Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Facilities Services


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Key Policy - Allendale Campus

SLT 6.12

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures

Policy Statement

The objective of this procedure is to define the system of key control at the University. Issuance of keys is a part of maintenance operations. Deans and administrators are urged to maintain a list of keys, which persons in their units possess for security and accountability. Issuance and usage of keys is to be in accordance with principles of reasonable security. 



A. Facilities Services is responsible for:

  1. Identification codes on keys.
  2. Issuing and maintaining key records.
  3. Maintenance, repair, and replacement of University key and lock hardware.
  4. Duplication of keys.

B. Deans, Department Chairs, and Administrators are responsible for:

  1. Approving keys for facility and/or staff members in their unit. 

Key Request Procedures

A. Access to locked areas of the University is based upon need. Whenever possible, employees will be issued the minimum number of keys at the lowest level that will allow access to their areas of assignment only.

B. All key requests must be submitted on the Key Request Form, which is available on the Facilities Services Web site.

C. Information on the KEY REQUEST FORM must be complete with proper signatures/approvals (including your supervisor). The form is then forwarded to Facilities Services. Incomplete forms will be returned. Proper justification must be provided for anything other than keys to specific doors.

D. Upon approval, keys can be delivered to a designated office or picked up at the Central Utilities building. The Key Inventory form must be signed by the individual who will use the key at that time for return to Facilities Services for record keeping. No keys will be issued without these signatures.

E. Under normal circumstances, students and temporary employees will not be issued keys.

Level of Keys and Issuance

A system of keys ranging from the Great Grand Master Keys down to the lowest level of change key is used to satisfy user needs. Facilities Services aims to issue the smallest number of keys possible. 

A. Great Grand Master (GGM) key is the highest level of key on the campus. The key covers all of the keyways within an entire key system. There are (5) key systems currently on campus. Great Grand Masters are issued to the Executive Officers, the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services, the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Planning, the Director of Public Safety Services, Facilities Services Supervisors and Public Safety Officers. Other Facilities Services staff and some University personnel may be approved but only after administrative and executive officer authorization. All GGM key requests must receive the approval of the appropriate division heads as well as approval of the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services.

B. X-KEYS are issued to Facilities Services, Public Safety, and Technology Services personnel only. This key allows access to key boxes that are located in designated buildings and contain a master key for that building. X-KEYS are issued to designated individuals within these departments based on proof of need. These key requests must be approved by the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services.

C. BUILDING MASTER keys will allow entry into all areas of a building including mechanical spaces and designated to restricted spaces. These are keys placed in key boxes for access and use by service staff.

D. MASTER keys will operate all keyways in a building except mechanical rooms and designated restricted areas. These keys are issued to Deans or Administrative Officers with the responsibility for all building and department activities. Custodial staff will also be issued MASTER keys for the building to which they are assigned. Issuance of these keys must be approved by the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services.

E. SUB-MASTER keys operate a sub-group of locks within a master key system such as a department. These are issued by the Assistant Vice President for Facilities Services.

F. ACCESS keys allow entry to individual offices or rooms. These are the primary keys issued to faculty and staff. Approval is from the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services.

G. ENTRANCE keys operate entrance doors to buildings, departments or suites. Approval is from the Assistant Vice President of Facilities Services.

H. FILE keys are issued as requested to allow access to department files or personal office files, desks, and cabinets. 

Key Lock Boxes

A. A KEY LOCK BOX is located in the Central Utilities Building (CUB) for temporary checkout of X-KEYS, MASTER OR GRAND MASTER keys for access to a building. Identification of the individual checking out the key as well as verification of need will be necessary. An ID is required (driver’s license and a Facilities Services ID card) and will be held in CUB pending return of these keys. 

Employee Responsibilities

A. The employee is responsible for the security of keys assigned. Lost or stolen keys must be reported immediately to department administration, Facilities Services, and Public Safety. A replacement charge of $10.00 will be assessed for each lost or stolen key before a duplicate can be issued. The replacement fee of a lost or stolen sub master, master, x-key, or grand master will be $100.00 and must be paid before a duplicate is made. Request for keys lost due to theft must be accompanied by a police report. The employee’s department will be responsible for costs to re-key due to a lost or stolen key. Disciplinary action – if needed – will be left to the supervisor.

B. Employees who change offices will be issued new keys at the time old keys are returned. A Key Request Form needs to be completed for the new keys. EMPLOYEES MUST NOT TRANSFER KEYS TO EMPLOYEES REPLACING THEM. KEYS MUST BE RETURNED TO FACILITIES SERVICES.

C. Broken keys should be returned at the time the new key is issued.

D. Requests for desk and file cabinet keys will be supplied if they are in stock. If not, the department is responsible for supplying the key to be duplicated.

E. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE GVSU KEYS TO BE DUPLICATED OR GIVEN TO OTHER EMPLOYEES. THE PERSON WHO SIGNED FOR THE KEY WILL BE HELD RESPONSILBE. Any requests for additional access are to be made through the normal procedures. Appropriate disciplinary action will be pursued for unauthorized duplication.

F. All keys are to be turned in to Facilities Services at the time of termination of employment. EMPLOYEES MUST NOT TRANSFER KEYS TO EMPLOYEES REPLACING THEM. All terminating or retiring employees are encouraged to check with Facilities Services well in advance of their last day to determine what keys have been issued to them.

G. Under normal circumstances, students and temporary employees will not be issued keys. Employees should NOT sign out keys for these employees. 

Key History Assignment Cards

A Key History Assignment card is maintained for each employee possessing a GVSU key. The information on the card includes the employee’s name, job title, department, phone number and office location. Also the card lists the date a key is issued, the key numbers, access location, room numbers, employee’s signature, and date of key return. 

Return of Keys

A. When a key is returned from an employee because the need for the key no longer exists, the Key History Assignment Card is pulled from the employee file and the return date is noted.

B. Upon termination of GVSU employment, Facilities Services will be notified by Human Resources. The employee’s supervisor should follow up and direct the proper return of keys to Facilities Services.

C. These key changes are reflected on the Key History Assignment Card and the file is removed from ongoing records.


Special Key Issuance – Facilities Services

A. Contractors are issued temporary access cards the Central Utilities Building (CUB). Cards are to be returned immediately upon completion of the contract service.

B. Temporary Employees will be allowed to check out the required keys / access cards from CUB using the same basis as student’s checkout.

C. Temporary Job Assignments – employees receiving temporary job assignments may checkout the appropriate building key / access card from CUB to work in the assigned area. A Facilities Services ID must be presented and will be held pending return of these keys. (Example: custodians or maintenance personnel temporarily assigned to a different routine.) These keys may be held for the duration of the temporary assignment and do not have to be returned daily.

D. Restricted keyways – no future building re-keying will allow for spaces off the GGM system. Areas or departments may be off the building master but not off the GGM.