602 - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Policy on Acquisition of Equipment



This policy clarifies the channels of acquisition for equipment that is added to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's ("University") database for financial reporting.

Scope of Applicability

This Policy applies to all employees of the University.


Policy Statement

Capital equipment is acquired through any of the following methods:

  • Direct purchase through University purchase orders Lease/purchase
  • Transfer from other universities when accompanying newly employed faculty
  • Transfer from Federal agencies for research projects
  • Gifts to the University
  • Fabrication
  • Purchase from the North Carolina Federal Surplus Property Agency (these items have utilization restrictions)
  • Purchase from the North Carolina State Surplus Property Agency


Capital Equipment  - Equipment with a useful life of two or more years are capitalized if the acquisition cost is $5,000 or more per item or aggregate component parts, contains or is made of non-expendable material and is not made for consumption. The acquisition cost of equipment includes installation charges and freight. See Finance Policy 601 - Policy on Capital Assets for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: We have a $10,000 limit on our PCard. Can we purchase a piece of equipment at a cost of $7,000 with the card?
A: No. Equipment with a cost of $5,000 or more cannot be purchased using the PCard. Capitalized equipment can only be purchased via a purchase requisition.

Q: A Principle Investigator transferred here and brought his lab equipment with him. How do I have these items added to the department's inventory?
A: Request the department business office to provide a listing of the items transferred with the Principal Investigator to Asset Management. Each item listed should include its acquisition date, description, make, model, serial number, and original cost. Asset Management will compute each item's depreciated value. If the item meets the University's capitalization threshold of $5,000, Asset Management will request the current location of the item and add it to the department's inventory.


Capital equipment is not acquired through any of the following methods:

  • A lease that does not contain a transfer of ownership or a bargain option buy-out price
  • A lease term that is not greater than or equal to 75% of the economic life of the leased equipment
  • The present value of the minimum lease payments is not greater than or equal to 90% fair market value of the leased equipment

University funds may not be used to upgrade equipment not owned by the University.

Acquisition of equipment that includes a trade-in requires the approval from the State Surplus Property Agency. See the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Finance Procedure 604.1 - Procedure on Disposing of University-Owned Surplus Property.

Related Requirements

External Regulations and Consequences

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

Contact Information

Primary Contact



  • May 27, 2022
  • July 7, 2010
  • July 16, 2009
  • November 3, 1999
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Article ID: 131667
Thu 4/8/21 9:14 PM
Tue 3/5/24 9:12 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Finance and Budget
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Director, eProcurement and Materials Management
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/06/2025 12:00 AM
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
03/04/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
01/07/2022 11:00 AM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
05/27/2022 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
07/01/1999 12:00 AM