Guidelines for the Disposal of Commodities, Goods, and Materials


The Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (Section 914.02) states that “personal property owned by an institution shall be used only for institutional purposes. No employee in the University System shall permit such property to be removed from the campus of an institution for use on either a rental or loan basis for personal use.” Interpretation of this policy as related to certain classes of property (e.g. vehicles and equipment) is explicit. Less clear, however, is the interpretation and application of the policy as it pertains to non-durable items or classes of property of a consumptive nature generated or produced in the normal conduct of research, extension, or instruction programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


The purpose of these guidelines is to establish clear responsibility and detailed guidance for the disposition of commodities, materials, and other non-durable goods created or produced in the conduct of research, extension, or instruction programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. These guidelines address mainly non-durable or consumer items whose value at the end of the experiment or extension demonstration project is judged by the investigator or educator to have no continued programmatic value to the particular project or program. The commodity in question, however, may have market value external to the research, extension, or instructional effort. Such items, which remain the property of the state, may be disposed of through a variety of channels with prior approval. Nothing in these guidelines should be construed to conflict with applicable state law or System of Georgia Board of Regents Policy.


The Dean and Director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has overall responsibility and accountability for the disposal of commodities, goods, and materials of value generated/produced through research, instruction, and extension programs. The Associate Deans for Research, Extension and Assistants Deans at the Griffin and Tifton campuses shall too be held accountable to the Dean and Director for compliance of these guidelines.

However, the principal investigator(s) or educator(s) retains absolute accountability for commodities and goods generated or produced during the investigative or educational state of the program. Once the investigator or educator completes his/her work and declare that the non-durable good has no further programmatic value, accountability and responsibility for disposal of such items shifts to the appropriate unit head. For example, in the case of a Research and Extension Center, the appropriate head would be the Superintendent. In the case of a departmental farm it would be the Academic Department Head; or the Field Research Service Head (Assistant Deans at the Griffin and Tifton campuses). For educational programs in the Cooperative Extension Service, the appropriate unit head will be the District Extension Head or State Program Leader.

Disposal of Commodities, Goods, and Things of Value:

As a public entity, maximum effort shall be devoted to the wise use and protection of the public’s investment in research, extension, and educational programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This means that we will be judicious in the expenditure and recovery of funds used to generate and produce research and education products and services. The following guidelines shall be used in priority order to dispose of commodities, goods, and other items of value following the completion of research and extension investigations or programming.

a. Commercial Market:

Where possible, commercial markets will be given priority in disposing of commodities, goods, services, and other items of value. Sale of such items will be accounted for in accordance with standard University accounting procedures. Most agricultural commodities may be sold through local elevators and livestock sales, etc. Where applicable, local managers are encouraged to time the sale of commodities to maximize economic returns.

b. Spot Markets:

Where commercial markets or outlets are unavailable or there exists insufficient quantities of commodities or things of value to meet commercial market standards, use of local spot markets is permitted. Perishable commodities such as fruits and vegetables are well suited for disposal through spot markets. In order to avoid the appearance of public-private competition, all such commodity sales will be widely and timely advertised and offered to the public at a fair and uniform price. Without qualifications or preferences, University employees may participate in the purchase of these goods.

c. Private Treaty:

Animal breeding stock and other commodities may be sold by private treaty when there is clear evidence and provision for establishing fair market value.

d. Gifts and Gratuities:

In particular cases, research and educational Programs may produce commodities and goods in residual quantities that preclude or make it uneconomical to dispose of the product as described in “a.-c.” above. Where the cost of disposing of such commodities exceeds their salvage value, the commodity or good may be disposed of via gifts or gratuities when approved, in writing, by the appropriate administrator. Priority under this provision should be given to local charities and public entities, when feasible.