspended if necessary. It is also the manager/supervisor’s responsibility to obtain all Mobile Computing Devices that are the property of the University before the employee physically leaves the University. If another employee (replacement employee) will take over the device/service, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that all data be removed from the device before transitioning the device to another employee. Most units have a factory reset option that is useful to remove all data and reset the device to manufacturer defaults. See the “software” section above for any impact to continued use of software on the device as transference of license is usually not possible.

Loss or Theft of Devices

Upon the loss or theft of a university owned mobile computing device the employee must file a report with Campus Safety and forward a copy of the report to the IT Support Center.

Laptops, Notebooks, and Tablet PCs

Upon receipt of the loss/theft report IT will activate a process to wipe the data and user profile from device for any device that supports remote data wiping. The execution of this process will help ensure that private and confidential data that might be stored on the device will not be accessed and used inappropriately. The information will not be recoverable after this process is completed. It is recommended that all devices are backup up frequently as per the security of data section above.

Tablet Slates/Pads, PDA/SMART Phones

It is highly recommended that employees install “remote wipe” software/utility that can be used to wipe the data and profile from Mobile Computing Devices if the device is lost or stolen. As this software/utility differs from device to device, the IT Support Center will attempt to find the appropriate solution for each device.

If an employee should lose or damage a Mobile Computing Device that is out of warranty or not covered by insurance, and/or if the department fails to collect the device from the employee upon separation from APU, the department will be responsible for the full payment to repair or replace the device.

Appeal Process

In the event that the request to purchase a Mobile Computing Device is denied, the requester may submit a written request for review with the Chief Information Officer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I bring my personal device (e.g. iPad) to APU and connect to the network?

Yes, you can connect your personal device to the APU network through the APUWIFI wireless network.

Will IT support my accessing APU services from my personal iPad?

Yes, to the best of their ability, IT will assist and support you to access APU services, limited to connecting to the APU network and accessing your APU email account.

Can I use an iPad for work? Will APU buy one for me?

It is up to the department’s budget manager and the CIO to determine if an iPad is an appropriate mobile computing device for an employee. The Computer Request Form should be completed and submitted to the IT Support Center to initiate the process for purchase.

What if I have already purchased a mobile computing device? Will APU reimburse me?

The decision to reimburse you for the purchase of your mobile computing device is at the discretion of the department’s budget manager in agreement with the CIO.

Will APU reimburse me for software purchased for iPad?

No, all software purchased for your iPad is considered a personal purchase and cannot be reimbursed as there is no method for you to transfer the license and/or application to APU upon transition to another position within APU or separation from APU.

If I take my personal device to the IT Support Center, what can they help me with?

The IT Support Center staff will assist you in connecting to the APUWIFI wireless network and accessing your APU email account.

Who is responsible for the data/service plan that allows the mobile computing device to access the Internet through their cellular carrier (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon)?

The primary responsibility lies with the employee to establish and pay for the data/service plan. However, it is the budget manager’s responsibility/prerogative to determine if the mobile computing device usage falls within the Cell Phone Allowance Policy.

What are the services IT normally provides for APU computers/ laptops that they will NOT be able to provide for the devices covered under this policy?

  • Handling hardware service and/or repairs
  • Installation or support of APU standard software
  • Installation or support of non-APU standard software
  • Remote data wipe, or device tracking in the case of loss/theft
  • Re-image of software to the state it was in at time of issue
  • Data syncing or file transfers to a mobile device
  • Accessing other APU resources (printers, network drives, VPN, etc.) from the device
  • Inventory and refresh process to track and replace devices

Where do I take my university-purchased iPad for support and repair?

  • Please take your university purchased iPad to the IT Support Center for support and repair.
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