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Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund

The Higher Education Equipment Trust Fund (HEETF or ETF) was established by the General Assembly to provide funding to purchase equipment needed for instruction and research. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) works together with the Virginia College Building Authority (VCBA) and the Department of Treasury to administer the funds.

Replacing obsolete equipment is the primary focus for the ETF.  Since 1996, the ETF has been used to accomplish the following goals across the state:

  • Significantly reduce the amount of obsolete technology and equipment
  • Provide every student with access to an appropriate level of information and technology
  • Establish a statewide network that supports and encourages sharing and cooperation
  • Provide every faculty member with appropriate equipment and training to use technology in support of teaching and learning
  • Support faculty in the introduction of new ways of instruction and learning, provide courses customized to student needs, and take advantage of distance-learning opportunities
  • Install high quality, easy-access, network-deliverable student support services, such as transcripts, grades, class scheduling, and account balance and payment information
  • Install management information systems that are flexible and directly accessible to users to help support administrative restructuring and cost-containment
Definitions
ETF Approval Number

Used for internal tracking, this number will be assigned by the Budget Office and provided to a department when an ETF request is authorized for purchase.  This number should be included in the title of any purchase requisition that is submitted.

ETF Reference Number

Number assigned to each item or functional unit that serves as a cross-reference for SCHEV’s authorization records and VCBA’s payment process. The Budget Office will assign this number when the equipment is received so that Fixed Assets can tag the equipment appropriately.

Freight Charges

Charges for the transportation of goods. These charges can only be paid using VCBA funding if they are included in the total cost of the equipment.

Functional Unit

A functional unit can be a standalone piece of equipment or an assemblage of instruments, modules, and components, which together perform a specific task and remain assembled as a unit.

Examples of functional units are an oscilloscope with probes, a recording spectrophotometer with demountable cell assembly and windows, or a computer with a monitor.  The individual components may cost less than $500, but the aggregate cost of the functional unit must be at least $500.

Installation Costs

Do not include these charges in the cost of the equipment unless they are for setting up the equipment.  Building modifications, new electrical outlets, etc., are not allowable costs. Unpacking and testing are allowable costs.

Installation charges may be submitted for HEETF reimbursement only if they are included on the same payment voucher as the equipment.

Retention Period

The timeframe in which equipment must remain in service for its original purpose. Computing equipment (desktops, laptops, computer monitors, tablets, and printers) requires a minimum 4-year retention period (computing equipment purchased prior to July 1, 2018 currently requires a minimum 7-year retention period).  All other ETF equipment requires a minimum 7-year retention period.

Guidelines
  • Each item or functional unit must cost $500 or greater and not be considered an excluded item from the HEETF Exclusion List (see below).
  • Small Purchase Credit Cards (SPCC) shall not be used to purchase ETF equipment.
  • All ETF purchases must use the appropriate ETF index to ensure reimbursement. Purchases should not be made to a department index with the intention of transferring the charges later.
  • In addition to the items identified in the HEETF Exclusion List, consumables, supplies, or any equipment not expected to last the required retention period are not permitted as an ETF purchase.
  • ETF and non-ETF equipment purchases should be requested on separate requisitions.
  • Requisitions shall be received in Procurement Services by the dates designated in the university year-end financial calendar.
  • All items and system components must be received and paid in full by the university before a reimbursement request is submitted to SCHEV for processing. As such, all items and system components ordered under this ETF cycle must be received and invoiced no later than the date specified in the university year-end financial calendar.
  • ETF indexes should be monitored and reconciled to ensure outstanding encumbrances are still valid and invoices are being paid in a timely manner.  If an encumbrance needs to be closed or liquidated, please contact Procurement Services.
  • Components of a functional unit must be purchased together and entered on separate lines of the purchase order. Every effort should be made to order all components of the system from one vendor.
  • Freight/shipping charges shall be entered on the same purchase order as the equipment, but on a separate line item with the appropriate NIGP commodity code (96286) and account code (712190 - inbound freight).
  • Installation costs should be entered on the same purchase order as the equipment, but on a separate line item. Once an assemblage of components are deemed a “functional unit”, they cannot be separated for partial disposal, i.e., a recording spectrophotometer with demountable cell assembly and windows that was approved as a functional unit must be maintained as a functional unit for the entire retention period and disposed of as a single unit.
  • Purchases cannot include additional warranties, training, or service contracts that use ETF funding.  Other funding sources may be used for these items, but they should be purchased separately from the equipment, if possible.
Procedure
I. General Procurement Requirements

Each ETF purchase must have a purchase order, issued through the university's designated procurement system.  Departments may contact Procurement Services for guidance on sourcing goods or services.

All requisitions for ETF procurements shall be received in Procurement Services by the deadlines established in the fiscal year-end calendar. Additionally, all ETF items must be received and invoiced no later than the date specified in the fiscal year-end calendar.

II. Requisitions

Each requisition must be filled out completely and include the following:

  1. The ETF Approval Number for internal tracking.
  2. The contract number in the appropriate field whenever applicable.
  3. If the vendor you are suggesting for the order request is not in the vendor database, please follow the appropriate instructions for registering the vendor.
  4. Indicate on the requisition if prices quoted by the vendor include freight/shipping or if  freight/shipping will be an additional charge. If freight/shipping is not included in the quote then freight/shipping shall be added on a separate line item with the appropriate freight/shipping commodity code number 96286 and account code 712190.
  5. Indicate on the requisition if prices quoted by the vendor include installation, testing, or calibration.
  6. If available, include information on any additional sources or vendors.
  7. Functional units:
    1. All component parts of a functional unit, and any related freight and or installation costs, shall be submitted on separate line items on the purchase order. This ensures an entire ETF purchase is tracked through the Fixed Asset system and reported accurately to SCHEV for reimbursement.
    2. Any related specialized software should be noted with its cost on the same line item as the equipment.
    3. Multiple Vendors: While every effort should be made to utilize a single vendor for the purchase of a functional unit, when multiple vendors are absolutely required,
      1. Note in the comment section of the requisition “Functional unit involves multiple purchase orders” and list the associated requisitions or purchase orders, if available.
      2. All POs associated with the “functional unit” shall be assigned one ETF number.
  8. Requisitions require an index and account code for each line item. All POs must use the appropriate ETF index to ensure reimbursement. Purchases should not be made to a department index with the intention of transferring the charges later.
III. Computer Purchases
  1. All faculty and staff desktop and laptop computer purchases shall be made via existing university contract vendors: Dell, SHI, Apple and others. Contact Procurement Services to assist with vendor selection.
  2. In addition, please note that it is not allowable to include add-on accessory items such as iPad covers, keyboards, cases, etc. in order to meet the $500 cost requirement.
IV. Commonly Used Banner Account Codes

Using the correct account code is necessary for general accounting and reporting, inventory tagging requirements, and reimbursement submissions to SCHEV.  Some common Banner account codes used for ETF purchases are:

  • 722111 - Desktop Computers <$5,000
  • 722121 - Mobile Computers <$5,000
  • 722150 - Network Servers
  • 722160 - Network Components
  • 722330 - Voice & Data Equipment
  • 722410 - Laboratory Equipment
V. Fixed Asset Management

It is critical that departments collaborate with their Fixed Asset Coordinator to tag and track ETF purchases.  Please notify Fixed Assets if you will be moving a piece of equipment to another location - either permanently or temporarily.

VI. Signature Authority

The Budget Office will review backup documentation and sign off on all ETF purchases in order to ensure that they meet ETF requirements and that they have all documentation necessary for SCHEV reimbursement.

VII. Retention Periods

Computing equipment (desktops, laptops, computer monitors, tablets, and printers) purchased with ETF must remain on the active inventory for a minimum of 4 years (any computing equipment purchased prior to July 1, 2018 must remain active for a minimum of 7 years).

All other ETF equipment must remain on the active inventory for 7 years.

ETF equipment shall not be turned in to Fixed Assets Management for surplus/disposal during the retention period. In addition, systems must remain intact throughout the retention period and shall be disposed of as a single system. Once the equipment reaches the end of its useful life follow surplus property procedures listed on Fixed Assets website.

HEETF Exclusion List
Two-column table of excluded items from which programs
The Following Items The Following Programs
a. Library books, films and library materials All Programs
b. Fixed library shelving All Programs
c. Office accessories (blinds, carpets, file cabinets and similar items) All Programs
d. Office furniture (desks, chairs, tables and similar items) All Programs
e. Transportation equipment All Programs
f. Equipment normally affixed to a building or functional as a part of an operating system of a building All Programs
g. Climate control and security systems All Programs
h. General telecommuncations equipment Public Service and Physical Plant
i. Equipment with a useful life of less than 3 years (W&M's policy is 4 years) for shorter-lived equipment and 7 years for all other equipment All Programs
j. General applications software (Lotus, Excel, etc.) All Programs
k. Items costing less than $500 All Programs
l. Used or refurbished equipment All Programs
m. Fabrications (to build or construct customized equipment) All Programs
ETF Committee & Request Approval Authority

The ETF Committee is responsible for reviewing ETF requests from departments on an annual basis.  The Committee makes recommendations to the Provost in the best interest of the university as a whole.  The Provost has approval authority for all ETF requests.

2021-2022 ETF Committee
Martha Wescoat-Andes Dan Scianandre
Berni Kenney Sarah Taylor
Dennis Manos Virginia Torczon
Mindy Schuster

Advisors to the Committee - Eric Bradley, Jacob Long, Abby Houser