Each University campus experiences situations in which outside (non-University) parties request to use University-owned facilities, vehicles, or equipment. When it is in the interest of the University’s mission to allow others to use its property, there are some risk management considerations which should be addressed. The purpose of this paper is to provide the campus risk managers with a consistent means of maintaining control over the assets of the University which it lends to others.
The most effective way for the University to maintain control over its facilities, vehicles, and equipment would be to restrict use of its property to authorized personnel only. This is not a realistic approach to property control because the University is a State-owned and taxpayer- supported entity, and part of its mission is to provide services to the various communities in which it is located. These services may include allowing community groups to use its facilities for meetings, providing transportation for University events or operations to community members, or even lending some of its equipment to groups within the community.
As an alternative to restricting all use of University property to University personnel, control of property can be maintained through the careful screening of potential property users and the use of property use agreement forms. Common sense and the basic tenets of property law can assist the risk manager in controlling the assets of his/her campus.
Although most campuses already have one or more property use agreement forms to meet their property control needs, consistent use of a Systemwide property use agreement according to these guidelines may simplify the overall risk management effort. When a request is made of a University department, the following steps should be taken:
A. Notice of the request should be given to the risk manager or property control person from the department. Notice should include name of borrowing group (including an individual liaison), name and value of property, reason for request of use of property, and time period.
B. Risk manager and department head should come to a cooperative agreement regarding the University’s desire to lend the property for the requested purpose. If an agreement cannot be reached, contact The University of Wisconsin System Office of Risk Management (UWSRM) for advice.
C. Upon reaching an agreement, the attached form should be completed by both the borrower and the lender. All pertinent information should be submitted and the form should be signed by the borrower and the campus lender (either the risk manager or the department head or both). A copy of the form and other pertinent information should be kept on file in the RM office.