FAQs: Building Access and Security

  1. What is Tailgating Entry? Tailgaiting entry is when someone properly accesses a building using their UT ID card and another person improperly enters the building immediately after without using their own UT ID card, or they do not have a UT ID card. All employees (including faculty), students, invited guests, affiliates, contractors, or any other persons authorized to be present during restricted hours MUST use their own UT ID card to access a building. Make sure the door closes behind you, and do not allow tailgaiting entry into a building for your own and other’s safety. If someone attempts to tailgate behind you into a building, inform them the building is closed and they must use their UT ID card to enter. If they do enter improperly, immediately call 911 and UTPD will respond to investigate.
  2. What is BACS? The Building Access Control System (BACS) is used by Information Technology Services (ITS) and The University of Texas at Austin Police Department (UTPD) to electronically control access to buildings and facilities. BACS has been installed to limit access to areas or provide extra personal safety. Examples include, but are not limited to, door access systems requiring a University Identification Card, panic/duress buttons, video security, property protection alarms, and intrusion protection systems.
  3. What is considered a “celebrated” entrance? It is usually a main entrance used by employees (including faculty), students, invited guests, affiliates, contractors, or any other person authorized to be present during restricted access hours. A celebrated, or restricted hours, entrance is an obvious and inviting entrance to university buildings and facilities. Each building and facility will have at least one entrance that is wheelchair accessible. In addition to the required UT ID card and video camera, a celebrated entrance may include an oversized entry gate or door, decorative paving, increased lighting, increased landscape, other decorative features or signage uniquely identifying these entrances from other entry points. NOTE: A celebrated entrance may not always be the main entrance (due to ADA accessibility), nor will it always be a BACS-equipped entrance, e.g., newer buildings where all of the exterior doors have a BACS system, but only one of those will be the celebrated entrance.
  4. Are all university buildings open to the public? With few exceptions such as museums, libraries and during certain events, university-owned buildings and facilities are not considered open to the public. Access to university buildings and facilities is therefore generally restricted to employees (including faculty), students, university affiliates and invited guests.
  5. What are restricted access hours? Restricted access hours are a specified time period during which all exterior doors on a building are locked, with general access authorized only through a celebrated entrance for persons authorized to enter a building or facility.
  6. Do access hours vary by building? Yes. Buildings with general purpose classrooms (GPC) are required to be accessible from 6 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., seven days a week and during university holidays. Non-GPC buildings open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. After 7 p.m., both GPC and non-GPC buildings and facilities transition to restricted access hours and all students, faculty and staff are required to enter through the buildings’ celebrated or restricted hours entrances and a UT ID will be required to access the building or facility.
  7. Are all non-GPC buildings required to close at 7 p.m.? No, each building manager may decide to close earlier. It is advised that building managers coordinate lock/unlock times by contacting the Facilities Service Center to place your request by email: facilities@austin.utexas.edu or call (512) 471-2020.
  8. Are we required to go to only one celebrated entrance? No. One or two entrances will be accessible during restricted access hours, depending on size and architecture of the building.
  9. Will building keys eventually be replaced? Yes, it will take time to replace all of the keys utilized for building entrances. However, building managers will be notified in advance with plenty of time to help educate your building’s faculty and staff with key access.
  10. Will all buildings be required to have BACS-equipped entrances and when will this take place? All buildings will eventually have at least one celebrated entrance that is BACS equipped (proximity card readers and video cameras). This is being done in phases:
  11. Who do we call if we have an issue with our BACS-equipped entrance or if we need additional information to request the installation of BACS-equipped entrances? Contact Security Operations as follows:
  12. What steps are recommended if access to a lab or building is needed during restricted access hours? Your UT ID is your key to campus buildings and facilities. It is recommended that you carry your UT ID at all times. If there are special requirements for access, arrangements may be requested through the building manager of the facility you will need to access. (For instance, please refer to: https://facilitiesservices.utexas.edu/buildings/ where each respective building manager’s contact info may be found.) For additional information during business hours, contact ITS at UT Service Desk: (512) 475-9400 or email: help@ITS.utexas.edu

Hours of operation for the UT Service Desk are as follows:

  • Phone and Email Support: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday (closed weekends)
  • Service Desk Walk-in Support at the Flawn Academic Center Lobby (FAC): 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday (closed weekends)

NOTE: Summer hours may apply. For current operating hours, visit the UT Service Desk website

  1. Some faculty and staff members may not have an ID card with a proximity access chip. The chip is needed to enter some buildings during restricted access hours. Will they need to get a new ID card and will they have to pay for the replacement cards? To determine if your card has a proximity chip, hover your card over a door reader. It will “beep” if a chip is detected. If it does not have a proximity chip, yes, a new ID card is needed. To obtain a replacement card, visit the ID Center located at the Peter Flawn Academic Center (FAC). If you turn in your old ID card, there is no charge for a new one.
  2. Who do we call if we would like to reschedule lock/unlock hours for our buildings? Building managers may coordinate lock/unlock times by contacting the Facilities Service Center to place your request by email: facilities@austin.utexas@edu or call (512) 471-2020.
  3. The UT Registrar’s Office oversees scheduling details for more than 30,000 events a year, including Boys State, UIL, etc. And, faculty may sometimes sponsor events, but are not required to attend. How do participants receive access to buildings that require proximity access cards to enter if not a UT staff, faculty or student? The reserving party must coordinate with the associated building managers to gain after- hours access for these special events and/or have the facilities opened.
  4. Will UT be providing signs at each main entrance that requires a “proximity access” ID card? “Your ID is Your Key” campaign signs will be delivered to each campus building manager. A sign template and social media toolkit that you may print in a format that works best for your building(s) is available on the Building Managers' Guide page.