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Policies and Procedures

8.01 Equipment Use/University Property

Equipment Use

State law forbids the lending of university-owned property to individuals or organizations not connected with the university. Faculty members who wish to use university equipment for off-campus lectures, classes, or research projects may make arrangements through their department heads or the Director of Business Services.

University Property

General Policy

University property shall be made available for reassignment within the university for the benefit of the university as a whole, if it is not being adequately utilized in its currently assigned department.


University property is defined as any item of tangible personal property which is possessed by a university department, whether operable or inoperable, purchased or donated. This includes taggable and non-taggable equipment, library materials, operating supplies and materials, and materials declared "scrap." Departments do not "own" property since ownership of all property resides with the university (State of Iowa), regardless of how the property was obtained or the source of funds utilized.

It is the responsibility of the Controller's Office to determine if title has passed to the university on all donated property and the Administrator of Grants and Contracts on property purchased with Federal funds.

Purchased Property

University property, i.e., equipment, materials, supplies, etcetera, must be purchased as provided for under current purchasing procedures contained in the UNI Policies and Procedures Manual and the UNI Operations Handbook. Property purchased from UNI Foundation accounts must be in accordance with established guidelines. Property purchased with Federal funds must follow applicable regulations.

Donated Property

Property received through donations must be reported to the UNI Foundation, which is responsible for obtaining a fair market value for the item, for recording and acknowledging the gift and for transferring the gift to the university. Art works may be placed on loan to the university. The Controller's Office is responsible for reviewing fair market value appraisals, for recording donated materials on the university's financial statements, and for tagging and recording the item in the university's fixed asset system.


University property may be used only for university-related purposes, whether the property is physically located on or off-campus. Violations of this policy may result in university disciplinary action.

Use, Off-Campus

  1. Equipment may not be removed from the campus until a university property tag has been affixed and written authorization obtained.

  2. Off-campus use of university property may be authorized after completion of an Authorization Form for Off-Campus Use of University Property (see attached) and filing the form with the Equipment Inventory Control Clerk in the Controller's Office. The individual checking out university property is responsible for completing the form, obtaining the approval of a university official as defined below, and for obtaining the signature of the Equipment Inventory Control Clerk.

  3. Approval must be given by the department head, dean of the college or administrative officer. The form must be acknowledged by the Equipment Inventory Control Clerk before the property can be removed from the campus. The Equipment Inventory Control Clerk is responsible for maintaining a file of Authorization Forms and will request updated authorizations at appropriate intervals.

  4. Off-campus use of university property may be authorized for a period of up to twelve months. Subsequent periods not to exceed twelve months must be authorized by completing a new authorization form. Approval may be revoked at any time at the discretion of the individual giving the approval, the supervisor of that individual, or a university official.

  5. Persons approved to use university property off-campus will be responsible for property damage due to misuse or neglect and for adequate insurance coverage on the property.

  6. Departments such as Music or the Library may be exempted from using the authorization form or may arrange other procedures with written authorization of the university Controller.

  7. Individuals that have checked out university property for off campus use may be required to return the property to campus for any physical inventory.


Surplus Property

Accumulating "surplus" property in departmental storage areas is strongly discouraged.

Department heads may declare property as excess to their department. Departments are encouraged to attempt to transfer that property within their college or division on a no cost basis prior to declaring it "surplus". Transfers shall be reported to the Controller's Office.

Departments are encouraged to "trade in" property on similar items of new property when possible and to dispose of other "surplus" property by making it available to other university departments.

When new buildings or building renovation projects include new furnishings, fixtures and equipment, property being removed or replaced shall come under control of Campus Planning for reassignment or release to the Equipment Inventory Control Clerk. No funds shall be due the department receiving the new property.

Trade-Ins of Surplus Property

If a department is replacing an item with an identical or like item, trade-in should be considered. The Purchasing Department is responsible for the purchase of new equipment and will review disposal alternatives. New purchases should be bid with and without a trade-in to determine the value or marketability of a like item. If the item has good marketability, the value can be determined by Purchasing and the owning department and then compared to the trade-in value, prior to any decision on its disposition. Purchasing will explore alternatives and make recommendations.

Disposal of Surplus Property

Departments/colleges are prohibited from conducting their own sales of surplus property and from placing "sale" advertisements,

  1. Departments shall notify the Inventory Control Clerk in the Controller's Office of items being declared "surplus" by furnishing the description of the property, its UNI property tag number, condition, color or finish, approximate age, location, and other descriptive information.

  2. The Inventory Control Clerk will notify Campus Planning of any surplus furniture. Campus Planning may reserve furniture for use in renovation projects or release it to the Inventory Control Clerk.

  3. Surplus property released to the Inventory Clerk will be matched with existing requests. If there are no existing requests, the Inventory Clerk will periodically advertise items and their approximate values in appropriate campus publications for purchase by other university departments. If a transfer is arranged, net receipts will be deposited to the Sale of Equipment account and credited to the department which released the property for reallocation except in the case of Residence System, Maucker Union and UNI-Dome sales where funds shall be deposited to their restricted accounts.

  4. If the property has value but is not needed by another campus department, the Inventory Clerk will ask the Physical Plant to move the property to an appropriate storage area. When a sufficient amount of property is accumulated, the Inventory Clerk will ask the Purchasing Department to advertise a public auction in appropriate publications. The net proceeds of the sale will be deposited to the Sale of Equipment account for general university credit and use. In the case of the Residence System, Maucker Union, or UNI-Dome, net proceeds will be deposited to their restricted accounts.


Alternate Methods of Disposal of Surplus Property

The Purchasing Department and Inventory Control Clerk are responsible for assisting departments in identifying disposal alternative (i.e. Trade-ins, used components or parts, scrap, etc.), establishing relative values and recommending economically appropriate actions. The Purchasing Director must authorize any alternate method of disposal of university property.

Disposal of Scrap Material

The Purchasing Director is responsible for the sale of scrap material such as waste paper, non-precious metals, automobile batteries, and salvaged building materials. Normally at least two competitive quotes will be obtained. Net proceeds shall accrue to the department operating the salvage operation.

Disposal of Library Materials

The library periodically eliminates duplicate, antiquated, or donated material inappropriate for the collection. The Inventory Clerk is responsible for coordinating disposal of library materials by a sale or other appropriated disposition. Net proceeds shall accrue to the library.

Annual Equipment Inventory

According to Section 17.30 of the 1989 Code of Iowa, ". . .the State Board of Regents. . . (is) responsible for keeping a written, detailed, up-to-date inventory of all real and personal property belonging to the state and under their charge, control and management." A general university audit is conducted annually by the Auditor of State.

Department heads are responsible for conducting an annual inventory of al] taggable equipment. The individual making the physical inventory should identify items that are missing or were sold, traded-in, discarded, or transferred to other departments. Periodic internal audits are conducted by the Operations Auditor.

See also:  University Services, Controller's Office.

Vice President for Administration and Finance Approved, 1/91

President's Bulletin, No. 146, 4/10/91


Authorization Form for Off-Campus Use of University Property

Department _________________________________________________________

Property Tag ________ Description _____________________________________

Property Tag ________ Description _____________________________________

Property Tag ________ Description _____________________________________

Property Tag ________ Description _____________________________________

Date of Check Out ____________________________________________________

Date Property to be Returned ____________________________________________

Justification For Using Property Off-Campus: (Additional Space on Reverse Side)

Specific location at which property will be used:

Signature of person using the property off campus:

_____________________________________ Date: ________________

Signature of person authorizing the use of property off campus:

_____________________________________ Date: ________________

Signature of Equipment Inventory Control Clerk:

_____________________________________ Date: ________________