Materials Management

Property Control is responsible for overseeing and keeping records of university owned equipment. They keep a running inventory and report changes to the State of Illinois, Property Control Division in Springfield. Responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining a complete listing of all items valued at $500 or more
  • Tagging all items valued at $500 or more
  • Tagging selected "high theft potential" items regardless of acquisition cost
  • Providing departmental tags (upon request) for items under a $500 value
  • Coordinating annual departmental equipment inventory verification
  • Authorizing Transfer of Equipment
  • Surplus equipment

Definition of Equipment

An Equipment item is a movable or fixed unit of furniture or furnishings, an instrument, a machine, an apparatus, or a set of articles which generally retains its original shape and appearance with use, has a normal useful life of more than two years, is non-consumable, costs $500 or more, and does not lose its identity through incorporation into a different or more complex unit or substance.

NIU Identification Tags

The Property Control Department tags furniture and equipment costing $500 or more with a white bar coded label showing a six-digit identification number and the words, "Property of, Northern Illinois University." The NIU tag numbers identify the items so they can be cross-referenced to the purchase order on which an item was acquired. Identification numbers are applied to furniture and equipment using either a label, an indelible marking pen, or both.

Items costing less than $500 are not normally tagged by the Property Control Department. An exception is made for items classified as "High Theft Potential" items. Such items are tagged if they cost or are valued at $100 or more. Examples of these types of items are antiques and firearms.

Inventory Reconciliation

The State Property Control Act includes a provision that each year a physical inventory is to be made for all items and a full accounting of errors or exceptions reported to the State. Therefore, the university prepares a complete listing of all equipment each year. The lists are sent to those individuals who are accountable for the equipment, and it is their responsibility to report to the Property Control Department any differences between the published list and the actual inventory. Discrepancies are to be reported on a Form 15, which can be downloaded, filled in and e-mailed back or printed and sent to Property Control.

Property Control assists departments in locating missing inventory or otherwise helps to resolve any other differences. They also conduct annual physical inventories, although primary responsibility for the equipment still rests with the responsible officer or department head.

Inventory Verification After a Physical Move

Upon request, the Property Control Department will update a Department's Inventory following a physical move to another location. A list of assets will be sent to the responsible officer of that department. The responsible officer will identify those assets they wish to retain and those assets they wish to surplus. Those assets left in the old location will remain the Department's responsibility until Property Control has received proper notification that they have been transferred to another department or have been removed from that location by university movers for surplus.

Transfer of Equipment

The Property Control Department must be contacted first when a department wishes to have assigned equipment:

  • Transferred permanently to another department
  • Surplused and removed from inventory
  • Transferred from one inventory location to another
  • Transferred from the surplus equipment pool to their inventory location
  • In such instances, the Property Control Department will initiate the necessary Equipment Transfer Authorization, a copy of which will be supplied to the university's movers to allow the move to be scheduled. The requesting department will also receive a copy when the university movers complete the work.

Off-Campus Use of University Property

The private and/or personal use of university property is expressly prohibited; however, situations may arise where university responsibilities can justify the temporary use of portable equipment off-campus. The criteria for off-campus usage is more effective utilization of university resources and not the personal convenience of the employee.

Approval to use equipment off- campus is obtained by completing a Request to Use NIU-Owned Equipment Off-Campus form available by download or from the Property Control Department. Complete this form, sign it, obtain your department head's signature, and forward two copies to the Property Control Department at the Dorland Building. When Property Control approves the request, a signed copy will be returned to the requesting department. Equipment should not be removed from campus without first obtaining an approved off-campus equipment use form.

Surplus or Scrap Equipment

Equipment owned by the university which has become obsolete, damaged or broken, worn out, or is no longer needed by a department should be surplused on a timely basis. To surplus equipment, the department should prepare a memorandum or e-mail and send it to the Property Control Department in the Dorland Building. The memorandum or e-mail should contain the following information:

  • NIU Inventory Number
  • Description (i.e. Secretarial Chair, Black, AllSteel, etc.)
  • General Condition or Usability
  • Reason for Scrapping or Surplusing
  • Complete Department Name
  • Building and Room Number where the equipment is located
  • Contact Person's Name and Phone Number

Departments are responsible for the emptying of the contents of all file cabinets, storage devices, desks, furniture, etc. in advance of surplussing the items.

Property Control will then prepare an Equipment Transfer Authorization form and arrange for the item to be picked up and removed by the Materials Management staff or Grounds Department staff if the item is to be scrapped directly. Surplus items are stored in the used equipment pool for reassignment within the university or eventual transfer to the State Property Control Division in Springfield.

Computer Systems With Hard Drives

State of Illinois Public Act 96-0045 and the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees approval to implement a new policy effective 1-04-2010 requires that all hard drives returned with surplus electronic data processing equipment be wiped clean of all data and software by overwriting every track at least ten (10) times and certifying in writing that this process has been completed. NIU Property Control will only accept complete systems that have been certified by attaching a sticker (form #24709 available from Property Control) with the Agency name, Serial #, NIU Asset Tag #, Application used to overwrite, Name of person overwriting the disk, Date, and Signature of certifier. This sticker must be applied on the left-hand side of the face of the unit. Laptops must be labeled on the topside of its cover.

All of the electronic data processing equipment that belongs with the system should be returned whole and intact. If the hard drive has been removed or is not operating and unable to be wiped clean, the certification label must state that the hard drive was removed or is not operable.

All requests for surplus electronic data processing equipment must comply with these procedures and be properly labeled before NIU Property Control and Materials Management personnel will be able to pick-up these items from the Departments.

Gifts of Equipment

Departments receiving any gift of equipment must notify the NIU Foundation of the donation and provide that office with the following information:

  • College and Department
  • Date Gift was Received
  • Fair Value of the Gift Determined by Appraisal of Current Market Value
  • Description of Gift
  • From Whom the Gift was Received

The Foundation office will notify Property Control if the gift is to be tagged and registered as State property with the Department of Central Management Services - Property Control Division in Springfield. Once tagged the equipment becomes the property of the State of Illinois and Northern Illinois University, and cannot be disposed of without written authorization by the Property Control Department.

Personally Owned Property

University personnel who bring personal property to campus do so at their own risk. Personal property of any individual brought to university premises is the responsibility of the individual. The university can assume no liability for loss, theft, or damage. Such property should bear a note or tag showing that it is personal property and listing the owner's name. Employees desiring to protect their personal property from damage or loss should make their own arrangements for insurance.

Missing or Stolen Property

When equipment appears to be missing or stolen, a report must be filed immediately with the NIU Police Department, with a copy to the Property Control Department, indicating the NIU tag number, description of the missing item(s), and circumstances leading to the disappearance. If the item is later located, both the NIU Police Department and the Property Control Department must be notified.

Surplus Item(s) Request

Property Control retains usable office furniture and equipment for redistribution within the University. These items are available to be seen on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons, or by appointment. You may also submit a request to Property Control for surplus items you are looking for. Please use the "Surplus Item Request" link on the left tab of this page to submit a request.

For questions regarding the above, please call Property Control at 753-1436.