University System of New Hampshire

VI. Property Policies

Table of Contents

BOT Board of Trustees :: VI. Property Policies

A. Capital Planning and Budgeting

  1. State Delegation of Authority
  2. Trustee and Financial Affairs Committee Authority
  3. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation of Authority to Chancellor
  4. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation to Administrative Board
  5. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation to Presidents

B. Property Aquisition

  1. Acquisition of Real Property
  2. Acquisition of Equipment, Supplies and Materials
  3. Gifts of Real Property, Equipment, Supplies and Materials

C. Disposal of Property

  1. Disposal of Real Property
  2. Disposal of Equipment, Supplies, and Materials

D. Construction

  1. General Policy Relative to Construction

E. Leasing of Property

  1. General Policy on Leasing of Property

F. Operation and Maintenance of Property

  1. General Policy on Operations and Maintenance of Property

A. Capital Planning and Budgeting

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.A.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


A. Capital Planning and Budgeting

  1. State Delegation of Authority
    1. State law (RSA 187-A:16) delegates to the Board of Trustees "management and control of all the property and affairs of the University System of New Hampshire" and its institutions. State law prescribes procedures by which the Board of Trustees requests and secures State funding and borrowing authorization for the acquisition of real property and the construction, renovation, and repair of all facilities.
  2. Trustee and Financial Affairs Committee Authority
    1. The Board of Trustees, upon recommendation from the Financial Affairs Committee, retains sole responsibility for (a) approval of the biennial capital budget request submitted to the State of New Hampshire, (b) approval of 20-year campus master facilities plans, (c) approval of any external debt, including capital leases, associated with real property, and (d) all individual capital acquisitions, dispositions or projects valued at $10 million or greater. (See also, BOT IV.B, Internal Borrowing)
    2. The Board of Trustees delegates to its Financial Affairs Committee responsibility for all other capital planning and budget matters, including overseeing the development, coordination, implementation and monitoring of all long-range capital planning for USNH and its component institutions.
    3. The Financial Affairs Committee is responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of capital planning and budgeting processes, approvals and monitoring mechanisms to (a) ensure that limited USNH financial resources are allocated to appropriate priority purposes, (b) ensure adequacy of proper funding sources prior to making capital commitments, (c) provide for proper upkeep of existing physical assets to address deferred maintenance and protect USNH's investment in the physical plant, (d) optimize benefits to all USNH institutions from common investments in information technology, (e) identify promptly projects that are behind schedule or over budget, and (f) promote efficiency, effectiveness, value and fairness with respect to the construction process.
    4. The Financial Affairs Committee will review a multiyear USNH comprehensive capital projects plan, updated at least semi-annually on a 'rolling' basis. The multiyear capital plan will identify all projects expected to cost $2 million or more planned within the next five years regardless of funding source and will articulate with the campuses' multiyear financial plans. To the extent that fundraising is listed as the funding source for projects on the capital projects plan, a multiyear fundraising forecast/plan will be provided by the campus at the same time. The purpose of the five-year capital projects plan is to engage the Financial Affairs Committee early in planning for major projects by campus, year and funding source to develop common USNH trustee and management understanding and support of priority capital needs and resources needed to fulfill those needs in advance of actual project submittal for approval.
    5. An annual capital budget, representing the first year of the multiyear capital projects plan, will be approved by the Financial Affairs Committee by the start of each fiscal year. The implications of the annual capital budget on the annual operating budget (such as use of cash and debt financing, expected restricted gifts, construction expenditures, depreciation, additional utilities and other operating costs, and additional revenues) will be reflected in the annual budget approved by the Board of Trustees.
    6. Educational and general and auxiliary plant renewal and adaption ("R&A") budgets are expected to be used for physical assets when there is an expected useful life of five years or more and will be for (a) major repairs or replacements of systems and components to extend the life and/or restore systems to their intended function, (b) projects required to incorporate or comply with externally imposed codes and requirements including life safety, building codes, ADA and environmental requirements, including abatement of hazardous materials and environmental cleanup, or (c) major projects that adapt buildings and campus infrastructure to meet the institution's evolving needs and standards, including those that incorporate new technology or support new faculty/staff, classroom changes, or changes in disciplines or curricula. Use of R&A budgeted amounts is allowable for campus master plans and similar studies. Use of R&A budgeted amounts for repayment of internal borrowing is allowable only if the purpose of the original borrowing was for a project that meets the definition of R&A. The use of R&A funds for construction to support new or expanded programmatic needs requires Financial Affairs Committee approval. Costs associated with operations and maintenance, acquisition of real property, or new movable equipment are ineligible to be charged to R&A budgets.
  3. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation of Authority to Chancellor
    1. The Financial Affairs Committee delegates to the Chancellor responsibility for developing, in consultation with the institutions, the format, timing, and content of the multiyear, comprehensive USNH capital projects plan. The capital projects plan will take into consideration the existing and future resources of each institution and USNH as a whole, and will prioritize and schedule major capital projects to ensure effective and efficient use of resources.
    2. The Chancellor, in consultation with the institutions, is responsible for developing the format, timing and content of regular periodic reporting of the extent of estimated deferred maintenance on each campus. At a minimum, the Financial Affairs Committee requires annual reporting of institutional amounts spent on physical plant renewal and adaption ("R&A") and estimated deferred maintenance metrics and trends of each campus using common measurements and format.
    3. The Chancellor, in consultation with the institutions, is responsible for developing detailed, USNH-wide plant spending definitions and budgeting mechanisms to ensure that minimum amounts intended by the Financial Affairs Committee to be devoted to addressing deferred maintenance are segregated and used for this purpose.
    4. The Chancellor is responsible for preparing periodic reports of existing construction projects in process for purposes of Financial Affairs Committee oversight.
    5. The Chancellor will coordinate the biennial capital appropriation request to the State based on prioritization criteria developed by the Administrative Board and prioritization direction provided by the Financial Affairs Committee. If capital appropriations are not received in the amounts or time periods as anticipated in the request, the Chancellor will recommend reprioritization of capital projects for consideration and approval of the Financial Affairs Committee. The Chancellor may also recommend that, in order to access state capital appropriation funds, an institution may need to fund a certain percentage of the total project cost from its own financial resources and meet certain targeted financial ratios.
  4. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation to Administrative Board
    1. The Financial Affairs Committee delegates to the Administrative Board responsibility for developing and applying criteria to be used to guide the prioritization of major capital projects at each institution and across the University System.
    2. The Financial Affairs Committee charges the Administrative Board with recommending for approval a periodic plan that maximizes shared information technology benefits and efficiencies across USNH, covering all major opportunities in shared services for IT infrastructure, information systems and services, and hardware/software acquisition. This plan will take into account the level of investment required and the ways in which the shared approaches could accommodate different institutional strategies.
  5. Financial Affairs Committee Delegation to Presidents
    1. Presidents shall have authority to approve capital construction and renovation projects up to the greater of (a) 3% of the most recent final audited institutional unrestricted financial resources ("UFR"; previously known as unrestricted net assets, or "UNA") with System wide balances allocated, or (b) $2 million. The initiation and implementation of all capital projects regardless of amount will follow sound internal controls, good business practices, and periodic reporting requirements developed by the Chancellor in consultation with the Administrative Board.
    2. Each institution will develop and maintain a comprehensive Campus Master Plan which will guide the institution's physical development for 20 or more years. The plan will address all aspects of the institution, including physical plant, real estate, changes in academic programs requiring additional space, and administrative structure and be presented and approved by the Financial Affairs Committee and the Board of Trustees at least every ten years. The Campus Master Plan will set forth the institution's real property holdings (including all leased real property) and the locations of streets, sidewalks, utility and service lines, buildings, athletic and recreational fields, etc. Real property owned by an institution but which is neither in the general vicinity of a campus nor directly used in an educational program shall be listed and described in the supplemental inventory section of the plan. Campus Master Plans will, as a minimum, indicate the approved or proposed development of any facilities or major renovation of existing facilities for which the campus foresees need during the succeeding 20 or more years.

B. Property Acquisition

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.B.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


B. Property Acquisition

  1. Acquisition of Real Property
    1. State law generally exempts the University System from the state competitive bidding requirements for both construction projects (RSA 228:1, et seq.) and the purchase of equipment, supplies, and materials (RSA 21-I:18,I).
    2. State law generally exempts the institutions of the University System from the jurisdiction of zoning regulations in the communities in which the institutions are located.
    3. The Financial Affairs Committee delegates authority to the Chancellor to proceed with the acquisition of property with a cost less than the greater of (a) $1,000,000 or (b) 1% of the most recent final audited institutional unrestricted financial resources ("UFR"; previously known as unrestricted net assets, or "UNA"). If the acquisition is more than the greater of (a) or (b), the Financial Affairs committee must approve the acquisition.
    4. The Chancellor shall be responsible for developing and carrying out prudent procedures for the acquisition of real property, which will protect the financial and legal interests of the University System. Those procedures will include the manner by which fair market value of the property is determined, the obtaining of assessment studies, the securing of expert opinion concerning land-use and environmental impacts and/or liabilities that may be associated with property acquisitions, and the conduct of negotiations leading to such acquisitions.
    5. All real property acquired by USNH must be independently appraised. Each acquisition shall be individually evaluated to determine the number of and nature of appraisals required. All appraisers must be approved by the Chancellor.
  2. Acquisition of Equipment, Supplies and Materials
    1. Equipment, supplies, and materials shall be acquired under a competitive bidding process. The Chancellor shall develop and carry out prudent procedures establishing the form and application of the competitive bidding process which shall clearly describe accountability including the approval of exceptions to the bidding policy.
  3. Gifts of Real Property, Equipment, Supplies and Materials
    1. The Chancellor shall develop and implement prudent procedures for the evaluation, receipt, and acceptance of gifts of real property. Those procedures shall provide for appropriate financial and legal review and approval of proposed gifts of real property, equipment, supplies and materials. A proposed gift may be accepted only if its value to the University System (whether financial, educational, or otherwise) is greater than its attendant costs, including exposure to financial, legal or other risks.
    2. Acceptance of any gift of real property, equipment, supplies and materials is subject to the terms of the USNH Gift Acceptance Policy BOT IV.J

C. Disposal of Property

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.C.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


C. Disposal of Property

  1. Disposal of Real Property
    1. The Chancellor shall develop and implement prudent procedures for the disposal of real property. Those procedures shall protect the University System's legal and financial interests and provide that all disposal of real property shall be for fair value. Those procedures may provide exceptions to the disposal process for USNH property interests less than a fee simple absolute. The Chancellor's office shall review and approve all exceptions to the established process.
    2. The Financial Affairs Committee authorizes the disposal of real property for which an approved use or need has not been established. Authority is delegated to the Chancellor to proceed with the disposal of real property with an estimated current market valueless than the greater of (a) $1,000,000 or (b) 1% of the most recent final audited institutional unrestricted financial resources ("UFR"; previously known as unrestricted net assets, or "UNA"). If the disposal is more than the greater of (a) or (b), the Financial Affairs Committee must approve the disposal.
    3. All real property disposed of by USNH, except for certain easements as determined by the Chancellor's office, must be independently appraised. Each sale, transfer, or other disposal of real property shall be individually evaluated by the Chancellor's office to determine the number of, and nature of, appraisals required. All appraisers must be approved by the Chancellor's office.
    4. When the Financial Affairs Committee authorizes the disposal of real property valued in excess of $500,000, the Chancellor publicly advertises the intent to sell, and receives bids from prospective buyers. The USNH reserves the right to accept or reject any and all bids for any reason. The Financial Affairs Committee may authorize the disposal of such real property by any other means which, in the Committee's opinion, will maximize the return to the University System (e.g. negotiated sale or auction). Disposal of real property which a qualified professional appraiser values at $500,000 or less may be accomplished without competitive bidding in such manner as the Chancellor may approve.
    5. Prior to the disposition of any real property, the campus president or designee will provide notice to the chief municipal administrative officer (i.e., mayor, city manager, chairperson of a town board of selectmen) of the intended disposition of real property in order that the affected municipalities may have a reasonable opportunity to express an interest in, or pursue acquisition of, said property prior to disposition.
  2. Disposal of Equipment, Supplies, and Materials
    1. The Financial Affairs Committee delegates to the Chancellor authority for developing and implementing prudent procedures for the disposal of equipment, supplies, and materials including procedures for determining when such shall be considered surplus. Those procedures shall protect the University System's legal and financial interests and provide that all disposal of equipment, supplies, and materials shall be for fair value (guidelines will set level and conditions under which campus has the authority).

D. Construction

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.D.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


D. Construction

  1. General Policy Relative to Construction
    1. Construction project contracts shall be awarded following an open, competitive process which can include Design/Build, Construction Management and traditional Lump Sum bidding methods. The Chancellor shall develop and implement prudent procedures establishing the form and application of the competitive processes and will ensure the processes comply with generally accepted purchasing guidelines.
    2. Presidents and their staffs are responsible for the design and development of campus construction projects, including the selection of architects. Where volume of activity is insufficient to justify separate campus staffs to administer such projects, central services are provided by the Chancellor's Office to ensure proper control and management. The Chancellor reviews and coordinates initial estimates and funding sources of capital projects for presentation to the Financial Affairs Committee, maintains fiscal control, and reports to the State on all projects supported by capital appropriations.
    3. For each construction project which costs in excess of the delegated amounts in BOT VI.A.5.1, the Financial Affairs Committee approves a Program/Needs Assessment which outlines the proposed project scope, a detailed project budget, and Schematic Design Documents.
    4. Any change order on a Trustee approved project which individually, or when aggregated with other approved and proposed change orders on the same construction project, either materially alters the design of the project or increases the total project cost by more than $500,000 or five percent (5%), whichever is greater must be approved by the Financial Affairs Committee.

E. Leasing of Property

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.E.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


E. Leasing of Property

  1. General Policy on Leasing of Property
    1. The Chancellor, in collaboration with the Administrative Board, shall develop prudent procedures under which the University System may lease real or personal property for its use and may lease its own real or personal property to third parties. Those procedures shall contain sufficient safeguards to adequately protect the legal and financial interests of the University System.
    2. The Financial Affairs Committee must approve any proposal to lease real property (whether USNH is the lessor or lessee) under which the lease payments over the full term would total over the presidential limitations set forth in BOT VI.A.5.1. For lease proposals less than these limitations, the Chancellor must co-approve with the President any proposal to (a) lease real property (whether the University System is the lessor or the lessee) under which the lease payments over the full term would exceed $500,000 or (b) enter into a capital lease whereby there is a bargain purchase amount at the termination of the lease or the lease is merely a method to finance the acquisition of an asset over time. The Financial Affairs Committee must approve for recommendation to the full Board any proposal to lease where the payments would total over $20,000,000.

F. Operation and Maintenance of Property

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT VI.F.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


F. Operation and Maintenance of Property

  1. General Policy on Operations and Maintenance of Property
    1. The property of the University System (including land, buildings, structures, other facilities, equipment, supplies, and materials) shall be operated and maintained in a prudent manner, and with reasonable care, so that the property may be safely and efficiently applied to the pursuit of the University System's educational and other missions.
    2. The Presidents and Chancellor shall develop prudent procedures for the operations and maintenance of the property of the institution. Those procedures shall establish a program of operation and maintenance which will adequately protect the University System's financial and legal interests.
    3. The Presidents and Chancellor shall establish procedures to ensure the prudent management of environmental health and safety in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. Those procedures shall include coordination with the USNH Council on Environmental Health and Safety, with representation from each component institution. These procedures shall also include, where appropriate, a mechanism for measuring compliance through appropriate means including periodic environmental audits. The Chancellor shall coordinate presentation to the Audit Committee of an annual report describing the state of the University System's environmental health and safety efforts at each institution, including the findings of any environmental audit conducted during the reporting period.