Equipment/Excess Property Disposal

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 10.3(6)
Reviewed and Updated: February 18, 2020
Contact: Specialty Business Services & Cultural Arts


The purpose of this policy is to ensure accountability in managing public assets and compliance with state, federal, Regents and NCAA requirements for the proper disposal of equipment and other university-owned materials. In addition, this policy promotes reuse of equipment/materials and is consistent with the university's sustainability goals and repurposing efforts. Equipment and materials purchased with university funds, including discretionary and ISU Foundation funds, are university-owned and subject to this policy.

Policy Statement

ISU Surplus

ISU Surplus is solely responsible for the sale or disposal of university-owned equipment deemed surplus/excess by a department. No department or individual may arrange for the sale or collect money for university-owned equipment, computers, furniture, or other supplies/materials purchased with university funds, regardless of the source of funds. Departmental personnel may not gift or donate equipment, computers, cell phones, furniture, or other items without ISU Surplus approval. University-owned equipment, computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, furniture, and materials may not be removed from the university, converted to personal property, or retained for personal use when deemed excess. In addition:

  • ISU Surplus must be contacted when furniture, equipment and/or other items of value have been deemed excess, obsolete, worn out, no longer usable, or no longer needed by the university.
  • Excess Property Disposal forms/templates are to be completed to facilitate transfer to the ISU Surplus office for proper disposal.
  • The university requires removal of all data, proprietary information and network access from all university computers, laptops and tablets before disposal or sale. Removal of all data, information, and access must be performed by Information Technology Services or ISU Surplus. 
  • ISU Surplus will return proceeds from the sale of individual items selling for more than $300, less fees and expenses, to the selling department.
  • ISU Surplus will offer the sale or transfer of equipment and materials via a restricted sale to other university departments, state agencies and/or political subdivisions of the state of Iowa. ISU Surplus will also offer equipment and materials, via a restricted sale, for sale or transfer to recognized community non-profit agencies. ISU Surplus reserves the right to add parties to and/or delete parties from the restrictive sale. 
  • With the specific approval of the Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance, surplus equipment and materials may be utilized or donated in connection with nonprofit or community projects that benefit or serve the university's interests. Unsold items will be offered for public sale.
  • Departments may share or transfer supplies or items of nominal value, such as office supplies, campus mail envelopes, binders, printers, computers, etc., between departments without involving ISU Surplus, if the items are no longer tagged and on the university's inventory.
  • This policy does not apply to supplies/materials that are fully consumed or items that have insignificant residual value. Unless such items are considered hazardous waste, they should be disposed of through normal trash removal. ISU Surplus may determine the best avenue for disposal and grant exceptions to this policy.

Purchase by a PI's New Employer

If a principal investigator wants to take equipment purchased with other than federal/sponsored funds to a new employing institution, the new institution will have to purchase the equipment from ISU Surplus. Prior to the sale, approvals are needed from the department chair to remove the equipment because removing the equipment may disrupt the operations of the department. Determination of the equipment's value must be approved by ISU Surplus, which will work with the university department and other sources as needed.

Documentation of payment, receipt, and acceptance by the new institution is required prior to removal of the equipment items from university inventory records and shipping to the purchaser’s location.

Federally Funded Equipment


Equipment that is excess to departmental operating needs, was purchased with federal funds, and has a value of $5,000 or more is subject to additional federal disposal requirements. Departments must contact Sponsored Programs Accounting for assistance in complying with these federal requirements.


By contacting Financial Accounting and Reporting, principal investigators may request the transfer of federally sponsored equipment to a new employing institution if the federal project under which the equipment was purchased is also being transferred. There will be an administrative review by the university, starting with Sponsored Programs Accounting, and if appropriate, the equipment will be released to the new institution. Federal agencies differ in specific guidelines and the university will follow the specific guidelines of the grant.

Documentation of receipt and acceptance by the new institution is required prior to removal of the equipment items from university inventory records.