Buildings & Grounds

Key Guidelines

Carleton College is committed to provide a safe secure environment for faculty, staff, and students as well as convenient access to all workplace, learning, and residential areas.

  1. Purpose

    1. General Access

      1. Provide safe secure facilities.
      2. Grant access to those with a demonstrated need.
      3. Limit liability and risk associated with unapproved access.
      4. To establish and implement an effective key control set of guidelines.
      5. Issue keys as needed with as little inconvenience as possible.
      6. Encourage card access versus key access to secure areas.
      7. Reduce the loss of master keys.
      8. Retrieve keys after the need for access is lapsed.
      9. Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of keys and access privileges.
    2. Minimize Use of Master Keys and Maximize Card Access

      1. Individuals and contractors will be given keys to access only the rooms necessary.
      2. If access to multiple spaces is necessary, sub-master keys may be given at the discretion and approval of Facilities and Security Services.
      3. Master keys will rarely be issued and only to those responsible for activities in an entire building. In limited situations, a sub-level master key may be issued to individuals having responsibilities in multiple locations.
      4. Master keys are to be kept in a secure location on site and not taken home or off college property. An example of a secure area would be a locked office, secured desk, or cabinet.
      5. Doors having card access will be keyed for emergency override use only. Keys will not be issued to individuals for card access doors to encourage card access use. Please refer to Carleton College Electronic Access Guidelines for more information on card access to college buildings.
  2. Responsibilities

    1. Departments

      1. Department heads will approve access to the areas under their responsibility. A Facilities Work Request or email will be sent to Facilities giving authorization to the space and permission to Facilities to issue the appropriate key(s).   
      2. The department head, or his/her designated person, will inform Facilities of any changes in access needs, including position changes within the department, so the appropriate keys are returned and issued to different employees.
      3. All lost or stolen keys will be reported to Security Services immediately. Security Services will submit an Advocate Report to Facilities to ensure a record is maintained.
    2. Residential Life

      1. Residential Life maintains an accurate record of student residence keys and an accurate database of keys issued to students for residential areas. 
      2. Residential Life immediately reports all lost keys to Security Services who will fill out an Advocate Report.
    3. Faculty, Staff, or Student

      The key holder or the department is responsible for paying to rekey the spaces the lost key served. The campus will be returned to the same level of security as it was prior to the keys being lost.

      1. A student may pay up to $300 for any academic space key that is not returned and the department authorizing the key will pay any additional costs associated with rekeying the space. This fee does not include residential spaces.
      2. If a college employee loses a key the department will be charged the cost of rekeying the spaces as required.
      3. Keys must be returned to the Facilities office when the need for access is over as determined when key was issued. If the key is not returned on time, a late charge of $50 will be charged to the department for administrative costs for retrieving the key, and proof the key is not lost is required.

      Any person that knowingly compromises security by misusing a key will be subject to disciplinary action.

    4. Facilities

      1. The Facilities office utilizes a secure database to maintain an accurate record of all keys and doors on campus. This database will be updated daily.
      2. The Facilities office maintains data for all staff and faculty key records describing what key each individual has assigned to them.  A key agreement must be signed by the staff or faculty person being issued the key when any key changes are requested.
  3. Procedure to Issue and Retrieve Keys

    1. Issuance of Keys to:

      1. Faculty and Staff
        1. The supervisor will submit a Facilities Work Request or email to Facilities requesting key(s) for the person needing access to the area. You must provide the name and position of the employee, building name, and space access needs. If an email is sent it must be routed through the department head or supervisor responsible for the area.
        2. Facilities will notify the individual when the key(s) are ready to be picked up.
        3. Keys are distributed in the Facilities Office and the person assigned the key is required to show Carleton College ID when signing for the transfer of responsibility.
      2. Students
        1. Residential Life staff will be responsible for the care and distribution for student residence keys. 
          • An accurate database will be maintained for all keys within Residential Life.
          • All keys will be accounted for at the end of each academic year.
        2. Any students needing access to other areas of the campus will follow the procedure outlined in Section III Part a, paragraph i.
      3. Rental Property

        All keys will be distributed by the Employee Rental Housing Coordinator.

        1. The Coordinator will maintain an accurate database of all keys for employee rental housing.
        2. Any lost key will be reported to the Housing Coordinator as soon as it is discovered.
      4. Contractor, Vendor, Consultant, and Service Provider

        Facilities will distribute and monitor all keys for this group.

        1. The project manager will submit a completed Appendix A form to the Facilities Office using the email address.  The form may be found attached to this policy.

        1. The information required for the completion of the form is as follows:
          •   Requester Name
          •   Project name
          •   Start and completion dates of the project
          •   The hours the contractor is planning to work
          •   Project manager name
          •   Contractor  name and authorized key holder with cell phone numbers
          •   Areas the contractor will need access to when performing the work
        2. Upon arrival to campus the individual will proceed to the Facilities Office to sign in and sign for approved keys.
        3. All keys must be returned to the Facilities office one-half hour before the end of the campus office work day.
        4. If requested, a lock box is available allowing the keys to be kept in a secured area in the Facilities building. 
        5. Under no circumstances may a visitor or contractor keep the keys overnight or take keys off College property.
        6. All keys must be returned to the Facilities office when the work or need for access is completed.
    2. Retrieval of Keys

      1. Faculty and Staff
        1. Voluntary resignation
          • Human Resources will notify Facilities and a key report will be generated indicating what keys have been assigned to the employee. The report will be given to Human Resources.
          • All keys listed on the report will be collected by Human Resources at the time of the exit interview and returned to Facilities.
        2. Involuntary Termination
          • Human Resources will notify the Maintenance Manager requesting a key report prior to the termination. Confidentiality will be maintained between the Maintenance Manager and Human Resources.
          • The keys will be collected at the time of the termination and returned to Facilities.
      2. Students
        1. Students will return non-residential keys to the Facilities office within two business days once the need for access has ended.
        2. Residential keys will be returned to the Residential Life office at the time of check out.
      3. Rental Property

        All keys will be collected by the Rental Housing Coordinator at the time of check out.

  4. General Administration

    1. All permanent key records will be maintained by Facilities.
      1. A computerized maintenance system will track the transfer of keys to individuals or Residential Life.
      2. The system will be updated daily or as needed to maintain accurate records.
    2. Facilities will audit Residential Life once per year to verify all keys are tracked properly per procedure and policy.
    3. The Director of Facilities, in consultation with the Director of Security Services and the Vice President and Treasurer, will determine if an academic/administrative space will require rekeying in the event a building master key or other safety sensitive key is lost. The Director of Residential Life will be consulted if a residential building is under consideration to be rekeyed.
    4. Individuals are not allowed to give or loan their assigned keys to others, including other members of the Carleton College community.  
    5. Individuals will not use their keys to grant access to non-authorized individuals.  
    6. Key holders entering a building or space are responsible for securing the space and will not prop doors open leaving the space unsecure.
    7. Keys that are broken or worn may be returned to Facilities for replacement at no cost.
    8. Grand master and building master keys will not be allowed on personal key rings and/ or taken off campus. These high security keys will be secured nightly in an office where the respective employee works. Only keys to building front doors and personal offices are allowed on personal key rings. This practice minimizes the risk to people and property by reducing exposure when a key is lost.
    9. Key holders must not duplicate any keys associated with the campus.  Disciplinary action will result for unauthorized duplication or possession of an unauthorized duplicate key.    
    10. Any keys found must be returned to Facilities.
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

    1.    Can keys issued to a department be re-issued to individuals?

    No, keys are not issued to a department. All keys are issued to an individual.

    2.    Can a department re-assign keys from one individual to another when responsibilities change?

    No, keys cannot be transferred from one person to another without involving Facilities. The person no longer needing access will return the key to Facilities and this key will be removed from that person’s inventory. The new person requiring access should submit a request to Facilities and a key will be assigned to them and noted in the database. 

    3.    Does the individual signing for the key have to pick up the key in person?


    4.    At what level does Security Services need to approve a request for keys?

    Security Services may be consulted on requests involving a master key.

Last Revised: July 9, 2013

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: November 2, 2022

Maintained by: Facilities