Policy Number: 843

Policy Suffix:

I. General Policy

In order to protect the individuals, property, and privacy of the Rice University campus and community the University limits access to buildings and facilities. RUPD will maintain appropriate procedures and controls, and will work with other departments to ensure that facilities maintain both accessibility and security. This policy is applicable to all faculty, staff, students, vendors, contractors, visitors and property of Rice University regarding access to space and/or equipment.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

Rice University Police Department (RUPD) is the primary department responsible for the oversight and enforcement of this policy and related procedures. In conjunction with other departments such as Information Technology, Facilities, Engineering and Planning (FE&P) and Housing and Dining, this policy and procedure will be regularly reviewed and amended to meet emerging trends, contemporary standards in higher education or changes in applicable law or other University policy.

Facilities Engineering & Planning (FE&P), in conjunction with the RUPD, is responsible for the installation of access control hardware, including card readers and panels.

Housing & Dining is responsible for setting undergraduate and graduate housing access levels and door schedules, granting access to Housing and Dining facilities for University staff and providing necessary data sets to the access control system.

Office of Information Technology is responsible for providing networking, data management, and technical assistance to support electronic access control systems.

Individual departments are responsible for assigning an access control coordinator who is trained to grant door access, develop templates and set door schedules.

III. Elaboration of Policy

A. General Access Control

It is the policy of Rice University to issue building and room keys and access cards to faculty, staff, resident students, authorized non-resident students, vendors, contractors and persons or organizations having contractual agreements with the University.

All keys and access cards are the property of Rice University and must be returned upon termination of employment, graduation or other separation. University credentials are issued to all University employees, through the RUPD ID office. This credential is used to gain access to facilities utilizing electronic access control systems.

Loss or misuse of Rice University access credentials may result in the loss of access privileges and/or other disciplinary actions.

Under no circumstances will any individual install, replace, repair, disable, or override any access control devices including card readers, cores, key pads or locks without prior approval from RUPD.

Each department shall appoint an individual responsible for coordinating access control and who will work with RUPD to establish access control levels, door templates and schedules for the facility or space under their control.

Access to University facilities during scheduled closures such as holidays will default to secure unless otherwise scheduled or requested through the RUPD.

All access control systems will be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and University policies, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

B. Request for Electronic Access Control

All requests to install new or additional access control systems or card readers must be made through the FE&P portal. The RUPD shall review all requests for new card access control systems or modifications and each will result in a security survey of the facility or particular space in question.

No department shall purchase, contract, install or attempt to install electronic access control or other high security locking systems without the consent of the RUPD.

Departments shall not modify or discontinue the use of electronic access control systems without approval of the RUPD.

C. Key and Lock Door Access

Requests for keys should be made to the RUPD Access Control Office (accesscontrol@rice.edu) and/or Facilities Service Center. Keys will only be issued to individuals and not to a department for general use. No person will be issued more than one key for any given building, room or area.

Anyone issued a University key accepts full responsibility for safeguarding that key against loss by carelessness or theft. If a key is known to be lost or stolen, the RUPD must be notified as soon as possible.

Anyone issued keys who leaves the University’s employ or transfers to another department will return all keys to the Access Control Office prior to the termination or transfer. Under no circumstances are keys to be passed on to another employee.

Under no circumstances will any individual loan or transfer any Rice University keys which have been entrusted to them. Duplications of any Rice University keys by any person other than authorized agents of the Access Control Office are strictly prohibited.

Special assignment of keys to contractors shall be approved by the FE&P Project Manager or designee for Building Maintenance. The Contractor shall accept full responsibility for safeguarding keys against loss by carelessness or theft. The Contractor must pay in full the cost of all re-coring related expenses if the key(s) is not returned in person to the FE&P or RUPD Office.

IV. Cross References to Related Policies


VII. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation

Responsible Official: Executive Vice President for Operations, Finance, & Support

Key Offices: Rice University Police Department, Information Technology, Facilities Engineering & Planning

VIII. Procedures and Forms

See Electronic Access Control and Key Procedures


David W. Leebron, President

Policy History


August 9, 2017

Clerical Changes

January 19, 2023

February 1, 2023

August 15, 2023

March 4, 2024