Key Policy

Created: April 28, 2015
Updated: January 28, 2022


The University of Michigan – Dearborn considers the safety of its students, faculty, staff, visitors, and property to be of paramount importance and believes that key control is a major component of a comprehensive, University-wide, security program.

It is the responsibility of the authorizing department and of each key holder to ensure that these procedures are followed and to maintain the security of University buildings and facilities to which he/she has access.

This Key Policy and Procedure is intended to provide general operating guidelines needed to protect personnel and facilities while also ensuring authorized access to those areas and facilities necessary for the efficient performance of normal/routine duties and responsibilities. Implementation and administration of this policy is the responsibility of the Department of Facilities Operations.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors, and contractors requesting access to any University of Michigan–Dearborn facility or area/room located therein.

General Key Policies

A. Ownership of Keys

All keys to University of Michigan–Dearborn facilities are the property of the University. The Department of Facilities Operations is the authorized custodian for all unissued keys.

B. Administration of the Key System

The Department of Facilities Operations is responsible for the overall administration of the campus key system. It is responsible for the following:

  1. Installing and maintaining all interior and exterior door keys and cores.

  2. The manufacturing and issuing all keys.

  3. Maintaining accurate controls and records to provide accountability for all keys issued to each department.

  4. Establishing procedures to govern issue and control of keys.

  5. Maintaining and updating key information in University Knox Boxes.

C. Department Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the department that authorizes an individual to have keys to also assure that those keys are returned to Facilities Operations when the authorized person is no longer in a role that requires them.

Each University department’s Dean, Department Head, or Director is responsible for designating a Department Access Coordinator (DAC) and assuring departmental adherence to this Key Policy. DACs have the delegated responsibility to implement procedures and maintain secondary records to control and account for keys that they have distributed to University employees within the department. DACs have the responsibility for reminding individuals to return keys to Facilities Operations when they transfer to another department or leave the University and for reporting lost keys.

If it becomes necessary to replace one or more locks either because of a lost master key or the loss of a significant number of sub-master or individual keys, the expense of re-keying will be the responsibility of the department that issued the lost key(s).

D. Individual Responsibility

Individuals may use keys only in their official capacity for the University. All keys will be returned to the DAC or Facilities Operations upon transfer, termination, or departure from the University.

E. Duplication

Duplication or reproduction of keys through channels outside of the Department of Facilities Operations is prohibited.

General Procedures for University Keys

A. Requests for University Keys

Each individual may receive only one (1) copy per key. The only exception is for furniture keys under the Furniture Key Policy. Keys will be made by the Department of Facilities Operations upon receipt and approval of a Key Request Form. All key requests must be initiated on the proper Key Request Form by the DAC. Requests submitted without proper DAC authorization will be returned to the requesting department for proper authorization. Approved requests may take up to five (5) business days to process.

B. Authorization of Key Requests

Key requests require the authorization of the DAC who represents the requester’s department.

C. Manufacture and Issuing of Keys

The Department of Facilities Operations will make all keys once a completed Key Request Form has been received and approved. The key will be issued in the name of the Key Holder. Keys will only be released to the Key Holder. Master, Sub-Master, and Restricted Access keys will be issued in accordance with their respective policies.

D. Primary Records

The Department of Facilities Operations will maintain the primary records for all keys issued. Records, at a minimum, will include the following information for each key issued:

Key Holder
Key Name
Key Serial Number
Date Distributed
Date Returned

On a quarterly basis, the Department of Facilities Operations will prepare a list of active keys issued. This list will be distributed to the DACs for verification of the records. Any corrections to the primary records will be made by the Department of Facilities Operations based on the information provided by the DACs. In addition, an individual department can request a list of all keys issued in its name at any time.

E. Secondary Records

Each DAC is responsible for maintaining accurate, up-to-date departmental records for all keys issued to persons in the department.

F. Return of University Keys

DACs are responsible for assuring that individuals return keys to Facilities Operations prior to their departure from the department. Extra keys should be returned to the Department of Facilities Operations when no longer needed. Extra and unused keys in circulation create a liability to the individual departments.

G. Lost/Stolen Keys

The DAC must make individuals in his/her department aware that lost/stolen keys should be reported immediately. In the event that a key is lost, the DAC should report the loss immediately to the Department of Facilities Operations. Stolen keys must be reported to the DAC, Campus Police, and the Department of Facilities Operations. To obtain a replacement key, a new Key Request Form must be submitted.

H. Worn or Broken Key

A replacement for a worn or broken key will be provided by exchange for the defective key. The DAC should notify the Department of Facilities Operations of the problem and the Key Holder should turn in the defective key when picking up the replacement.

I. Key Duplication

All keys are marked “U of M, Do Not Duplicate”. It is strictly prohibited to attempt to have any University key duplicated.

J. Contractor Key Access

Contractors and non-University employees are responsible to ensure their key requests are limited to the location and for the duration necessary to complete the contracted task. Contractors may be issued existing keys to mechanical, electrical, and IT closets. All other areas will require construction cores to be installed for the duration of the project. All requests must be approved by the Facilities Operations project manager. Contractors working with the University may be required to post a bond in order to receive keys to University facilities. Contractors shall work with the University project manager to determine if key(s) are to be obtained and returned daily or assigned for a period of time. Re-keying expenses due to lost, stolen, or un-returned keys will be the responsibility of the contractor. Appropriate documentation must be completed before access is granted and a log of keys issued to the contractor will be maintained by the project manager.

K. Construction Gate Access

All construction gates will be daisy chained with a University padlock to facilitate emergency access. A key to these areas will be installed in the Fire Department Knox box.

L. Ordering Master and Sub-Master Keys

The Department of Facilities Operations restricts the issuing of Master and Sub-Master Keys to individuals with job responsibilities requiring the use of such keys. To maintain the integrity of our University key system, persons requesting Master keys will be issued appropriate keys relevant to their function. In the event a Master key is required and passes review, the Dean, Department Head, or Director must provide approval along with the reasoning for the key. All requests for Master and Sub-Master Keys will be reviewed and approved in writing by the Police Chief or the Executive Director for Facilities Operations. Master and Sub-Master Keys fall within the Master Key Policy.

M. Key Policy Violations

The following acts are examples of violations of the key policy:

  • Loaning Keys
  • Transfer of keys
  • Duplication of keys
  • Altering keys, locks, or mechanisms
  • Damaging, tampering, or vandalizing any university lock or hardware
  • Propping open secure doors
  • Admitting unauthorized individual(s) into a university building
  • Failure to return a key when requested by the Department of Facilities Operations or the issuing department, or
  • Failure to return a key prior to leaving the university
  • Failure to report lost or stolen keys

N. Fire Department Knox Box

The Dearborn Fire Department is responsible for maintaining Knox Boxes for all University Buildings. EHS will coordinate with the Dearborn Fire Department to audit the Fire Lock Boxes annually. During this audit, the box will be inspected for damage and cleaned, keys will be inventoried, and records will be updated or verified. The Department of Facilities Operations will work with the Dearborn Fire Department to add or delete keys when necessary. The Department of Facilities Operations will provide annual updates to the Dearborn Fire Department.

O. Department Access Coordinator (DAC) Training

The Department of Facilities Operations will provide DAC training on an as-needed basis for new DACs. The Department of Facilities Operations will also provide refresher training to DACs based on their need.

P. Leased Property

When an off-campus facility is leased by the University and the University is responsible for security and access, the key cores and keys will be replaced during the renovation to align with the University of Michigan-Dearborn keying standards.

Q. Lock, Key, or Door Hardware Maintenance Request

Requests for repairs and/or maintenance of doors and locks follow standard Work Order Procedures. To repair/replace a lock, DACs should submit a request through the AiM Work Order System. Broken locks and hardware will be repaired/replaced by the Department of Facilities Operations. For all other requests, a department short code must be submitted along with the work requested. AiM support is available by calling the Facilities Operations Call Center at 313-593-5270.

Policy owned by: Facilities Operations