Policy on Keys and Keycards

Policy Number: 600

Safety and Security

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy600/

I. Purpose and Scope


Northeastern University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for students, faculty, staff, visitors and guests. The University takes seriously its responsibility to maintain access control of its buildings and properties. The University strives to achieve appropriate physical security while providing efficient and convenient authorized access. Control of keying/carding systems is integral to a comprehensive security program.

This policy will serve as the framework by which keys/cards to University buildings will be issued, monitored, and maintained. It is intended to allow the University to establish a recorded chain of custody for all keys/cards issued, restore physical security in a timely manner whenever key/card control has been compromised, and avoid potentially significant costs due to theft, vandalism, or excessive rekeying of locks.

This policy applies to all keys/cards and devices that control access to University property and to any individual who is granted authorized access to any University property, except that it does not apply to:

1. key/card issuance and control for Residential Life and Dining Services, which are governed by the University Policy on Authorized Use of Husky Cards for Student Life contained in the Guide to Residential Life; and

2. issuance of keys/cards, maintenance of physical security devices, and other arrangements concerning security at the Northeastern University Kostas Institute for Homeland Security.


II. Definitions



III. Policy


Only authorized persons may be given access to keys/cards that permit entry to buildings and locked spaces on the University campuses. All members of the University community are responsible for keys/cards assigned to them. Lost or stolen keys/cards must be reported immediately to the appropriate Department Head and to the Northeastern University Police (NUPD).

Deans, Directors, or Department Heads or their specific designees shall be the only personnel authorized to request and distribute keys/cards or lock changes within their respective departments. Departmental designates shall have their authority delegated in writing by their respective Department Head.

Each department shall establish and implement a key control record-keeping system that will ensure accountability for all departmental keys/cards. All records will be considered high security and confidential and shall be kept current at all times.

Each department is responsible for developing and enforcing a key/cards return policy. All students, faculty, and staff members must promptly surrender all university keys/cards assigned to them upon termination or transfer to another department.

Keys/cards are not to be transferred from their assigned carrier to another person without proper departmental authorization.

Each department is responsible for the total cost of lock changes and new keys/cards to secure areas compromised by lost or stolen keys/cards.

IV. Additional Information


Northeastern University regards any violation of this Policy as a serious threat to security, including security compromises caused by failure to retrieve keys/cards from departing users. Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary actions and sanctions, up to and including termination of employment. In Canada, violation of this policy my constitute cause for termination.

V. Contact Information


Facilities 617.373.2754

Department of Public Safety (Campus Police): 617-373-2121


Responsible Office/Department(s)


Related Procedures





Building Access; Keys; Key Cards; Locks

Version History

Last Revision Date: December 13, 2019

Issued: April 3, 2014