Keys Policy


Approved by: Northeastern State University Executive Cabinet
Responsible Official: Department of Public Safety
(918) 444-2040
History: Adopted October 27, 2015
Related Policies:
Additional References:
Forms: Student Key Record




In an educational institution there is a need to balance the accessibility and use of facilities with the need to provide a safe and secure environment. The Department of Public Safety (DPS), Facilities Management and Information Technology Services (ITS) at Northeastern State University work in a cooperative relationship to provide access through mechanical and electronic means to facilitate optimum use of the facilities. This policy seeks to address access concerns while maintaining the most appropriate level of security.


All locks, keys, electronic access cards and access codes are the sole property of Northeastern State University. NSU reserves the right to change locks, keys and access codes as needed. No one may place a lock on a Northeastern State University facility, interior or exterior, that is not on an approved NSU system without the permission of the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee. All keys, access codes and access cards must be returned to Northeastern State University Department of Public Safety upon termination of employment or enrollment.


To request keys or with key related questions, please contact Department of Public Safety at 918-444-2040.


Faculty and staff members may be issued keys to Northeastern State University facilities based upon need of access. Faculty and staff members must be authorized by the appropriate Dean, Vice President or Director of the department.

Keys for academic facilities issued to students for reasons of research, off hours studies, or other legitimate purposes may be authorized by Dean, Vice President or Director of the department or a designee. He/She accepts all responsibility for the issuance, use and return of these keys. Master level keys will not be issued to students for any reason.

Master keys shall only be issued with authorization of the Director of Public Safety.

Non-College personnel, vendors and contractors shall not be issued keys on a permanent basis. Contractors, vendors and other personnel may be authorized to sign keys out from the Department of Public Safety, 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday (Tahlequah and BA Campuses) and in the Dean's office on the Muskogee Campus.

Employees who are issued master keys as part of their job requirements should store those keys in a secure area and treat them with the utmost care.


All lost or stolen keys must be reported to the Police Department. Requests to replace lost or stolen keys must be made to the Department of Public Safety or the employee's or student's supervisor. Requests should be in writing, by email and describe the facts surrounding the loss; in particular, the location of the loss, whether or not there were Northeastern State University identifiers attached to the key, and the area that the key accessed. Based on the factors involved, the Director of DPS or his/her designee will make a decision to replace the key or require the lock changed. All costs incurred such as labor and parts for re-keying shall be assumed by the individual (student) or department of an employee who has lost keys. Contractors who lose assigned keys will be financially accountable for the costs of lock changes that are required.


Upon termination of a relationship with the University, employees must return their keys to Human Resources at the Exit Interview. Human Resources will return the keys to the Department of Public Safety. Keys should not be simply handed from an exiting employee to a new employee by department administrators. The locksmiths shall re-issue keys to new employees upon completion of the appropriate documentation.

Keys issued to students by a Dean, VP or Directors remain the responsibility of that person until returned to the locksmiths. It is suggested that departments seek a means of key accountability from students. Northeastern State University DPS shall be available for consultation on methods of accountability. Should a number of keys be unaccounted for, the Chief of Police may require a lock change for security reasons.

Departments are financially responsible for all lock changes resulting from weak accountability practices.


All students, faculty and staff may be issued an electronic access card. Administrative control of the electronic access system shall be the responsibility of Information Technology Services in conjunction with the ID Office and Department of Public Safety. Residential access decisions are the joint responsibility of the Director of Housing and Northeastern State University DPS. Electronic access to other facilities, such as the Athletic Facility or the Webb Building, are the joint responsibility of the Northeastern State University DPS and the Administration.

Northeastern State University retains the right to change access levels and deny access to facilities based upon security issues.

Northeastern State University policy shall determine the encoding of access privileges. The access card remains the property of Northeastern State University and must be surrendered upon demand or upon separation or termination of a relationship with the university.


Faculty, staff and students may not loan or transfer assigned keys, codes or access cards. Anyone found in the possession of another's keys, cards or codes shall have the keys or cards confiscated by the Northeastern State University Police. Loaned access codes shall be removed from the Electronic Access system. Faculty, staff and students may be subject to disciplinary action as a result of loaning or transferring keys, codes or access cards.


Locks may be changed or upgraded as the needs of the University dictate. As part of a preventative maintenance program, Facilities routinely replaces worn or obsolete hardware. The Director of Public Safety and the Director of Facilities Operations may decide to upgrade or change lock hardware as security reasons dictate.

Any re-keying or lock changes initiated by a department head or chairperson for any other reason will be the financial responsibility of that department.


Northeastern State University Department of Public Safety (Locksmiths):

  • Develops, distributes, reviews, implements and enforces the Key Control Policy. It is the responsibility of the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee to ensure compliance with this policy.
  • Assists Facilities with the development of keying systems.
  • Assists Information Technology with the Electronic Access System of the residential halls and specific other facilities.
  • Coordinates with the locksmiths on hardware replacement and upgrades.
  • Maintains key control of master keys for non-university personnel.
  • Investigates all reports of lost or stolen keys, misuse of access codes and all attempts to circumvent security systems.
  • Monitors Electronic Access System for emergencies, failures, etc.
  • Conducts continuous surveys of locking mechanisms in all University owned facilities. Establishes and maintains keying systems in coordination with campus departments for the purpose of security and reasonable access.
  • Maintains the central key control records and privileges issued to faculty and staff.
  • Procures and issues all keys and locks.
  • Securely stores all unassigned keys.
  • Performs all lock work except that being done on a contractual basis.
  • Maintains records of those who have terminated their relationship with the college and forwards names of those still in possession of keys to the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.


Information Technology:

  • Manages the CCure System that controls Electronic Access to facilities.
  • Works with DPS and Facilities Management in assessing and determining the needs of a facility for Electronic Access.

Personnel/Students who are issued keys:

  • Must sign a student key record.
  • Must maintain the security of issued keys.
  • Must report lost or stolen keys to the Northeastern State University Police.
  • Must pick up keys personally at DPS or Dean's office (Muskogee).
  • May not lend or have duplicated any key issued to them.
  • Must return all keys to the DPS upon separation from the University.
President, VP s, Dean's and Directors:

  • May request keys to be issued for areas under their direct control.
  • Are responsible for all keys issued by them to students, lab assistants, etc.
  • Are responsible for the collection and return of student keys issued by them.
  • Are financially responsible for lock changes that occur due to a lack of accountability for issued keys.
  • May request Electronic Access for those areas under their control.
  • May not re-issue staff keys. Upon staff departure, keys must be returned to DPS. Key management and record keeping is the responsibility of DPS.
  • May request lock changes or upgrades in their area of direct control. The locksmiths shall examine the current locking system and make recommendations. Lock changes initiated by an Administrator or Faculty member shall be the financial responsibility of the individual department.


  • Are responsible for the safekeeping of Northeastern State University keys while in possession of them.
  • May not loan keys to other contractors.
  • May not use keys to enter areas that are not part of a job.
  • Should a contractor leave campus with a set of Northeastern State University keys, it will be incumbent upon the contractor to return to the campus and return the keys or other action may be taken.
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