Property Disposition Policy

Summary of Policy

The Dartmouth College Property Disposition policy sets forth the responsibilities and guidelines regarding the disposition of Dartmouth equipment/assets/property. This document also defines the appropriate mechanisms of cost recovery for these items. Equipment/asset/property is defined as any item, whether or not it is an operable or complete unit, which was purchased by, gifted, or donated to Dartmouth.  Title is vested in Dartmouth unless there are specific provisions reserving rights for another entity, which may occur when an item is purchased, in all or in part, with federal, state, or other grant funds. When this is the case, dispositions must be managed in accordance with applicable Dartmouth, federal and state policies as well as other contractual agreements. Procurement Services and the Office of Sponsored Projects will assist in clarifying such restrictions and determine as to whether title passes exclusively to Dartmouth.

The effective management of surplus property limits liability and disposal costs while providing a source of income for Dartmouth.  Valuable space becomes available when surplus is not allowed to accumulate; it should be managed as inventory with retention decisions based upon need, replacement cost and opportunity for reuse.  While the primary objective is to facilitate reuse of excess property through internal transfers, an equally important objective is to obtain the maximum proceeds for the sale of surplus property. 

Materials Management, within Procurement Services, is responsible for the coordination of disposition of surplus property. All property must be disposed of in accordance with federal, state, and regional regulatory requirements.  This policy and related procedures are to be used by Dartmouth faculty, staff, project managers and others to determine the appropriate protocol and method for equipment/asset/property disposition. 

Reason for Policy

Dartmouth College has an obligation to safeguard equipment within its stewardship by providing and following appropriate policies. This policy addresses the responsibility to accurately record, maintain, and account for this equipment.  As an institution of higher education that receives state funds, federal funds, other awards and subawards to conduct research, Dartmouth must follow administrative and documentation requirements to support federal, state, and other regulatory requirements. Many of these requirements also relate to appropriate standards for an Asset Management System. These standards include the requirement to keep accurate equipment records with specified data and to perform a comprehensive biennial inventory of moveable equipment. 

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

Table of Contents

Scope: Who Should Know This Policy?

  • Controller's Office
  • Building Managers
  • Financial and Fiscal Officers and staff of schools, divisions, departments, or centers
  • Department Administrators
  • Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP)
  • Procurement Services 
  • Project Managers 
  • Staff and/or faculty who have custodial role   

Policy Statement

Organizational Roles and Responsibilities

  • Approval Authority: Controller  
  • Office with Primary Responsibility: Procurement Services - Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator. This individual will be responsible for the following tasks:  
    • Update asset records or retire assets in the Fixed Asset Module when requested by a custodian, or department or as part of disposition.   
    • Coordinate the disposition of property/assets.  
  • Office with Responsibility: Departmental Property Manager/Custodian.  This individual will be responsible for the following tasks regarding assets assigned to them:  
    • Ensure proper use and safekeeping of all equipment/property/asset(s).  
    • Have knowledge of the location of all equipment/property/asset(s).  
    • Notify Procurement Services or Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator/Material Management using the appropriate form of all disposals, transfers, or other changes related to all property/asset(s).  

Requirements by Disposition Type

Sale – When Dartmouth equipment or other assets will be sold, the Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator must be notified, and the Equipment/Asset Transfer Request Form must be completed and sent to The Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator within Procurement has the sole responsibility to coordinate and market the sale of Dartmouth property. A Bill of Sale will be issued to the buyer/transferee to complete the sale/transfer as a legal mechanism for cost recovery even if transferred at zero cost (donation, gift, transfer). The Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator will remove the items from the Oracle Fixed Asset Module, if applicable.

Trade-In – When Dartmouth property will be traded-in, the steps outlined above for the sale of property must be followed. In addition, all purchase quotes and subsequent invoices that involve a trade-in of equipment or other items require separate lines reflecting the full value of the item being purchased and a separate line detailing the amount offered for the trade-in. Additional discounts offered must not be combined with the trade-in amount offered. A trade-in credit memo must be received from the vendor.  

          Reference Policy ID 024-0001 Appendix H: Equipment Trade-In for more detail. 

Transfer - When property is transferred to or from Dartmouth, documentation forms are required to be completed and submitted to the Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator. For property transferred within Dartmouth or to outside entities, the Dartmouth Equipment/Asset Transfer Request Form must be completed.  For property transferred to Dartmouth from outside entities, the Equipment/Asset On-boarding Form must be completed. When a professor/principal investigator (PI) either moves "to" or "from" Dartmouth with equipment (whether purchased with grant funding or not) the Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator must be notified either by the end user or custodian.  The Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator will then add or remove the items from the Oracle Fixed Asset Module. Procurement Services is responsible for reviewing any proposed purchase or sale price for equipment being transferred to confirm its appropriate value. 

  • Please refer to the Capital Equipment Transfer Guidelines published by the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • If no monetary transaction is involved, then departments can transfer item(s) to other departments within Dartmouth. However, the Fixed Asset/Surplus Property Administrator must be notified to process the location change in the Oracle Fixed Asset Module prior to relocation. If grant funds were involved in the purchase, Procurement and OSP must be contacted before relocation or transfer of items or equipment.  
  • Reference: 

Transfer Computer - When selling, gifting, or transferring computers or hardware to Dartmouth Faculty, Staff, Fellows, Students, or Dartmouth visitors, reference the Computer Transfer Policy (ID 024-0007). To maintain Dartmouth software licensing agreements, all computers transferred from Dartmouth must be wiped clean of all data and reset to the original operating system and factory settings.

Donated or Gifted - When property will be gifted or donated to a party outside Dartmouth, the steps outlined above for the sale of property must be followed. In applicable, the organization's 501(c)(3) or NGO non-profit organization documentation must be obtained and filed as part of the transfer. 

Recycle/Scrap/Salvage - must be notified of any Dartmouth property which is to be salvaged, scrapped, or recycled unless otherwise contractually obligated by an agreement that is current and in place. Procurement Services will not handle hazardous waste or real estate which fall under the purview of Environmental Health & Safety or the Dartmouth's Real Estate Office, respectively. 

The Materials Management Disposal Request Form must be completed whenever Dartmouth items, equipment, or other assets are recycled, scrapped, or salvaged.  

Related Policies and Appendices of Policy ID 024-0001


Most relevant forms and instructions can be found on the Finance website under Forms, Policies, and Systems.

Contacts (Environment Health and Safety)

Policy ID


Effective Date

October 31, 2019

Last Revised Date

November 30, 2022


Finance & Administration

Office of Primary Responsibility


Office(s) of Secondary Responsibility

Last Reviewed Date

November 30, 2022

Next Review Date