Key and Electronic Access Systems Procedures

A. Mechanisms for Obtaining Key or Card Access

A department head, dean or vice president can initiate a request for key or card access privileges. Mechanisms include:

Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students--The Request for Keys/Card Access form (see Physical Plant web page at: signed by the dean, director or department head, for an interior/exterior door key or card access must be received and processed by the Lock Shop for key assignment or for user privilege activation on a continuing basis.

Student and/or Group Access Requests--The dean, director or department head must send a written request to the CATcard Service Center, at least five (5) days prior to needing temporary card access privilege activation.  Student access to residence halls is handled through Residential Life.

B. Return of Keys

University keys and ID's issued to members of the faculty and staff remain the property of the University of Vermont. Keys must be returned to the Physical Plant Lock Shop upon the member's termination or transfer. University ID's that provide door access must be returned to the CATcard Service Center upon the member's termination.

When an employee leaves a particular office or department, any issued keys must be returned to the Lock Shop. Do not pass the key directly to a replacement employee.

C. Lost/Stolen Keys or ID Cards

Lost or stolen keys or door access cards (i.e., University IDs) present a significant security problem. The loss or theft of keys must be reported promptly to Police Services and the department chairperson. The loss or theft of ID cards must be reported promptly to the department chairperson and CATcard Service Center during business hours (contact Police Services on evenings, weekends or holidays). Replacement keys will be made only upon receiving a new Request for Keys/Card Access Form and payment of a $10 replacement fee (cash or departmental charge). Replacement University ID or special purpose door access cards will be made at the CATcard Service Center.

D. Loan of Keys or ID Cards

University keys and ID cards are issued to the holder and must never be loaned or transferred.


A. Level of Keys

1. Great Grand Master (GGM):

This is the highest-level key on campus and operates all groups of locks under that particular system. These keys are issued primarily to senior administrators (President, Provost, Vice Presidents) authorized personnel within Administrative and Facilities Services and Capital Planning and Management. They are issued at the request of the department head with the approval of the Associate Vice President for Administrative & Facilities Services.  Anyone else requesting a GGM must have the request approved first by the appropriate dean or administrative division head and then by the Provost or Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

2. Grand Master (GM):

This is the second highest-level key and operates all locks for a particular college or all administrative offices. It may be issued to deans or associate deans and other authorized staff on a need-to-access basis upon approval of the Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration or the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services.

3. Master or Sub master Key:

This key will operate one group of locks within a particular department or building. It is generally issued to department heads for those areas under their jurisdiction. Authorization for issuance is through the dean or administrative division head.

4. Individual Key:

This key will operate one lock or two or more locks keyed alike. It is issued to members of the faculty and staff for their offices or work spaces upon approval of the department head.

5. Exterior Door Keys:

Employees, who must regularly work during off-hours, may be issued an exterior door key or in the case of buildings using electronic card access, will be programmed in the card access data base to access the building in which their office or workplace is located upon authorization of the department head.

6. CATcard Access Override Keys: (Privilege Emergency Passage [PEP])

PEP locks will be installed on exterior doors in buildings using card access readers as the principal means of off-hour access. These locks will not be part of the GGM system and passkeys will be issued to Police Services only. Any exceptions will be at the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Administrative and Facilities Services.

B.  Traditional Locking Systems

1.  Yale System

The first major coordinated keying system for the University (developed in the early 1940s); Yale System keys are easily duplicated and should be discontinued by 2010.

2.  Sargent Keso System

First used on exterior doors in 1972, and subsequently installed in most academic and administrative facilities, this system is no longer protected by patents and will be replaced with a system from Kaba Peaks phased in between 2005-2010.

3.  Kaba Peaks System

The newest keying system for the campus, this system will be installed in existing academic/administrative facilities, and in all new and renovated facilities.  This system allows for an improved hierarchy of keying (more options in master keying), is protected by patents that limit commercial access to key blanks, and provides a unique tracking number for each key issued.

4.  Russwin System

This system serves the keying needs of the Residential Life system (residence halls, apartments, and private residences).  Key control (including the issuance of various levels of master keys) is the responsibility of the Director of Residential Life or his/her designees.

C. Lock Re-Keying

As part of its ongoing program of plant improvements, Lock Shop personnel periodically upgrade lock hardware, re-key cylinders or install electronic card access locks. Should a department head wish to "re-key" any facilities at other times, the related expense must be covered from departmental funds.


With the advent of the CATcard system, card activated locks became a possibility campus-wide. Card swipe readers will eventually be installed on primary entrance doors of most, heavily used buildings. Off-hours, weekend and holiday access to the building, will be via the University CATcard. Police Services will have access to special emergency override key. Key override will not be on the GGM system.

In public classroom buildings, doors with card access will generally automatically lock and unlock according to the following schedule:

Academic Buildings


Mon-Fri/10:00 pm/7:00 am

Weekends & Holidays--locked unless scheduled by Facilities Scheduling.

Administrative Buildings


Mon-Fri/5:00 pm/7:30 am

Weekends & Holidays--locked unless scheduled by Facilities Scheduling.

Small office buildings will normally lock and unlock according to the following schedule:


Mon-Fri/5:00 pm/7:30 am

Weekends & Holidays--locked all day.

Other times must be determined by each building's manager in consultation, and with the agreement of Police Services. Police Services will then notify the CATcard Service Center with at least 3 days notice to program agreed upon lock/unlock schedules.

Temporary changes in lockdown or opening for special events will be scheduled via the on-line EMS Facilities Scheduling System. The CATcard Service Center will enter these temporary lock/unlock schedules into the system.

Faculty and Staff access to buildings (short or long-term) at any other time requires a request from a dean, director or department head be submitted to Physical Plant using the "Request for Keys" form.

Undergraduate student access to buildings at any other time requires a request for a specified period of time not to exceed one acadmic year from a dean, director or department head be submitted, in writing to the CATcard Service Center. Student privileges are typically limited to the following options for any given building/area:

1. 24 hours, 7 days per week

2. 7:00 am--Midnight, 7 days per week

3. 7:00 am--Midnight, Sunday-Thursday

Colleges wishing to limit access to buildings based upon student status, enrollment or other classification, must submit a request to the Provost's Office. If the Provost approves, the CATcard Office will program the door access system to accommodate student access. Privileges will be extended no longer than one acadmic year.


A. Physical Plant personnel will be responsible for:

      Establishing and maintaining keying system(s), in coordination with campus departments and Police Services, which will ensure security and provide reasonable convenience;

      Maintaining the central key control file and keeping up-to-date records of ALL access privileges granted to faculty and staff;

      Procuring and issuing all keys;

      Permanent exterior door building access privilege activation for faculty, staff and graduate students;

      Securely storing all unassigned keys, pending their re-issuance;

      Performing all lock work except that required under construction contracts;

      Furnishing department heads, on an annual basis, with a listing of keys or CATcard access privileges issued to department members for the purpose of verification; and

      Terminating privileges for employees who end their employment with UVM.

B. Police Services personnel will be responsible for:

      Assisting Physical Plant and CATcard Service Center personnel with the development of the keying systems; Coordinating with the Lock Shop on re-keying and/or hardware improvements;

      Maintaining on file, at least one key to each lock system and special lock to allow emergency access to all facilities on campus;

      Flagging lost cards on their CATcard Access Administrative terminal on evenings, weekends and holidays;

      Providing remote unlock service to appropriate University faculty, staff and students;

      Investigating and documenting reports of lost University keys and giving one copy of each report to the Director of Physical Plant; and

      Monitoring CATcard door alarms status through their Administrative workstation.

C. CATcard Services personnel will be responsible for:

      Maintaining the security and integrity of the central database, operating software and hardware of the access privilege control system;

      Setting up privilege door lock/unlock schedules for door access on the CATcard operating system and door lock/unlock schedule;

      Establishing/terminating access privileges for entire classes of students at the direction of a Dean's office;

      Installation, troubleshooting and maintenance of card readers, related controllers and the network connections;

      Coordinating funding for system expansion and equipment upgrades; and

      Making access cards for contractors or other authorized parties.

D. Department heads will be responsible for:

      Authorizing the issuance of keys or card access to faculty, staff or students as necessary, in accordance with these guidelines;

      Reporting the loss of keys or IDs immediately to Police Services and Physical Plant personnel;

      Requiring terminating and transferring employees to return keys to the Lock Shop and ID cards to the CATcard Service Center; and

      Verifying the annual key inventory furnished by Physical Plant and returning the inventory with corrections to Physical Plant.

E. Personnel or students who have access privileges issued to them are responsible for:

      Signing a key issuance record;

      Maintaining security of any keys issued;

      Reporting the loss or theft of keys or ID/access card immediately to Police Services and department chairperson, submitting a new key request form from replacement keys and paying for the missing keys; and

      Returning all University keys, upon transfer or termination, to a Lock Shop employee.



Specific Procedures

A. Requisitioning Keys or Card Access Privileges

To obtain a key or obtain card access privileges on a permanent basis, a Request for Keys/Access must be completed, approved by the appropriate individual, as stated in "II D. Eligibility for Keys or Card Access Privilege," and sent to Physical Plant, 284 East Avenue. Some keys are cut on campus and others can only be made at the factory. Accordingly, in some instances where a key is not available, a delay of up to eight (8) weeks or longer can occur before delivery is made.

B. Obtaining Keys

A Lock Shop employee will notify an individual when a key is ready to be picked up at the Lock Shop. The requesting employee will be expected to sign for each key. (Davis Hall Basement)

C. Returning Keys

 Keys to be returned may be left with an employee at the Lock Shop at Davis Hall or Physical Plant's main office at 284 East Avenue. Upon request, a written receipt will be issued upon return of the keys.

D. Bent/Broken Keys and Worn ID Cards

If a key needs to be replaced because it is bent or broken, submit a Request for Keys with the key attached. Worn out ID cards, used heavily for work-related access (Police Services, Physical Plant, etc.) up to 2 CATCards per year will be replaced at no charge.

E. Requests for Re-Keying

Requests for re-keying (lock change) should be submitted in writing on the Request for Keys/Card Access Form to the Director of Physical Plant with a notation of the budget bearing the expense. A Key Request for the new keys should accompany the memorandum.


Request for Keys/Card Access Form


Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:


Al Turgeon

Chief Risk and Public Safety Officer

(802) 656-2240


Related Documents/Policies