Facilities Management

Building Access Procedures and Guidelines

General Statement

The University of Northern Iowa is actively concerned for the safety of all UNI faculty, staff and students on campus. Safety is best achieved when members of the campus community work together to promote a safe environment. The following provides guidelines for access to UNI buildings. It is intended to promote discussion and share responsibility in providing safe access to academic and administrative buildings on campus. Auxiliary units or programs designated with responsibility to run specific facilities are responsible for having written guidelines and procedures that address access, safety and security. Individuals utilizing spaces after-hours without authorization may be subject to discipline or removal.

Access/Key Request Form

Office Location

UNI Facilities Management 
1801 W 31st St
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0189

NEW EMS - Building Hour Change Form

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m.

Keys & Locks

Keys are distributed on campus according to the terms listed below. The term key or keys refers to mechanical keys and electronic keys. All keys remain the property of the University. Reproduction of a university key is forbidden.

Access/Key Requests

Access/Key request for individual faculty, staff, and students must be done on an Access/ Key Request Form and approved by a department head or appointed authorized contact.

Newly hired faculty/staff will need their PAFs completed and will need to have an UNI ID card issued before they will show up in our new key system. Due to this, they will not show up in the key request form under Recipient until the actions above are completed and they should be eligible in our system to be a Recipient either the day of or the day after their start date. If you have a new hire that meets the above criteria and you still aren't able to request keys for them, please contact the Facilities Management Officer.

Request for replacement keys require the approval of the dean, director or vice president. Certain special requests will require the consideration of the Facilities Management Director and the approval of the Senior Vice President for Finance & Operations before being accepted.

All student (graduate and undergraduate), student employee, and non-permanent staff key & electronic access requests are granted for up to a year. Brass keys are due back the Friday of finals each May or upon the student's graduation, whichever occurs first. A request for an extension from the current due date will be accepted starting on April 1st of each year. This can be done by completing an Access/Key Request Form and selecting “Extension”.


Key Due Dates


All key & access requests require adequate justification. Students may request their own keys, however the requests must be approved by the designated departmental staff member.

Additionally, the key holder is responsible for any fines associated with keys checked out to them. The key holder may have the fine charged to their U-Bill, payroll deducted, or pay with check or cash. If the department does not work to get key(s) back from the keyholder that has left the university or the department, which was approved by the department, the department will be required to provide an account number for the cost of $25 per key.

There is no key deposit. All access/key requests must be submitted 2 business days prior to the desired issue date.  Key requests become invalid if the keys are not picked up within 60 days of being requested.  Any keys not picked up within 60 days will be returned to Key Shop and a new key request must be submitted if the key is still needed.

Departments that have special access or key control requirements may need to establish internal procedures to meet those requirements (e.g. Public Safety, Facilities Management, ITS, etc.). Facilities Management has the authority to review any special needs before proceeding, or to refuse the issue of access or a key if guidelines are not met.

Key exchanges and reproduction of keys are not permitted. Department heads are the only employee that can be issued multiple keys for the same area

If access on your UNI ID card does not work, please check with Facilities Management or the Housing & Dining department to investigate.  If you need to get a new UNI ID card because the card isn’t working properly. Take your non-working UNI ID card to Redeker with you to get a replacement UNI ID Card and to avoid a fee for a new card.

Affiliates/Emeritus of the University or contractors need to be set-up in our system prior to getting a UNI ID card. Please complete an Affiliate/Emeritus/Contractor Form and send to fmworkorders@uni.edu, along with the contact person that will be requesting access/keys. Notification with the Affiliate/Emeritus/Contractor number will be sent to the individual submitting the request. This number will be required at the Redeker Center to process the new UNI ID card. These individuals will be notified once key and/or electronic access requests are processed.

If faculty are not teaching consecutive semesters (Ex. teach every fall semester, but not the following spring semester), then their keys should be returned to the Facilities Management office and a new key request will need to be completed for the next semester that they teach. If there is a justification that they should need the keys in their possession after the end of their term of employment, an Affiliate/Emeritus/Contractor Form will need to be completed and sent to fmworkorders@uni.edu. The steps will follow the same as listed above.


My Request Status / History

Shows a list of all access/key request submitted by the creator. This information is very beneficial to the creator of the form, since it shows the status of each request made.

Pending: Awaiting approval from the department head of the room or building in which access is being requested.

Approved: Has been approved by the department head, waiting on key shop to process request.

Locksmith: The request is currently being processed by the key shop.

Denied/Rejected/Cancelled: Refer to the “reject reason box” to understand why the request was denied, rejected, or cancelled.

Processed: Brass keys are ready for pickup or have been picked up from the Facilities Management Facilities Access office and/or electronic access activated.

Key Pickup

The key requestor will be contacted via UNI email when the key is ready for pickup. Keys may be picked up at the east entrance to Facilities Management. Only the issuant will be allowed to pick up their keys and will be required to sign a Key Agreement stating they will be responsible for their key(s). All individuals picking up keys must have some form of photo identification.

Electronic access is provided through the University's ID card. The requester will be notified when access has been granted via their UNI email.

Returning Keys

Individuals leaving the university or transferring to another department must return their keys to Facilities Management. The individual will receive an electronic receipt indicating the keys that have been returned. If a student does not return keys, transcripts or registration will be held until the keys are returned.

A department head may have the individual leaving turn in their key(s) to the department. We recommend the department contact the Facilities Management Facilities Access office to get an up-to-date list of the individual’s key(s). It is the department head’s responsibility to provide a key return receipt to the individual as proof of the key(s) having been returned. The key(s) must then be returned to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office within 2 business days, along with a copy of the key receipt. Once the keys have been returned to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office, an email will be sent to the individual confirming the keys have been returned. Key(s) not returned will be charged $25.00 per key.

Recalling Keys

Keys can be recalled at any time by completing a key request and selecting "Remove Access/ Recall Key(s)" under the "Request Type" column on the bottom half of the form. You need to complete the rest of the line explaining which key needs to be recalled.  A due date is then added to the key which informs the key holder that particular key is due back to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office.

Lost Keys

The Public Safety Department, Facilities Management Facilities Access Office, and the appropriate Building Coordinator and department head should be notified immediately when an employee/student employee/student/affiliate/contractor has lost his/her keys. A charge will be assessed for EACH lost key prior to the issuance of a new key. The replacement process is the same as outlined in "Access/Key Requests”. The key holder is responsible for any fines associated with keys checked out to them. The key holder may have the fine charged to their U-Bill, payroll deducted, or pay with check or cash. Additional charges could be imposed if re-keying or reprogramming is required. The Building Coordinator and department head will be responsible for assisting with return/collection or payment of the fine.

Employee Absence

When employees are going to be absent for more than four weeks through phased retirement absences, FMLA leave, or other reasons, university keys must be turned into Facilities Management Facilities Access Office before leaving. Key shop will hold their keys until the employee returns back to work.

Supervisors should also make sure to contact Facilities Management Facilities Access Office to deactivate electronic access during the leave period..

Key Audits

Each year the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office will initiate key audits by providing department heads with a list of keys issued within their department and to whom they are assigned. The responsibilities of the department include verifying all keys are secured and accounted for, that all employees are included in the report, informing Facilities Management Facilities Access Office of any discrepancies, ensuring key logs are up-to-date, and that all unused keys are returned. Extra keys can be returned at any time to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office. Department heads are the only employees issued multiple keys for the same area

When a departmental key audit occurs, Facilities Management staff will schedule an on-site audit to review/resolve any discrepancies which may include employees being asked to sign a new key agreement to resolve discrepancies. A department can request a key audit list at any time by contacting the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office. Any inaccuracies between the official records and the departmental inventory will be reviewed and reconciled. Additional keys will not be issued to the department or individuals until the audit report is complete. The department will be provided with an updated report of keys issued after the completion of the audit.

Keys are property of the university and the Facilities Access Office can ask you to return your keys at any time

Key Logs

Key Logs are required for departmental keys that are loaned on a temporary basis and can be audited by Facilities Management at any time throughout the year to ensure the security of UNI. Keys should be secure at all times and are the responsibility of the department head. The key log sheet must be maintained to track all keys that are issued to the department. If key logs are not maintained, indicating lack of need for the key, the departmental key may be recalled. Additional keys will not be issued to the department or the individual if any key(s) are not accounted for. The individual in which the lost key is checked out to will be responsible for the replacement fine.

Transfer Keys

Keys cannot be transferred from one person to another. All keys must be returned to the Facilities Management Facilities Access Office immediately after an employee transfers departments or leaves the university. When a new employee starts, an Access/Key Request form must be filled out and approved to receive keys. All keys checked out must have a key agreement on file.

Lock Change Requests

Lock change requests are to be placed through a FAMIS service Request. Departments will provide an account number which will be used for any applicable fees. Requests for lock changes are reviewed and discussed with the requesting part, building coordinator and department head before the change is made. A new Access/Key Request form should be requested for the individuals affected by the change.

A thorough review of the area affected by the lock change is completed before the change is made to avoid compromising anyone who may need access to the area. In certain cases of security, a special series lock can be installed.  These requests are limited and must have the approval of the Senior Vice President of Finance & Operations before proceeding.

All lock change requests are subject to refusal when the change impacts access by maintenance personnel or campus police.

Cabinet Key Requests

Cabinet key requests are to be placed through a FAMIS Service Request. In your request you must include the department name, deliver to address and name of the person making the request. Enter the quantity of keys and a description of the key or cabinet along with the account number that should be charged for the key material and labor. Cabinet keys are assigned to the department, not to individual employees.

Non-Responsive Electronic Keys

To determine if your ID card is not working due to lack of access or if it is non-functioning, contact Facilities Management Facilities Access Office. Non-responsive electronic keys will be replaced at no charge, when the old one is returned.

Appointed Authorized Contact

The Appointed Authorized Contact form is used to appoint a person in your department to authorize building access and/or key requests. The appointee can be responsible for requesting to have card access added or removed, making building schedule change requests, approving or denying key requests and reporting system complications.

Building Hours

Standard open hours for academic and administrative buildings are Monday through Thursday 7:00 am-10:00 pm; Friday, 7:00 am-5:00 pm. These buildings will be closed during weekends and university holidays with the exception of special occasions.  Standard open hours for academic and administrative buildings when classes are not in session are Monday through Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm and are closed weekends and university holidays.  Buildings may also be closed at other days/times when the university is unexpectedly closed or all classes canceled (i.e. closed due to weather) based on the time of day of the university closure.  Operating hours for auxiliary units or programs with designated responsibility to run specific facilities are to be determined by each area, with approval by their respective supervisors.

Building Hours Change Form

Facilities Management Building Hour Change Form is migrating to EMS Web App.  Please use https://reservations.uni.edu/ to schedule exterior building hour changes due to events or core hours changing. If you schedule a space through the Registrar's Office, GBPAC, Dome/McLeod/West Gym, Recreation Center or Office of Event Services (Maucker Union, Lang Hall Auditorium, Seerley Hall Great Reading Room/Gilchrist Hall), the exterior doors will be automatically scheduled to be open.  All other events will need to complete a Building Hour Change Event Request through EMS Web App to have exterior doors unlocked.   For EMS Web App questions or login issues, please call Bryan Beardsley at 3-2256. For general questions, please call 3-4400.


Approval and Handling of Requests for Non-Standard and Special Building Hours

Requests for permanent changes to standard operating hours should be submitted to the appropriate department head, dean, or vice president.

Requests for temporary exceptions to standard operating hours should be submitted to the department head or Appointed Authorized Contact responsible for the space.

Evaluation of such requests should consider:

  • Is another facility open to allow for the same function to occur? Minimizing the number and hours of open buildings allows conservation of energy and financial resources.

  • Are others on campus at the proposed time and place? Consider what student safety issues may be relevant if the proposed access is allowed.

  • How can student and staff safety be assured if access is granted? It is strongly recommended that any areas with extended, non-standard operating hours create a safety plan in consultation with UNI Police.

In order to ensure proper heating, cooling, ventilation and appropriate locking/unlocking schedules, approved changes to a building’s standard operating hours must be requested using the Building Hour Change Form. It is also suggested that all department heads within the facility be notified of any substantive changes.

The University Registrar may adjust standard building hours to accommodate requests for specific classes or activities. Any changes initiated by the Registrar shall be sent to UNI Police, Facilities Management, Energy Management, and the specified building contact person.

To request a change in your building's hours for special events please fill out the Building Hour Change Form.

Requests for after-hours access

Faculty and staff (including graduate assistants) who are issued keys or electronic access may enter facilities at their discretion. Others (i.e. student employees, assistants, etc.) issued keys may enter facilities based on the parameters of their identified responsibilities. Individuals in buildings after hours may be asked to show their university identification

After-hours access for students is at the discretion of the appropriate building contact who is also responsible for notifying UNI Police and Facilities Management of such decisions.

Students who are allowed access to specialized areas in UNI academic buildings must follow established safety guidelines for those areas. Specialized areas are understood to include science labs (research and teaching), art and theatre production areas, machine shops, studios, practice rooms/rehearsal spaces and other areas where specialized equipment or materials are kept. Department heads are responsible for making sure that faculty, staff and students are aware of the safety guidelines for the specialized areas in their buildings.

As a general practice University Police will not provide after-hours access.

After a building is closed, no door shall be blocked open nor will any individual not approved for access be admitted to the building.

Electronic Access System Procedures

Access and Use

  1. Only authorized personnel, as determined by this policy and authorized by Facilities Management Director and the Specialized Systems Manager, will be involved in, or have access to electronic access data.

  2. Access to the software for programming, assigning access levels, and scheduling doors shall be limited to Facilities Management Facilities Access staff, and Specialized Systems staff.

  3. University Police will have access to all electronic access data from the Department of Public Safety office location.

  4. When an incident is suspected to have occurred, only authorized personnel may review the reports from the electronic access system.

  5. In general, the University will not permit either the installation or use of electronic access as a tool to monitor routine performance or management issues involving university personnel.

Device Procurement, Installation, and Maintenance

  1. The installation of new electronic access, their locations, and purpose must be approved in advance by Facilities Management Facilities Access staff. A request for electronic access installations should be submitted via a FAMIS service request.

  2. All electronic locks must connect to the University’s centralized electronic access system in accordance with University product, installation, maintenance, and support standards.

  3. All costs associated with the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the system will be the responsibility of the requesting department.

Office Location                                                Office Hours         

UNI Facilities Management                               Monday - Friday
1801 W 31st St                                                  7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0189