FN14 Use of University Tangible Assets, Equipment, Supplies and Services
Policy Steward:Office of the Corporate Controller>
To state University policy governing the use of University tangible assets and services.
All tangible assets (including equipment, software, audio-visual material, work tools, theatrical costumes, etc.) owned, leased or operated by the University are to be used in the conduct of University programs and activities at University owned or leased locations.
University departments may offer services only to other University departments and only for University-related work. (Rates for this work must be approved by the Corporate Controller.) Permitted work includes, instructional work for credit and non-credit courses, conferences, workshops, institutes, training programs, etc.; support for faculty research, publications, presentations, and outreach activities; services for recognized student organizations; and services for other organized student extramural activities.
University tangible assets and services may not be used for personal gain, by employees for purposes outside the scope of their employment (see also Policy HR35 ), or by students beyond their instructional requirements. University resources are to be used for University business. Following are further policy statements regarding the policy on personal use of University equipment, staff and services:
- The use of email, internet, and office phone services for reasonable personal use is permitted if the University incurs no additional incremental cost for personal use.
- These services may never be used in the conduct of a personal business or any other for-profit venture from which the employee (or member of their family) would receive personal gain.
- Employees should not use these services for personal use if additional costs are incurred (i.e., long-distance phone calls). If incremental charges are incurred, the University must be reimbursed for the cost.
- Excessive personal use which interferes with the employee's job performance is not appropriate and can be limited as needed by supervisors to assure employee productivity.
- The use of University-owned equipment for personal use is generally not permitted, with the exception of technology equipment used for reasonable personal use as noted above.
- University-owned technology equipment, such as computers and PDAs, may be permitted to be housed at an employee's home, but only if there is a business need for the use of that equipment at home and appropriate accountability forms are completed.
- The use of University employees for services that would be considered personal, such as running errands or typing personal documents, is not permitted.
- The use of non-public University facilities (those not available to the general public) for personal meetings or family events (see AD02 for additional policy statements) is not permitted.
Employees are encouraged to report instances of noncompliance with this policy. Employees can report concerns or observations of misuse or theft of University assets or services to any of the following: the employee’s immediate supervisor (unless they are the individual conducting the misuse), Internal Audit, the Employee Relations Division in the Office of Human Resources, their Financial Officer or Human Resources Representative, the University’s Ethics and Compliance Office and/or University Police. Alternatively, an employee can file a report with the University’s Financial and Compliance Hotline at 1-800-560-1637 or at https://psuethicsandcompliance.tnwreports.com/. If an employee reports a concern about or observation of misuse or theft to his or her immediate supervisor, the supervisor should contact any of the above-named remaining units or individuals. If the Financial Officer or the employee’s work unit’s Human Resource Representative receives a report from the employee or the employee’s supervisor, they should contact Employee Relations, Internal Audit, the Ethics and Compliance Office or University Police.
When a report of misuse or theft of University assets or services is received by Internal Audit, Employee Relations, and the University’s Ethics and Compliance Office, they may consult and discuss with each other as necessary to insure the matter is properly addressed. If a decision is reached that the matter should be turned over to University Police, the Senior Vice President for Finance & Business/ Treasurer should be notified concurrently with the referral of the matter to the Assistant Vice President for University Police/Public Safety.
When a report of misuse or theft of University assets or services is received directly by University Police, they shall have sole discretion as to how best to proceed with the investigation of the reported activity to ensure that the matter is appropriately and successfully addressed.
Policy AD06, "Community Charity Solicitation of University Employees," outlines the specific exception for the use of services by a non-University entity.
Reasonable personal phone calls and faxes may be permitted at the discretion of the budget executive or budget administrator, and if authorized, any tolls and extra charges must be reimbursed by the employee to the University budget charged for the initial service.
Any other exception dealing with the offering of services would be for services not commercially available within the region of the campus. University departments may perform such services for non-University organizations or individuals only with written approval in advance from the Corporate Controller. (see also Policy AD15)
If any tangible asset is to leave University owned or leased locations, a Request for Authorization to Use University Tangible Assets at a Non-University Location form must be completed and approved by the budget executive. Upon return of the tangible asset to the originating department in good condition, a departmental representative must sign a closing copy of the form to evidence the return of the tangible asset.
If the tangible asset is to leave University owned or leased locations for more than 30 days, and is individually tagged, Property Inventory must be notified. This notification must be via copy of the Request for Authorization to Use University Tangible Assets at a Non-University Location form. Also, upon return of the tangible asset to the originating department in good working order, a second copy of the Authorization form, signed by a second departmental representative indicating receipt, must be forwarded to Property Inventory.
The Request for Authorization to Use University Tangible Assets at a Non-University Location form does not have to be completed, nor Property Inventory notified, if:
1) The asset is being transported for relocation to another University location. If the relocation is to last from thirty days up to and including a year, then a Report of Temporary Relocation of Tangible Assets must be completed. If the relocation is to last more than one year, then a Report of Disposition or Permanent Transfer of Tangible Assets must be completed.
2) The tangible asset is routinely used at a non-University location and the use is approved and documented (and reported to Property Inventory if tagged) by other means (e.g., the use of a University vehicle via "VRES," etc.).
3) The use of the tangible asset is in response to an emergency situation risking life or property. However, if the situation extends to thirty days, a Report of Temporary Relocation of Tangible Assets must be processed.
For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Corporate Controller.
Other Policies should also be referenced, especially:
AD06 - Community Charity Solicitation of University Employees,
AD15 - Fees and Charges For Facilities and Services,
AD67 - Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection From Retaliation,
iP06 - Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurial Activity (Faculty Research),
HR35 - Public Service by Members of the Faculty and Staff,
HR80 - Private Consulting Practice, and
HR91 - Conflict of Interest.
Effective Date: June 17, 2016
Date Approved: June 17, 2016
Date Published: June 17, 2016
Most Recent Changes:
- June 17, 2016 - Revision in paragraph #2 of the REPORTING NONCOMPLIANCE section, clarifying the process/notification requirements when a decision is made that noncompliance with the policy should be reported.
Revision History (and effective dates):
- April 7, 2014 - Addition of a REPORTING NONCOMPLIANCE section, to provide guidance to employees for reporting concerns or observations of misuse or theft of University assets or services.
- September 27, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
- August 6, 2009 - Verbiage discussing the use of University tangible assets, supplies and services was moved from Policy FN10 and incorporated into the POLICY section of this policy.
- June 14, 2006 - Revision History added.
- May 9, 2005:
- Editorial changes to eliminate "General Forms Usage Guide" references, and to add the correct links for the forms referenced in the policy.
- Corrected old link to Policy AD37; replaced with correct link to RA12 to reflect transfer of this policy to the Research Policy section of GURU.
- February 2, 1998 - Addressed personal phone calls and faxes.
- August 12, 1996 - The POLICY section revised to clarify to whom University departments may offer their services.
- March 12, 1993 - Expanded title of the policy to include equipment and supplies.
- November 24, 1992 - Policy revised, renumbered and relocated from AD12.
- August 24, 1990 - Form title change; reference to "Request for Authorization to use University Equipment at a Non-University Location" is now retitled (now says University Assets instead of Equipment).
- December 10, 1988 - Revision to "Exceptions" section, per Office of Naval Research review of University's Property System.
- November 15, 1981 - Policy title change to "Use of University Equipment, Supplies, and services" (Formerly Materials).