The University has statutory obligations to record, control, and account for property purchased with University funds. All University employees are responsible for the safeguarding of University property. Property with a purchase cost of $5,000 or more and an expected life of two or more years will be given an inventory number, entered in the Fixed Assets System, and physically inventoried on an annual basis.
I. Policy Purpose
It is the Policy of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to protect and preserve all University property under University control. The purpose of this Policy is to:
- set forth the responsibilities of all University employees to comply with applicable State laws regarding arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any state-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property; and
- require the University to establish and maintain accurate systems to record and account for all ﬁxed assets.
For the purposes of this Policy:
"University property" is deﬁned as ﬁxed assets and physical facilities owned by the University or within its custody or control, including assets purchased with grant funds.
"Fixed assets" are deﬁned as University property, such as land, buildings, and equipment, with a cost equal to or greater than $5,000 and a useful life of two or more years, and purchased software with a cost equal to or greater than $100,000 and a useful life of two or more years. Fixed assets are acquired for use in normal operations and are not intended for resale.
"Equipment" is deﬁned as a ﬁxed asset that is not consumable or expendable; it is movable, even though sometimes attached to other objects or buildings. Examples of equipment include, but are not limited to, oﬃce equipment/furniture, electronic data processing equipment, educational equipment, motor vehicles, and other equipment (construction and maintenance equipment, air conditioners, athletic equipment, ﬁreﬁghting equipment, forklifts, lawn mowers, street sweepers).
"Physical facilities" are deﬁned as buildings and infrastructure, i.e., permanent structures. Infrastructure includes dams and bridges; fences; exterior lighting; utility stations; parking lots; towers, tanks and wells; and roads and sidewalks.
A. All University Employees
All University employees have the responsibilities set forth in this Policy. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 143B-920, when any University employee receives any information or evidence of actual or attempted arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property, he or she shall, within three days, report such information or evidence to his or her immediate supervisor. The supervisor shall, as soon as possible, report such information or evidence to the head of the respective department or unit, who shall, as soon as possible, report such information or evidence to the Fixed Assets Office and to Police and Public Safety. Police and Public Safety will investigate such reports and make a report to the State Bureau of Investigation as set forth below. All University employees are required to cooperate with the State Bureau of Investigation, its oﬃcers, and agents, as far as may be possible, in aid of such investigation. If such investigation reveals a possible violation of the criminal laws, the results thereof shall be reported by the State Bureau of Investigation to the appropriate district attorney.
B. Department Heads and Unit Directors
Each Department Head/Unit Director is responsible for safeguarding all assets purchased for his or her department, regardless of the source of funding for those assets. This accountability includes taking adequate precautions to ensure that arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University property is prevented. Additionally, the Department Heads and Unit Directors are responsible for:
- compliance with University policies and procedures for inventory veriﬁcation; disposal of damaged, obsolete, or surplus equipment;
- reporting changes to the status of equipment as listed in the supplemental procedures to this Policy;
- compliance with all federal and state laws, and guidelines for federally funded equipment; and
- compliance with any OSHA or NCDENR regulations applicable to capital equipment. Department Heads and Unit Directors must maintain or ensure the maintenance of the necessary records and forms (as set forth in the procedures supplemental to this Policy) to provide reasonable assurance that University property is adequately protected.
Additionally, Department Heads and Unit Directors are strongly encouraged to control equipment not included in the provisions of this Policy (i.e., computers, data projectors, and other easily pilferable equipment items costing less than $5,000). Departments may maintain their own databases or spreadsheets of assets to track equipment locations, serial numbers, and other pertinent information. The Fixed Assets Office can provide assistance in setting up departmental inventory processes. Each department is also subject to internal and external audit veriﬁcations on a sample of ﬁxed assets.
Department Heads and Unit Directors with a large amount of and/or sophisticated equipment may appoint an inventory liaison to assist with the security and control of that equipment. An inventory liaison must assist in tagging, identifying, and locating equipment during periodic inventories and in overseeing the control of departmental equipment. Department Heads and Unit Directors are responsible for ensuring that inventory liaisons understand this Policy and are trained in the control of University property prior to their appointment.
C. Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans
The Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans are responsible for ensuring that employees in their areas are informed about and understand their responsibilities under this Policy. In addition, the Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans are responsible for reasonable assurance that employees in their divisions appropriately safeguard University property against arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University property by enforcing this Policy eﬀectively. Such enforcement includes the responsibility for disciplining any employee who misuses or is negligent with regard to security or control of University property. The Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans will notify the Fixed Assets Office when responsibility for control of departmental property is vested in a person other than the Department Head or Unit Director, or in the event of a change in property control responsibility.
D. Police and Public Safety
When Police and Public Safety receives a report of actual or attempted arson, damage, theft, embezzlement, or misuse of any University-owned personal property, buildings, or other real property, the Police and Public Safety Director, or his or her designee, will conduct an investigation and document the investigation in writing. He or she will report the results of the investigation to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) as follows: Within ten (10) days of receipt of the report, the Police and Public Safety Director or designee will send a letter to the Professional Standards Division with the State Property Incident Report (SBI-78 Form). A copy of each report sent to the SBI will be forwarded to the Internal Audit Department and to the Fixed Assets Oﬃcer.
E. Internal Audit
The Internal Audit Department will incorporate into its administrative reviews and/or annual audits a review of control measures that apply to safeguarding the University's fixed assets. Internal Audit will report weaknesses in internal inventory controls as a part of each applicable administrative review and/or audit to the responsible Department Head/Unit Director and Vice Chancellor. For any fixed assets accounted for during an administrative review or audit, Internal Audit will verify that required subsequent actions have been taken.
F. Controller's Office
The Controller's Oﬃce, in conjunction with Materials Management, is responsible for maintaining accurate ﬁxed asset records, coordinating the annual physical inventories, and fixed assets reporting as described in this Policy. The Controller’s Office will tag, record in the University Fixed Assets System, and physically inventory annually all ﬁxed assets valued at $5,000 or more.
During the annual physical inventory, the University's Controller or designee will forward a list of all fixed assets that are either missing or have unexplained damage to the responsible Department Head/Unit Director or designee. The Fixed Assets Accounting Technician will also provide an annual report to the Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance listing the amount and value of assets identified as missing during the annual inventory process, as well as the amount and value of the assets meeting the criteria to be retired. The Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs will forward the annual report to other individuals as deemed appropriate.
G. Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs
The Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs is responsible for administration of the ﬁxed asset control program. Accordingly, the Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs will establish procedures and forms to ensure that the University's ﬁxed assets are properly accounted for, safeguarded, and controlled.
All University employees are obligated to comply with any procedures supplemental to this Policy. The Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs is responsible for establishing and enforcing such supplemental procedures related to the protection and control of University property as to ensure compliance with all applicable North Carolina state laws. These procedures are available from the Oﬃce of the Vice Chancellor for Business Aﬀairs or online.
- Initially approved September 8, 1986
- Revised June 22, 2001
- Revised January 16, 2003
- Revised June 4, 2004
- Revised November 29, 2007
- Updated September 14, 2012
- Revised August 28, 2019
Responsible Office: Business Affairs