Returning University Assets When Employment Ends

Category: Employment
Number: EMP-105-005
Audience: All University employees
Issued: November 05, 2003
Revised: January 28, 2020
Owner(s): AVP (Finance)
Approved by: VP (Administration)
Contact: Financial Analyst (Fixed Assets/APEA) - 306-337-3159


This policy applies to all individuals leaving the University’s employ. It is meant to ensure that assets bought with University funds remain in the University’s possession.


Any asset purchased by the University remains the property of the University until the University disposes of it in accordance with set policies. If University funds are used to purchase an asset, the title to that asset belongs to the University regardless of which fund is charged with the asset acquisition, including assets purchased from research accounts, general operating accounts, accountable professional expense accounts, trust accounts, capital accounts or any other source of University funds.

As part of an employee’s academic or administrative appointment, certain University assets are put in the care and control of the employee in order to perform their required duties.  Common examples include:

  • Furniture and equipment provided by the faculty or department in the individual’s office or workspace such as desk, chair, computer, electronic devices, phone, etc.
  • Furniture and equipment purchased with the employee’s accountable professional expense account which may be located at the University, at the individual’s residence or other location.
  • Furniture and equipment provided by the faculty or department or purchased with research funds to perform research on campus or off campus.

When an employee’s employment with the University ends, the care and custody of all assets in the employee’s possession must be returned to the University.  Assets purchased from University funds of any type, regardless if some personal money was used, belong to the University and must remain at or be returned to the University when employment ceases.  Exceptions are as follows:

1.  Assets purchased with operating funds

If an employee wishes to have possession of any University asset purchased with operating funds, s/he may request from the Dean, Director, or equivalent permission to purchase such asset at fair market value.  The Dean, Director or equivalent will determine if it is in the best interests of the University to sell the asset.

If the University agrees to sell the asset, the individual will arrange to have the asset appraised for fair market value through Supply Management Services.  Supply Management Services will notify Financial Services of the assets disposed, and will provide the proceeds to Financial Services to be deposited to the credit of the faculty or department.

2.  Assets purchased with research funds

Assets purchased with research funds are treated the same as in point 1 above with the additional provision that the removal of any asset from the University must also receive approval from the Vice-President (Research).  If required by a granting agency, assets may be transferred to another educational institution for the individual to continue his/her research.

3.  Assets purchased with funds from accountable professional expense accounts (APEA)

See EMP-060-005 – Accountable Professional Expense Accounts (APEAs).

All computer-related assets being sold or transferred by the University must be properly decommissioned in accordance with the policy OPS-010-045 Management of Assets.

Consequences for Noncompliance

An individual whose employ with the University ends but who does not return University assets in accordance with this policy may be subject to collection agency pursuit and/or legal action.

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