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Key Control

Locksmith Office

Facilities Physical Plant, Room 224

Key order, pick-up, return or transfer hours: 
Monday -  Friday, 9 – 10 a.m. and 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.


  • Any issued key is the property of the University of Tennessee, and is loaned to you during your affiliation with the campus.
  • You must not loan or give the key to anyone, even if your employment with The University terminates. All keys must be properly disposed by returning them to the Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit for record control disposition.
  • You are personally responsible for University issued keys at all times. Should you lose the key please contact us at 448-6837 after you have made a careful search. 

Read Full Key Control Policy

1. Keys will be issued by the Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit based upon receipt of a properly completed Key Order Form (Attachment B). These forms are available from General Stores. The following policies and procedures apply in initiating and processing Key Order Forms.

a. An official "need to enter" on a recurring basis will be the basis for evaluating all key requests.

b. There will be one key order per key. Multiple keys will not be issued in the name of one individual for the purpose of passing them out to other individuals. Persons signing out keys will be responsible for all keys signed out in his/her name.

c. Authorization to sign key requests is limited to vice chancellors, deans, independent department heads, department chairpersons, directors, or their designees. The delegation of this authority is limited to personnel under the direct budget and operational control of the individual doing the delegating. Designees may sign authorizations for interior door keys only. Key Order forms for exterior doors must be signed by department heads, directors, etc.

d. Authority to hold a Grand Master key to all locks of the system will be limited to the Facilities Director, the Chief of Campus Police and the Chancellor or his designee for use in carrying out their specialized official duties.

e. Authority to hold a Master key or Sub-master key for all of a building or all of a system segment will be limited to vice chancellors, deans, chairpersons, independent department heads and directors who have an entire building or system segment under their control. This authorization may be extended only to one other authorized delegate.

f. Authority to hold Sub-Master keys for parts of a building or parts of a system segment will be limited to the following individuals:

(1) Chairpersons, department heads, directors, faculty, graduate students, and technicians designated by department heads as requiring special after hours access.

(2) Custodial, maintenance and security personnel who have a continuing "need to enter" when occupants are not available to let them in.

g. Authority to hold exterior door keys to buildings equipped with card reader equipment will be limited to security and maintenance supervisory personnel who routinely have a need to enter all exterior doors. Exterior door keys to buildings and those buildings equipped with card readers will be limited to key management, faculty, graduate students, technicians, and administrators having frequent official need for after-hours access. All others requiring after-hours access to buildings will call on Campus Police to let them in.

h. The changing of key assignments from one employee to another will be accomplished in the following manner:

(1) The key is returned to the Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit where the signature of accountability is canceled and a receipt issued upon request.

(2) The key is reissued to another employee following the procedure of issuing a new key. Department Heads may transfer a key by processing the Key Transfer Form (Attachment C). These forms may be purchased in General Stores.

(3) Keys must be reassigned or returned in order for the Exit Clearance form to be completed on the individual terminating and should not be held in the department without proper transfer to an individual.

I. Students will obtain dormitory keys directly from Student Housing and will return these keys to Student Housing when clearing out of the dormitory. Students are not issued keys to other UT facilities except as a temporary requirement when needed as a part-time employee.

3. Prior to termination and receipt of their final paycheck, all faculty, staff exempt and staff non-exempt employees will return all building and office keys for which they are responsible to the Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit. Departments will initiate an Exit Clearance Form which will be signed by Facilities personnel indicating all keys have been accounted for. A charge of ten dollars ($10.00) will be levied for replacement of lost keys and for each key that is not returned or for which proper accounting has not been made.

4. When an employee begins leave without pay for a period of four months or less, keys normally relinquished at the onset of the leave, at the discretion of the department head, may remain in the custody of the department head and reassigned to the employee upon return to active status. In such instances, the department head will make an appropriate notation on the Exit Clearance Form as it is processed.

5. The loss (or discovery) of a UT key will be reported immediately by telephone to the Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit (5503). The following additional procedures apply:

a. Within five (5) work days of the telephone report, the key assignee will render a written report to his/her department head and to Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit, outlining circumstances of loss and affirming that if the key is recovered, it will be returned.

b. A replacement key will not be issued until the required written report cited above is received and approval is granted to issue a duplicate key.

c. It is the department's responsibility to keep records of keys issued to their employees and to see that employees follow proper procedures in returning keys to Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit upon termination or transfer.

6. Normally, all keys and lock cores should be changed, or at least evaluated for change, at intervals not exceeding five years. Condition of keys and cores, number of lost keys, current and planned use of space, security problems and current and future security needs are some of the more important factors to be considered in deciding when keys and cores should be changed. Movement of a department into space previously occupied by another activity usually justifies changing keys and lock cores at the time the move is made.

7. Lock change requests will be directed to Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit, outlining the building, space and doors where changes are desired, reasons for change and fund account(s) to which costs are to be charged.

8. When a higher degree of security for funds, drugs, records, etc., is needed, Campus Police will be notified and assistance will be provided in determining the level of security needed. Proper forms authorizing entry to these areas must be completed (Attachment D), and it is imperative that the number of keys issued be restricted to the absolute minimum essential to the operation.

9. The Facilities Locksmith & Key Control Unit annually will conduct random key checks sampling 25 percent of all department key accounts to determine that proper accountability of keys is being maintained.

*This policy statement supercedes and incorporates Policy 2.170, Key Control Policy.

Last Published: Jul 20, 2017