PRM-011: Use of Working Time and University Equipment for Personal or Commercial Purposes

Date: 04/15/2010 Status: Final
Last Revised: 02/15/2019
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division and the Medical Center.
Reason for Policy:

To protect the assets of the University, encourage a safe environment, and reduce the risks to the University from lending out equipment, requirements have been established that restrict:

  1. The use of University employees’ working time;
  2. Use of University equipment for personal or commercial purposes (by employees, graduate medical education trainees, and students);
  3. Student conveyance of equipment onto Grounds; and
  4. Non-University persons’ or organizations’ use of University equipment.

This policy does not supersede state and University policies governing structured loan or rental programs, such as Intramural Recreational Sports equipment and University Library materials, or state and University policies permitting incidental use of University computing resources.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Employee (1):

    A person appointed through University Human Resources and paid through University payroll to perform services through the University, who performs services that are subject to the will and control of the University -- both what is done and how it is done. The University's right to control, not the exercise of that right, is a key factor. The University can allow the employee considerable discretion, so long as the University has the legal right to control both the methods and results of the services.

  • Equipment Assets:

    Includes all of the following with the exception of fixed equipment, which is part of a building structure or its systems (such equipment is part of the cost of the building and is accounted for as such):

    • Capital Equipment (Capital and Equipment Trust Fund (ETF) Equipment):

      Equipment that meets ALL the University’s criteria for asset capitalization which are:

      1. A minimum cost of $5,000 ($500 if ETF funded) upon acquisition or completion of a fabricated equipment asset (note: ETF funding doesn’t allow fabrications);
      2. A useful life of greater than one year;
      3. The equipment asset is titled to the University; and
      4. The equipment functions either as a standalone asset or as an integral part of a larger University asset.
    • Equipment Trust Fund (ETF):

      Funds that are provided by the Commonwealth of Virginia and managed by the State Council for Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV) for purchasing new or upgrading obsolete equipment used for instruction and research. The threshold for ETF equipment to be capitalized is $500.

    • Government–Furnished Equipment (GFE):

      Equipment provided by a federal sponsor where title remains with the federal government and does not become University property.

    • Sensitive Equipment:

      Non-capital equipment (less than $5,000) deemed sensitive by the sponsoring agency. Sensitive equipment may include: cameras, computers, camcorders, small instruments, tools, and unique or custom items.

    • Sponsor–Owned Equipment:

      Equipment purchased using sponsored program funds for which the title is retained by the Sponsor.

  • Graduate Medical Education (GME) Trainee:

    An individual who is employed by the University of Virginia Medical Center as a trainee in an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited or non-ACGME accredited post-graduate training program.

  • Student:

    An individual who either has been admitted to a degree or certificate program at the University or has received permission to enroll and is registered for coursework (including credit or non-credit) at the University during any given academic session (including fall or spring semesters, Summer Session, or January Term). 

  • University Equipment:

    University owned or leased property used to assist in performing an activity or function (e.g., hand tools, power tools, audio-visual equipment, etc.). University equipment does not include University infrastructure (e.g., networks, buildings, etc.); office furnishings that remain in the location designated for their use (e.g., desks, file cabinets, bookcases, etc.); or telephone and computing resources that are covered by other specific policies.

  • University Function:

    Any activity that is conducted or sponsored by a University office, department, or by University personnel, and is done on behalf of the University, whether the activity is conducted on or off Grounds.

    • University Office or Department:

      Any office or department whose reporting line culminates with the Board of Visitors. A student organization with a Contracted Independent Organization Agreement or a Fraternal Organization Agreement, or a University foundation is not considered a University office or department.

  • University-Related Foundation Function:

    Any activity that is conducted or sponsored by a University-Related Foundation office, department, or by University-Related Foundation personnel, and is done on behalf of the University, whether the activity is conducted on or off Grounds.

    • University-Related Foundation Office or Department:

      Any office or department whose reporting line culminates with a University-Related Foundation board.

  • Working Time:

    The hours during which an employee is expected to be performing his/her University-related job responsibilities. 

Policy Statement:

A University employee’s working time, use of University equipment, whether or not identified and tagged as an equipment asset (see FIN-034: Accounting Requirements for Equipment Assets), and consumable materials/supplies may not be used for personal or commercial purposes. Specifically:

  1. University Employee's Working Time:
    A University employee’s working time shall be used only for University business. An employee shall use working time to perform the duties of the position for which he/she was hired. A supervisor shall not encourage, direct, coerce, or request a subordinate to use his or her working time to perform activities other than those required in the performance of University responsibilities.

  2. Use of University Equipment by Employees and Graduate Medical Education (GME) Trainees:
    University equipment shall be used only for functions that promote the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, research, and public service as follows:

    • Used in connection with a University or University-Related Foundation function; (See also Policy XV.G.3: University Services and Activities.); or
    • Used pursuant to a contractual agreement between the University and a government agency, a private business, or another educational institution, and the agreement has been reviewed for consistency with University policy on competition with the private sector and unrelated business income by the University’s authorized signatory, with the assistance of the Office of University Counsel as necessary.

    The administrative head of each unit is responsible for the control and accountability of use of all equipment assigned to the unit. University equipment used for those purposes noted above must be tracked by the department who owns the equipment.

    [Note: For use of Medical Center Equipment, refer to Medical Center Policy 0273: Use of Medical Center Equipment for Non-Medical Center Functions.]

  3. Use of University Equipment by Students:
    Students are allowed reasonable use of University equipment when it is related to scholarship, research, and public service, and/or approved extracurricular activities. Such use requires approval of the appropriate equipment supervisor, provided the University incurs no unreasonable costs for materials, supplies, maintenance, and/or repairs.

  4. Equipment Brought onto Grounds by Students for Sponsored Events:
    The following equipment must be approved and/or inspected by the appropriate facility director or equipment supervisor prior to any scheduled event sponsored by a student organization:

    1. Any equipment that requires electricity and has a combined power consumption of more than 15 amps (equal to 1800 watts). Examples include but are not limited to: desktop and laptop computers, video and data projectors, printers, fax machines, copiers, broadcast or streaming video equipment, amplified sound and/or DJ audio equipment (such as amplifiers, powered speakers), and decorative lighting and/or lighting equipment (such as holiday or accent lights, photography/video lighting, stage/theatrical/DJ lighting, work lights).

    2. Any cooking equipment including but not limited to: refrigeration units, steam or warming equipment, ovens (including microwave, convection, broilers and baking ovens), fryers, griddles, grills (open flame, gas, or electrical types).

    3. Any decorations including but not limited to: tapestries, drapes/curtains, flags, banners, or other decorative fabric material. All fabric materials must have a flame certificate that complies with NFPA 701. Decorations must not be suspended from ceilings or walls without prior approval.

  5. Use of Equipment by Non-University Persons or Organizations:
    Use of equipment by individuals who are not employed or enrolled by the University, as well as use by any external organization, is not permitted without approval by the appropriate facility director or equipment supervisor, and use must meet one of the following criteria:

    1. The use is in connection with approved University-sponsored or approved activities, events, or services. (Refer to policy PRM-017: Use of University Facilities or Property, and Limits on Direct Solicitation and Advertising.)

    2. The use is part of a contractual agreement between the University and a government agency, a private business, or another educational institution, and the agreement has been reviewed for consistency with University policy relative to competition with the private sector and unrelated business income by the administrative head of the related unit with the assistance of the Office of University Counsel.

    3. The use is by official visitors to the University and is appropriate to the purpose of the visit.

    4. The use is in connection with a public service activity and the equipment does not exist elsewhere or is not reasonably otherwise available to the user.

    Additionally, the facility director or equipment supervisor may establish a user fee when appropriate. Such a fee must be approved in accordance with the University’s Services and Activities procedures.

  6. Exceptions to this Policy Require Pre-Approval:
    Any exception to this policy must and may be approved only by the University’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer or his designee.

    To request any exception to this policy allowing University Equipment to be used by: (1) non-University departments or organizations, such as a Contracted Independent Organization; or (2) University personnel to serve non-University organizations or activities, the administrative head/manager shall have the Borrower (Responsible Individual / Entity) sign an Agreement for Use of University Equipment which shall be sent to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (or designee) for review and approval.

    No modification to the Terms and Conditions of the Agreement for Use of University Equipment will be made without advance approval in writing by the Office of University Counsel and the University’s Office of Property & Liability Risk Management.

    The administrative head/manager responsible for the equipment may establish a user fee, when appropriate. Such a fee must be approved in accordance with policy FIN-049, Revenue Generating Activities and Policy XV.G.3: University Services and Activities.

  7. Tracking University Equipment:
    Each administrative head/manager must maintain documentation to track all University equipment, whether or not identified and tagged as an equipment asset (see FIN-034: Accounting Requirements for Equipment Assets), that is borrowed on a temporary basis. The documentation must include the following information as appropriate:

    • Description of the equipment;
    • Duration of loan (check out and return date);
    • Name of sponsoring unit or department;
    • Event description or reason for use;
    • Name and contact information of the person(s) using the equipment;
    • Location for equipment use; and
    • Signature approval of the administrative head or manager.

    A completed Off-Grounds Certification (Form P-2) must be submitted to the Fixed Assets Accounting Group before an equipment asset may be taken off-Grounds for any purpose.

  8. Compliance with Policy:
    Failure to comply with the requirements of this policy by an employee, supervisor, or student may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with relevant University policies.

    Questions about this policy should be directed to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Procedures:

Complete an Off-Grounds Certification (Form P-2).

Related Information:

XV.G.3: University Services and Activities
FIN-034: Accounting Requirements for Equipment Assets
FIN-049: Revenue Generating Activities
BOV-008: Policy on University-Related Foundations
IRM-002: Acceptable Use of the University’s Information Technology Resources
DHRM Policy 1.75: Use of Electronic Communications and Social Media

Major Category: Physical Resource Management
Category Cross Reference: Human Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 02/15/2022
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 04/15/2010
Revision History: Added students/GME Trainees 2/15/19; Updated 4/19/10. Previous version in effect from 3/10/08 through 4/18/2010.