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Property Management Phase III: Excess

The Excess phase (disposal process) starts when an asset is no longer needed. This phase includes:

  • Processing equipment as "Excess" 
  • Try to “reuse” within Stanford 
  • Transfers to other institutions must be approved and documented in advance
  • Consider Health & Safety or Biohazardous impact 
  • Take special note of “Sensitive Items” 
  • ”Don’t throw it away — notify your DPA

Departments are encouraged to re-utilize equipment within Stanford. Equipment should never be thrown away. If equipment is broken or obsolete, then it may be eligible for scrap. Coordinate all excess requests for both capital and non-capital equipment through your DPA. Processing excess requests for sponsor-owned equipment may require contract officer approval; the property management office can help coordinate this. To complete the sponsored projects closeout for property, the property management office must certify that all disposals have been completed. 

Appropriate disposition of equipment is an area that is often overlooked. The source of funding for an asset has a direct impact on how it can be disposed. Also, non-capital equipment should not be thrown away — it should be processed through PMO to ensure EH&S and sponsor requirements have been satisfied. Additionally, Stanford must now ensure that all “sensitive items” are disposed of in an appropriate manner. These are generally electronics items, such as PDAs, computer monitors, cell phones, etc. For information on this policy, please see the Property Administration Manual.

Timely processing of excess reduces risk of loss, reuse and additional inventory reconciliation. Re-utilizing assets can save both Stanford and sponsors a great deal of money. Use the Reuse mailing list to notify other departments on campus that you have equipment or supplies available for transfer to them — or check to see if there is anything your department can use!

Equipment may also be transferred to another university, in which case it must be approved and documented in advance. If a principal investigator is moving to another institution and taking research, there must be an approval from the sponsor. The principal investigator’s department chair or dean should be made aware of the transfer. The PMO must coordinate the capital equipment part of that transfer. 

In transferring lab equipment, which involves a health, safety, or biohazard impact, Environmental Health and Safety regulations require proper cleaning of contamination. Other equipment may need to be certified. Your DPA can ensure that certifications are done appropriately.

Equipment should never be thrown away. Sales of equipment must be processed through the Surplus Property Sales Office, which is the only campus organization authorized to write a bill of sale for equipment.

Tags must not be removed from equipment. The Surplus Property Sales or Property Management Office will deal with equipment tags. Since equipment is tracked over its life, it will retain its original ID number until its final disposition. Your DPA will assist you with any of these processes.


If the asset is no longer needed by the department, is in good working order, and is not claimed for re-utilization by another Stanford department, it becomes eligible for sale. Items not in good working order or that cannot support the current operating system version due to age and memory size are eligible for other methods of disposal. Prior to moving into the disposal or sales processes, the hard drive must be “wiped” of all Stanford owned software and proprietary information. The DPA is notified and initiates the excess request.

Surplus Sales is the only department on campus authorized by the Board of Trustees to conduct sales of assets; University IT is not authorized to sell Stanford owned equipment. There are special procedures for processing and transporting, and there is no guarantee that the original user will be the purchaser of the asset.

Priorities for utilization of assets

When equipment is no longer needed:

  •     Initial University IT acquiring department
  •     Other departments within University IT
  •     Other departments within Stanford University
  •     Surplus Property Sales (for items in good working order)
  •     Other disposal, approved by the Property Management Office

Trade-ins and RMA’s

  • Trade in against a new purchase and RMA’s contact your Department Property Administrator (DPA).
  • Obtain RMA # from Vendor
  • Pack equipment and fill out shipping documents

Employee transferring within University IT

If the employee is transferring to another University IT department, the employee can take his/her equipment if both managers approve. If the equipment is currently being amortized, the future charges will be transferred to the “new” account. This is not a sale; this is an internal University IT transfer.

Employee departing University IT, remaining at Stanford

If the employee is transferring to another Stanford Department and the University IT manager agrees, the equipment can be transferred for a fee to the other Stanford Department. The fee is based on three years of useful life. For example, if the asset had been used in University IT for 12 months when the employee transfers, then the new department will be requested to pay University IT for 24 months. This is not a sale; this is a University transfer.

Employee departing Stanford

When an employee is leaving University IT and/or Stanford, the manager must notify a University IT DPA to determine which method will be used in reallocating the departing employee’s equipment.  If the asset is reassigned, the DPA will need to update the asset record in the University’s official inventory system, Sunflower. Once the method is determined, the DPA will then process the asset for transfer, sale, or disposal. Upon request, the DPA can provide managers with a detailed listing of assets assigned to their direct reports.

Parting gifts

University IT is not authorized to give away Stanford owned equipment to employees as a parting gift. If the asset is no longer needed by the department, it can be transferred, sold, or disposed. See the above rules.