What is the Equipment Trust Fund?

The Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund (ETF) was established by the General Assembly to meet a need for new or updated equipment for various educational and general programs in Virginia institutions of higher education. The State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) and the Virginia College Building Authority (VCBA) administer the ETF Program. SCHEV and VCBA sell bonds to raise the funding for this program. As a recipient of this funding, the University is obligated to meet certain legal requirements associated with this fund, as established by SCHEV and VCBA. The Office of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) and UVA Fixed Assets Accounting coordinate all ETF-related activity for the University of Virginia.

ETF Equipment Qualifications

Eligibility requirements for equipment to qualify for ETF:

  1. Cost greater than $5,000;

  2. Must be new equipment;

  3. Should have a useful life equal to or greater than the 7 year bond period (Exceptions are laptops & desktop computers/scanners/monitors/peripherals/iPads/tablets which typically have a 3 year life);

  4. Title must belong to UVA (if sponsor funds are involved); and

  5. Standalone functional item or an essential integral component of larger UVA-owned capital equipment system.

ETF Equipment Exclusions

Certain types of equipment are excluded:

  • Library books, materials, and shelving

  • Microfilm collections and materials

  • Software for microcomputers

  • Office Equipment

  • Transportation Equipment

  • Desks, chairs, and tables

  • Equipment normally affixed to a building, or functional as a part of an operating system of a building.  Examples include:

    • Used equipment

    • Climate control and security systems

    • General telecommunications equipment, except that are required for approved programs, related courses, or research activities

    • Buildings

    • Fabrications

Uses of ETF Equipment

ETF equipment can only be purchased for the following:

  • Instruction

  • Research, other than sponsored

  • Academic Support

  • Student Services

  • Institutional Support

  • Sponsored Program Research

Split-Funded Equipment

If a school would like to split-fund equipment between ETF funds and sponsored programs from federal agencies there are two essential requirements:

  1. Sponsoring federal agencies must grant title to any equipment being purchased with their funds to UVA as the award recipient immediately upon purchase and must not have any stipulations or restrictions regarding future dispositions of that funded equipment. This avoids any conflict with title to the equipment as the Virginia College Building Authority (VCBA) retains title on all ETF equipment purchases until the 7 year bond or lease period is complete.

  2. If split-funding includes sponsored programs, the code SCHEV “110” must be assigned and federal agency funding portion must be 50% or greater of the total ETF purchase.

Note: The federal agency often retains the right to transfer the equipment at the end of the sponsored program. If the agency exercises its right, the department that purchased the equipment with federal sponsored program funds must replace the affected ETF equipment with a valued item equal to the net book value of the equipment, so as not to violate the terms of the VCBA lease agreement.

Questions concerning sponsored programs and research funding should be addressed to the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Procurement Guidelines for ETF Purchases

Adhere to these guidelines when making ETF Purchases:

  • Ensure that ETF purchase will comply with SCHEV rules prior to beginning the procurement process

  • Start long-lead or expensive (> $50,000) items early

  • Purchases cannot have pre-payment using ETF Funding

  • Equipment costs may include freight and installation

  • Purchases must have "FOB Destination" listed for shipping and freight charges so that title transfers in Virginia

  • Purchases cannot include additional warranties, training, or service contracts that use ETF Funding

  • Provide updated quotes when submitting orders

    • Expired quotes will slow down the process

Considerations for Purchase Requisitions:
  • Does the item(s) qualify as capital?

  • Is the ETF Priority Number included in the "Reference" field?

  • Is the price within 130% of the Wish-List price?

  • Is the equipment description the same as the Wish-List?

  • Is the Requisition approved by the School's ETF Coordinator?

  • Does the Requisition use the correct SE-award?

  • Is the Responsible Person and Location (Building and Room Number) at the top or in the comments field?

Additional Purchase Requisition Guidelines:

  • Include justification/explanation on the Requisition if multiple are involved for buying a system.

  • Avoid placing a Requisition with multiple ETF Priority Numbers if it involves multiple line items which are not applicable to all ETF numbers or easily assignable to singular ETF Numbers

  • Charge penny amounts to non-capital and non-ETF

  • Only one ETF Number per Purchase Order for CDW vendor orders (partial delivery/invoicing)

Controlling ETF Items

Terms of the ETF program require the University to exercise a high degree of control over ETF equipment. All ETF items are owned by the Virginia College Building Authority (VCBA), a State agency until the applicable bond is satisfied and full title is granted to UVA. Until that title is granted the ETF asset is considered to be “Active” (owned by VCBA).

Organizations must adhere to the following guidelines in controlling all equipment purchased through the Equipment Trust Fund:

  • All ETF asset tags will begin with the letter "E" (for UVA) and "CE" (for UVA Wise).

  • ETF equipment is expected to be used on-Grounds.

  • If off-grounds use is required, Fixed Assets must be notified and an “Off-Grounds Certification" request submitted and approved by Fixed Assets.

  • New ETF equipment must first be tagged by Fixed Assets to insure proper identification and internal control before relocating to an off-campus location.

  • If an ETF asset is being drop-shipped from the vendor to an off-grounds location, the Fixed Assets Accounting Group must be notified and special arrangements made for affixing ETF asset tags prior to being shipped.

  • If an ETF asset needs to go out of the country, this requires both notification to Fixed Assets and to Export Control for their collective approval.

  • Each ETF tagged equipment must maintain its original integrity as a functional unit.  Components of ETF functional units shall not be interchanged with any functional units.

  • The organization purchasing the ETF equipment is responsible for its maintenance and inventory control.

Important Notes:

  1. “Active” ETF items cannot be cannibalized or disposed of in any manner (sold, traded-in, etc). If disposal of an “active” ETF item becomes necessary, please contact us via askfinance@virginia.edu

  2. If an “active” ETF item is ever lost, damaged, stolen, returned for credit or replaced (tagged or not tagged), etc., let us know via askfinance@virginia.edu as “missing” ETF equipment must be replaced by the responsible org with non-ETF funding.

Annual Budgeting Cycle

Related Policies and Resources

State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV)

Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund

Virginia College Building Authority (VCBA)

Related Finance Policies