Key Control

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Applies to:
    • Current Students
    • Emeritus
    • Full-time faculty
    • Instructor
    • Staff
    • Part-Time/Adjunct
  • Approved by:
    • Campus Safety
  • Issued: December 3, 2010
  • Last updated: March 5, 2018

The Key Control Policy is intended to be an instrument that provides reasonable personal safety and security for all members of the Calvin University community as well as to ensure the protection of personal and university property through control of keys to resident rooms, university offices and buildings, and other secure areas on campus. The Campus Safety Department is responsible for implementing the Key Control Policy.

Note: As a general policy, keys will not be issued to an individual for an area that can be accessed by use of a Calvin University ID card through the Card Access System. Card access to academic buildings is granted under the authority of the Academic Building Access Control Policy. All residential building card access must be authorized by Residence Life.

II. Policy

Keys are the property of Calvin University. Unauthorized possession and/or use of university keys is prohibited. Faculty, staff, students and others possessing and using unauthorized keys must surrender them immediately to the Campus Safety Department and are subject to possible disciplinary action. All keys (not including cabinets, desks, carts or padlock keys) must be picked up at the Campus Safety and signed for by the person receiving the keys. All keys will be stamped with a unique serial number and the information on the keys along with the name of the key holder will be recorded in a database maintained by the university locksmith and the Campus Safety Department.

III. Access Control

The Campus Safety Department oversees all access control for the campus. The Campus Safety Department, as the access control office for the campus, is responsible for recording the issuance and return of keys and for policy compliance for all key holders. The Campus Safety Director is responsible for the designation of a person to act as the key control officer.

The Campus Safety Department will periodically request all employees to complete a key inventory form and return it to the Campus Safety Department. The key control officer will periodically conduct audits of residence hall and departmental key files to ensure accountability. Records of keys will be maintained by the key control officer and the locksmith and will only be accessible by them or their appointed designees.

IV. Requests for Key Issuance

Keys provide different levels of access to both academic and residential buildings. An email request for the issuance of keys must be submitted to by a supervisor, department chair, dean, director, or division vice president, giving approval for the keys to be issued for their established areas of responsibility. Only one key for a specific office door will be issued to any one individual. The only exception to this rule will be for employees who supervise multiple student workers from departments which provide services to the entire university (Campus Safety, Events Services, Physical Plant, CIT) and maintain compliance with the Calvin University Key Control Policy. Resident Directors will maintain key issuance for their respective building following Calvin University’s Key Control Policy.

Depending upon the level of access provided, approval for a specific key to be issued will be required from one of the following people:

  1. Individual Door Keys – employee’s supervisor, department chair, dean, director or vice president
  2. Suite Master Keys – employee’s supervisor, department chair, dean, director or vice president
  3. Department Sub-Master Keys – employee’s supervisor, department chair, dean, director or vice president
  4. Department Master – department chair, dean, director or vice president
  5. Building Master – dean, director or vice president
  6. Great Grand Master – Campus Safety director

V. Restrictions of Key Issuance

Keys will only be issued to members of the Calvin University community. Anyone receiving keys must be a faculty member, staff member, or a student. All keys must be received in person and the appropriate paperwork signed by the recipient.

  1. Resident students will be issued keys necessary for access to their assigned residence hall room or apartment in Knollcrest East. Resident directors are responsible for maintaining key control for their respective building(s) using the Calvin University Key Control Policy. See APPENDIX A.
  2. Students employed by or providing services to the Calvin community may be issued keys to secure campus areas for use during the course of their work by their supervisor. Supervisors need to make requests for student keys through the Campus Safety Department. The student will be required to pay a $25 per key cash deposit when signing out for their key. This deposit will be refunded to the student once the key is returned to the Campus Safety Department.
  3. Faculty and staff will be issued the minimum number of keys at the lowest level of access needed to perform their job responsibilities based on actual need and with written approval of their supervisor, dean, director, department chair, or division vice president.
  4. Event Services will appoint an employee to issue and control keys, using the Key Control Policy. SEE APPENDIX A.
  5. Exceptions to the above restrictions must be approved by the Director of Campus Safety.

VI. Key Deposits

Keys are issued by the Campus Safety Department without charge to long term staff and faculty members to whom the keys are assigned. Keys are assigned with the expectation that the user will return them at the completion of their need to possess them. If a key is lost or stolen, a $25 fee will be assessed for replacement of each lost or stolen key. NOTE: All keys must be signed for at the Campus Safety Department. All fees for keys are charged and collected by the Campus Safety Department.

  1. Students
    Since a housing deposit is required of all resident students, no additional deposit will be collected from students for keys to student housing. However, in the case of a lost key in a residence hall or apartment, the lock may be changed to render the lost/stolen key inoperable. A fee of $25 will be charged to individual students for a replacement key.
  2. Faculty & Staff
    No initial deposit is required from long term faculty or staff, since only the keys necessary to perform required job responsibilities will be issued. However, if assigned key(s) are lost, a $25 fee will be assessed for replacement of each lost key. Temporary and adjunct faculty and staff members as well as assistant coaches, teaching supervisors, and music tutors will be charged $25 deposit for each key that they are assigned. The deposit money will be returned to the employee when they return the key to the Campus Safety Department after they no longer need to possess it.
  3. Special Events Participants
    Event Services is responsible for initiating the necessary steps to ensure the return of keys issued to participants of special events. This could include the requirement of a deposit for keys issued as determined by the Special Events Manager. Event Services will be responsible for ensuring the continued security of those campus areas which it uses for events.
  4. Contractors
    Construction projects or repairs of campus facilities which require the issuance of a key to a contractor must be approved by the Director of Physical Plant, or their designee. Prior to receiving keys, a release must be signed by the contractor agreeing to deduct funds from their fee if a key is lost, forcing doors to be rekeyed. Each contractor will also be required to sign for keys prior to their being issued at the Campus Safety Department. Additionally, keys shall be returned as soon as the work is completed or the contractor leaves campus.

VII. Key Duplication

Only the Campus Safety Department may authorize duplication of university keys. Unauthorized duplication of university keys will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or suspension from school.

VIII. Numbering System for Keys

An identifying serial number will be stamped on every key. The serial number for each key will identify the person the key is issued to and tell its specific use. This information will be maintained in a database administered by the Campus Safety Department’s key control officer and the university locksmith.

IX. Lost/Stolen/Damaged Keys

Because of the sensitivity of some of the locations that keys can open and the possibility of lost or stolen keys costing the university several hundred thousand dollars to rekey a specific area, it is important to report lost keys immediately to the Campus Safety Department. A new key will not be issued unless the staff or faculty member has reported the original key as being lost or stolen to the Campus Safety Department, and the key database reflects the fact the original key was reported missing. A $25 fee will be assessed for the replacement of each lost or stolen key.

If a broken or damaged key is being replaced, all pieces of the broken/damaged key must be turned in prior to a replacement key being issued. There is no charge for a replacement key when this procedure is followed.

X. Lock Replacement

The Campus Safety Director will be notified of any keys that are lost at the Department Master level, Building Master level or any higher level. Locks to all Campus areas will be changed as the need arises and not necessarily because of the loss of a single key. Final determination of the need for changing locks will be made by the Director of Campus Safety.

Consideration to change a lock will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Risk of personal injury to an individual
  2. Vulnerability (range of area affected by key loss)
  3. Possibility of loss to highly valued property
  4. Loss of several keys to the same area over a period of time
  5. Area has a high level of security/limited access

XI. Employment Termination, Retirement, Resignation or Withdraw from the University

All issued keys must be returned to the Campus Safety Department upon termination, retirement or resignation from employment at Calvin University. All key transactions between employees (even within the same office area) must take place at the Campus Safety Department. Any exceptions to this rule may not take place without first obtaining permission from the Campus Safety Department. If permission is granted and keys are transferred from one person to another, the Campus Safety Department must have the serial number of each key being transferred as well as the name of the individual the keys were previously issued to prior to their transfer. This information is necessary in order to maintain an up-to-date key database.

If the Campus Safety Department is made aware of an unauthorized transfer of keys by a supervisor, that supervisor may be subject to disciplinary action by the Human Resources Department.

Any keys turned in to the Human Resources Department will be returned to Campus Safety Department for reissue. The Human Resources Department will confirm with the Campus Safety Department that keys have been returned to the Campus Safety Department if the Human Resources Department does not receive an employee’s keys at the end of their employment. An employee’s final pay check will be withheld until the keys are returned to either the Human Resources Department or the Campus Safety Department.

All resident students are issued keys when moving into their residence hall or apartment. These keys are to be returned to the university when the resident student withdraws and/or moves out. A fee of $25 per key is assessed by Residence Life for keys lost or not returned.

XII. Temporary Assignment of Keys

The temporary assignment of keys for special circumstances must be arranged with the key control officer of the Campus Safety Department and approved by the director of Campus Safety.

XIII. Repairing of Locks, Keys or Access Control Systems.

  1. All repairs, deletions or additions to any university locking devices or keys, with the approval of the director of Physical Plant, will be controlled by the university locksmith and documented within the university work order system.
  2. No campus areas may be secured except by a locking device authorized for that area and with an operation code compatible with the campus access control system. If a change is made to a locking system, the change must be noted in the Key Database to reflect the new code.
  3. Any person causing an unauthorized repair or altering of a university locking device or key will be in violation of the Key Control Policy which will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or suspension from school.
  4. Any person intentionally damaging any locking device or causing the system to be ineffective or non-functioning will be in violation of the Key Control Policy which will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or suspension from school.

Appendix A

The assigning of multiple keys to one person or department will be granted for those who maintain keys for vendors and contractors, are Resident Hall Directors, or are in a department that maintains multiple keys for guests with the requirement that the assigned persons will maintain a record of the keys issued by them to others as outlined below.


  1. Notify the Campus Safety Department’s Key Control Officer who the Key Control Officer is as well as the name of the individual issuing keys to others. The identified Key Control Officer will be responsible for maintaining a key records database as outlined below. See Appendix B.
  2. When issuing keys to vendors, contractors, student housing residents, conference guests or to someone other than the person originally assigned, the Key Control Officer for the respective department must keep the following information in a database:
    1. Key code number (stamped on key)
    2. Person the key was assigned to
    3. Date the key was issued
    4. Date the key was returned
  3. An inventory of keys must be completed at least once on an annual basis. Any discrepancies in the database (i.e. lost, stolen or broken keys) must be reported to the Key Control Officer for the Campus Safety Department.
  4. A key inventory system must be maintained. It is recommended that the database be kept in an Excel or Access database for ease of entry and reporting. See Appendix B
  5. The Campus Safety Department will conduct periodic audits of all department and residence hall key records to assure departments are in compliance with the Key Control Policy.

Appendix B

Data Example

Serial Number Blind Code Last Name First Name Date Issued Date Returned Comments
C600 DDEA Smith John 09-27-10 Medeco Key
C7387 Smith John 09-27-10 Sargent Key

The chart shows an example of a key database which includes a Medeco Key and a Sargent Key. Please note that the Sargent Key does not have a blind code, only a serial number. The Medeco Key has both a serial number and a blind code. Please also note that older Sargent keys (issued prior to 2006) are not stamped with a serial number. In those instances write what the key is used for in the comments section.


(616) 526-6451



  • Course code:
  • Credits:
  • Semester:
  • Department: