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Grand Master Key Stolen From School Campus

Properly securing campus keys is vital, because it can prevent the theft of confidential documents and access to restricted areas.

The University of Central Arkansas knows this all too well, as last year it had several items stolen, ranging from an assistant director's medicine to countless exam answers. Upon further investigation, it was found that a grand master key belonging to UCA's chief of staff had been used to retrieve the keys required to gain entry into the offices where the items were taken.

The employee reported the stolen key in accordance with the university's key control policy, but when asked about the key, he abruptly resigned.

What's more, a series of permissions are needed to gain access to UCA's keys, and replacement costs increase in proportion with the level of authority required to gain access to each key. Lower-level keys cost $45 to replace, and to rekey a general building master key, the school must come up with $5,000. However, these amounts are drops in a bucket compared to the grand master key, which is one of the university's most expensive assets, with a $100,000 replacement cost.

To avoid replacement costs such as these and strengthen security, you must have a verifiable method in place to uphold employee accountability. Electronic key systems can help you do this by requiring staff members to enter a passcode, scan a fingerprint or swipe a proximity card to access keys, giving you a full-proof record of inventory activity.