Administrative Policies

AD13 Lost and Found Items

Policy Status: 

Under Review

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • Scope
  • Finding and Handling Lost Items
  • Recovering or Claiming Lost Items
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    This policy is intended to provide a standardized, efficient and controlled process for the handling, storage and final disposition of lost and found items throughout the University.


    The University is host to a large number of people on its campuses. Inevitably, many lost personal belongings are discovered on University property and are submitted to the University in anticipation that the owners will claim the items. This policy provides guidance for the handling of items in these situations.

    There are certain issues that employees must be cognizant of, and certain obligations that must be fulfilled with respect to lost and found items. For purposes of this policy and all related procedures, "employee" also includes, but is not limited to, student employees, graduate assistants, volunteers and third-party employees such as contractors and consultants.

    This policy and related procedures apply to all lost items found on University-owned or leased property.


    Items will be considered to be lost when found in an area where items are not normally left for a period of time, or after the building is closed to the general public. Facilities with 24-hour operations will determine a local policy for determining when items will be considered lost for purposes of this policy. If an item is found which may be stolen or contraband, University Police or Security offices must be contacted immediately

    Each college, campus and administrative unit must designate an office that will handle lost and found items and will be considered a lost and found repository. Click here for a list of repositories.

    It shall be the responsibility of each repository to safeguard lost items, participate in efforts to return items to the owners, and to forward items unclaimed after specified periods of time as outlined in Procedure AD2001. The University will take reasonable efforts to return items to the rightful owner, but assumes no liability if an item is returned to the wrong individual or if an item placed in a repository is mislabeled, misplaced, or damaged.

    Employees of the University must turn in all lost items found, either to a supervisor or directly to a lost and found repository. Other individuals who find lost items are encouraged to turn them into the closest University Office, or to the University Police or Campus Security Office (as applicable).


    Owners trying to find lost items should contact the nearest repository located where they believe that their item was lost, and inquire about the item. If this is not possible, the owners may contact the University Police or Campus Security office, describing the lost item and the location where they suspect the item was lost.

    Finder's claims may be honored if the finder provides contact information to the office to which the items are turned in, and completes the Lost and Found Finder Claim Form indicating they wish to maintain their rights as finders. Certain items (e.g., checks, credit cards, driver's license, passports and other items with personally identifiable information) are not subject to finder's claims. Electronic devices must be sanitized before being returned under a finder's claim.  Employees may not claim items found while performing their job or at their primary work location.

    Items which are unclaimed by the owner, finder or which are not subject to finder's claims will be processed according to the procedures outlined in Procedure AD2001.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Associate Vice President, Auxiliary & Business Services.


    Procedure AD2001 shall provide specific details regarding the handling of lost and found items and operation of lost and found repositories.

    Most recent changes:

    • October 13, 2020 - Updated link to Lost and Found Finder Claim Form.

    Revision History (and effective dates) :

    • February 19, 2016 - Major revisions to the policy, providing additional guidance to repositories for the handling, storage and final disposition of lost and found items throughout the University.
    • November 1, 2002 - New Policy.



    Date Approved: 

    February 15, 2016

    Date Published: 

    February 19, 2016

    Effective Date: 

    February 19, 2016