University Property Procedures Manual

The Board of Trustees of the California State University has delegated to campus Presidents the authority to establish and maintain a system of internal controls to safeguard University property pursuant to Executive Order 649. In accordance with this order the cost of the system of internal controls should be less than the value of the resulting benefits. They have also delegated the authority to sell or exchange any University property belonging to the University (Executive Order 409) when the campus President determines that it is in the best interests of the California State University.

The President has delegated this authority to the Vice President of Administrative Affairs, who has delegated it to the Associate Vice President of Business Services. This manual outlines procedures for the safeguarding and disposition of University Property, as approved by the Associate Vice President of Business Services. Index

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to establish a method for the processing of University property through the Asset Management Office (AMO) based on the Policy for Management of University Property. University property transactions include purchases; inventory cycle updates; change of location, department, or of responsible person; auction sales; trade-ins; donations; and loss and thefts.

2.0 Objective

Property accounting procedures are designed to maintain uniform accountability for University property. These standard procedures are used to provide accurate records for the acquisition, maintenance, control, and disposition of property. The combination of accurate accounting records and strong internal controls must be in place to protect against and detect the unauthorized use of University property.

3.0 Definitions

3.1 Capitalized Equipment

"Capitalized Equipment" is defined as tangible, non-consumable property with 1) a unit acquisition cost (including applicable tax and freight) equal to or greater than $5,000, 2) an estimated life of one-year or greater, 3) is not permanently attached to or incorporated in University buildings and grounds, and 4) is used to conduct University business. The Asset Management Office will record the property into the accounting records as capital assets. Detailed guidelines on capitalization of assets are located in the CSU GAAP Reporting Manual Capital Asset Guide.

3.2 Non-Capitalized Equipment

"Non-Capitalized Equipment" is defined as tangible, non-consumable property with 1) a unit acquisition cost (including applicable tax and freight) greater than or equal to $500 and less than or equal to $4,999, 2) an estimated life of one-year or greater, 3) is not permanently attached to or incorporated in University buildings and grounds, 4) is used to conduct University business, and 5) of a sensitive nature (i.e. easily subject to theft or loss). Examples of non-capitalized equipment include, but are not limited to: printers, palm held devices, scanners, camera equipment, projection units, portable tools, field-testing equipment, and musical instruments.

3.3 Instructional Equipment

"Instructional Equipment" can include capitalized and non-capitalized equipment, but in addition includes property which is tangible and non-consumable with 1) a unit acquisition cost (including applicable tax and freight) equal to or greater than $500, 2) an estimated life of one-year or greater, 3) is not permanently attached to or incorporated in University buildings and grounds, and 4) is used to conduct University business, but is also purchased for use in instructional departments. The Asset Management Office will maintain records to track and report required information to the University and State.

4.0 Responsibilities

4.1 University Asset Management Office Responsibilities

The University's Asset Management Office is responsible for the centralized equipment database maintained for Humboldt State University. The equipment database is the University's official record of acquisitions, transfers, and dispositions of University property and is maintained in the Asset Management module of Common Management Systems (CMS). University capitalized and non-capitalized equipment will be inventoried at least once within a three-year cycle Throughout each fiscal-year, the AMO will actively and physically inventory capitalized equipment. Instructional equipment will be tracked for the purpose of preparing the Instructional Equipment Inventory Report required by the Chancellor’s Office, but will not be physically inventoried unless it falls into the capitalized or non-capitalized categories.

4.2 Dean/Chair/Director Responsibilities

Each College, School, and Department has the primary responsibility for the custody, care, maintenance, and control of property assigned. Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to: maintaining up-to-date departmental inventory records, informing the AMO of property transactions involving University equipment, and maintaining warranty information. Fulfilling these responsibilities will enable the AMO to effectively meet the requirements set-forth by the University.

The Dean, Chair, or Director may designate a Property Coordinator.

4.3 Department Property Coordinator's Responsibilities

It is the Property Coordinator's responsibility to notify AMO of changes in equipment and/or property by completing the Property Management Transaction Form for lost, damaged, or misuse of property or equipment. Once AMO has received the Form indicating changes, the inventory equipment/property database will be updated.

4.4 Employees - Faculty & Staff

Employees of the campus community have an obligation to safeguard University equipment and property. This obligation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Taking reasonable security precautions to discourage loss, theft, or misuse of property.
  • Report lost, stolen, and damaged property to appropriate personnel. (Report of Missing Property, Police Incident Report).
  • Reasonable care, maintenance, and use of equipment to prevent damage.
  • Employees may be charged for any loss of or damage to University property that is attributable to their negligence or unauthorized use.

5.0 Acquisition of Equipment

5.1 Purchase

Equipment may be acquired by purchase (including lease purchase, installment purchase, Procurement Express Card Program), donation, and transfers. The cost of the equipment includes the purchase price, applicable taxes and freight, and any other costs associated with preparing the equipment for its intended use.

5.2 Donations (In Kind Gifts)

Departments must coordinate with University Advancement to ensure HSU in kind gift acceptance requirements are met and the donation is properly acknowledged with appropriate authorization signatures (In Kind Gift Proposal Form). Donations transferred to University ownership meeting one of the definitions of "equipment" (Section 3.0 Definitions) will be tagged and added to the University's property records.

5.3 Transfers of Equipment to the University

Requests for transfers of equipment to the University must be in writing and approved by the AMO.

5.4 Fabrication of Equipment

Under special circumstances equipment may be constructed by campus employees. Fabricated equipment may also be recorded in the University's database if it meets one of the definitions of "equipment" (Section 3.0 Definitions)

6.0 Equipment Tagging

Property is required to be received by Distribution Services. University property is tagged after it is distributed to the accepting department. It is the responsibility of the department to inform AMO if property will be delivered to another physical location other than the HSU campus.

6.1 Identification of University Equipment

Capitalized and non-capitalized University equipment must be tagged or marked with a unique identification number and recorded in the property database. The identification number will be directly applied to the actual unit unless its size or nature prohibits application. Any additional identification number required by the department should be applied in a manner that avoids confusion with the University identification number. If an equipment identification number becomes destroyed, defaced, or removed it is the responsibility of the department to contact the AMO for re-application of a new identification number. Assigned identification numbers are recorded on applicable property control documents.

University property will have a tag with the prefix "S." Property maintained by the Sponsored Programs Foundation will have a tag with the prefix "F". Property donated to the University by the Sponsored Programs Foundation will then be tagged with an "S" tag.

For example: "S05823"

6.2 New Property Added to the University Equipment Database

University property that is to be tagged and entered into the University equipment database should conform to one of the definitions of equipment (Section 3.0 Definitions) and be a stand-alone piece of property.

For example: a computer is a stand-alone piece of property. A printer bought on the same order is not considered part of the computer.

Items that are attached to, and add value to an existing piece of equipment, will be treated as a part of that equipment and its dollar value will be added to the hosts property file.

For example: by adding a $700 collator increases the production and value to an existing copy machine. This is also true of any add-on regardless of the dollar value. In this instance, the department should type the decal number of the host equipment onto the add-on's purchase order.

6.3 CMS Chartfield Account #’s

University property should have the appropriate CMS chartfield account numbers on the purchase order. Chartfields used will be reviewed by Purchasing and/or Accounting. Inappropriate chartfields will be returned to the originating department for clarification or correction.

Acceptable accounts to use are:

  • 619001 - Equipment
  • 616002 - IT Hardware
  • 616003 - IT Software

6.4 Property Purchased Jointly with Other Entities

Property purchased with a combination of University and other entities’ funds should be listed on the purchase order with the amount of funds allocated from each funding source. These items will be recorded as University Property if any portion of the funds used to acquire, install, or maintain the items are from University sources.

7.0 University Equipment Database & Physical Inventory

7.1 University Equipment Database

The Asset Management Office maintains the equipment database for capitalized and non-capitalized University equipment.

7.1.1 Acquisition Data

Information entered into the property database will include the date of purchase, cost, purchase order number, custodial, department, and the CMS department chartfield charged.

7.1.2 Equipment Item Description

The description of the equipment entered into the property database will include (as available) make, model number, manufacturer, serial number, University identification number, and asset type/category/class as needed for capital asset reporting and depreciation.

7.1.3 Equipment Location

The location of equipment will be recorded in the equipment database and in the department's records. Current records must be maintained as to the location of equipment to allow for inspection and/or inventory purposes whenever necessary. The department's Property Coordinator is responsible for completing the Property Management Transaction Form and forwarding to the Asset Management Office.


7.2 Inventory of University Equipment

7.2.1 Physical Inventories of University Equipment

University equipment will be inventoried at least once within a three-year cycle. Departments are required to accommodate the AMO’s performance of their physical inventory.

To maintain appropriate internal controls equipment inventories:

  • will not be exclusively controlled by the custodian of the property records.
  • will take place with the Asset Manager or their designee, and the department Property Coordinator or their designee. The person in charge of the stockroom/equipment rooms, if one is used, will not be exclusively in charge of maintaining the inventory records or the taking of physical inventories.

There are two different components of the physical inventory: that of the capitalized equipment, which will be reconciled to the general ledger, and that of non-capitalized equipment.

7.2.2 Personally-Owned Equipment

University employees who use their personally-owned equipment on-campus should identify and report the use of such equipment to their immediate Dean/Chair/Director/Administrative Officer. Humboldt State University, in not responsible for loss or damage to the equipment.

8.0 Loss Prevention

Departments with equipment susceptible to theft or loss should consider implementing one or more of the following protection measures:

  • Ensure University equipment identification tags or permanent makings are visible on the equipment.
  • Establish an internal check-out/check-in system for departmental equipment.
  • Lock office equipment to desk or stands.
  • Utilize a security room or closet to store high-risk equipment.

8.1 Lost or Stolen University Property

A Report of Missing Property shall be filed with AMO for equipment that is identified as missing, stolen, or vandalized. This form is available from AMO. It is the responsibility of University departments to file an Incident Report with the University Police Department in the event that equipment becomes missing, stolen, or vandalized. It is the department's responsibility to notify AMO of the Incident/Case number assigned by the University Police Department and forward necessary documents to Asset Management Office.

9.0 Property Transactions

Departments are ultimately responsible for notifying the AMO of relocations of University equipment. The Property Management Transaction Form should be filed with AMO no later than five (5) business days of the transaction. The following guidelines are to be used to expedite property equipment transactions.

9.1 Equipment Transfers Between Campus Departments

When University equipment is transferred between campus departments, a Property Management Transaction Form must be completed and signed by the appropriate Dean/Chair/Director/Administrative Officer transferring the equipment. The following information must be provided on the form: University tag identification number, item description, and new building and room location. The original copy is to be forwarded to AMO. A copy of the form must be retained in the department equipment records. The Asset Management Office will update the property database to reflect the transfer.

9.2 Off-Campus Use of University Equipment/Property

Humboldt State University requires that University property not be utilized off-campus unless it is necessary for the performance of University business. If University property has been approved to be used off-campus, it is the responsibility of the department to complete an Authorization for Off-Campus Use of Equipment Form before the property is removed from campus.

The conditions under which equipment or other University property can be used off-campus are listed below and are hereby a part of the agreement signed by the responsible University employee on the Authorization for Off-Campus Use of Equipment Form.

  • To be responsible for loss or damage to equipment
  • To use equipment only for University activities
  • To return equipment on due date or upon request
  • To pay for equipment which is damaged or lost

It is the responsibility of each University department Property Coordinator to verify the condition and location of each off-campus piece of property included on their department's inventory during each inventory cycle or upon request from AMO. When the equipment is returned to campus, the department Property Coordinator must acknowledge the return of the property on the Authorization for Off-Campus Use of Equipment Form with appropriate signatures. The department Property Coordinator must send AMO a copy of the updated form and the new on-campus location.

Laptops must have an Authorization for Off-Campus Use of Equipment Form on file with the Asset Management office. This form must be filled out regardless of whether the laptop will be taken off-campus.

10.0 Disposition of University Property

10.1 Approval of Dispositions

No item of property shall be sold, transferred, or disposed of outside HSU, without prior approval of the Property Survey Committee.

10.2 Surplus Property

  • A Property Management Transaction Form must be completed for equipment that a department deems as surplus.
  • To eliminate the risk of sensitive information being released, computer hard drives must be certified by the department’s authorized IT personnel to be cleared using software meeting the Department of Defense standards even if being transferred to another department on campus, unless the computer hard drive is discarded by the University Sustainability Coordinator under the Electronic Waste Recycling Agreement.
  • Dispositions of surplus property must go through the AMO. The Asset Manager will decide based on the present condition and recommended disposition code indicated on the form whether or not the item will be offered to another campus department or the item will go to the Property Survey Committee for approval of disposition. Departments are unauthorized to directly discard of University property (i.e. private sale, donation, e-bay, scrapped).

If a department requires assistance in moving surplus property a Moving Request Form should be filed with Moving & Delivery Services.

When University surplus property is deemed by AMO as not usable in another campus department then the property committee will determine the recommended disposition method based on the following priorities:

  • Make available to local State-funded entities (i.e. schools)
  • Make available to eligible non-profit entities
  • University property deemed totally useless, irreparable or dangerous will be discarded.

10.3 Public Sales

Public sales of equipment will not take place until approved by the Property Survey Committee. The Asset Management Office will assist departments in bringing forth information to the Property Survey Committee for equipment available for public sale.

Proceeds from the sale of equipment may be treated as abatement (credit) to a departmental account only when the sale is one step in a series of transactions, which replaces the old asset with another asset, (i.e., specialized large pieces of equipment or vehicles.)

10.4 Sale or Trade-In of University Property

The University administration will establish a fair market value of the property that is to be sold or traded-in. The Asset Management Office should be notified of any departmental plans to trade-in property before the transaction takes place. The Property Survey Committee shall approve trade-in requests prior to the transaction taking place.

10.5 Sale or Trade-In of University Vehicles

Departments may request to sell or trade-in a vehicle by notifying AMO prior to the transaction. The Asset Management Office holds the pink slips for University vehicles, which include: trucks, cars, motorcycles, three and four wheel off-road vehicles, boats, airplanes, and any other vehicle requiring a State license plate. The Asset Management Office will work with the department and Contracts and Procurement concerning the trade-in of vehicles. The Property Survey Committee shall approve the appropriate method of disposition.

Last Updated: November 23, 2011