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University Policy 127

Property Acquisition and Leasing

Initially approved June 10, 2019

Policy Topic: Governance & Administration
Authority:  Chancellor
Administering Office: Office of Administration and Finance

Overview

NC General Statutes which govern University real property transactions, including acquisition and disposition by lease, require varying levels of approval. Depending on the transaction amount, approval may be required up to and including the Council of State and the Governor. All real property transactions, including lease requests, must be received and evaluated by the WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Office and reviewed and approved by the Property Review Committee. If the need for space is deemed to be justified, funded, and approved, the University Property Officer will process the request to seek the approvals required by applicable State Statute and UNC System Office policies and procedures. The WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Operations and Procedures Manual for Real Property Transactions provides the detailed procedures to be followed.

I. Policy Statement

This policy provides the requirements for the procedure of acquiring and disposing of real property, including lease transactions, under additional delegated authority to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and governing policies.  

II. Scope and Application of Policy

This policy applies to any University division, department, or affiliate wanting to acquire or dispose of real property, including acquisition or disposition by Lease or License.

III. Definitions

  1. Lease: written agreement in which the owner of real property (lessor) grants the right of possession and use of that property to another (lessee) for a specified period of time (term) for specific periodic payments (rent) under specific terms and conditions.
  2. License: A revocable grant of right by the owner of real property to enter and use that property for a specific purpose and duration (e.g. special event or parking).
  3. Departmental Sponsor: The department head responsible for approval of funding associated with leased space (rent, renovations, utilities etc.).
  4. Space Request Form: The online administrative form utilized by the Space Management Committee to manage and initiate a divisional level request for space.
  5. Lease Request Form: The online administrative form used by the Property Acquisition and Leasing Office to manage and initiate a divisional level request for off-campus spaces. This form provides a means to initiate the lease request and a method to document internal funding approval.
  1. Property: Any outdoor space, real property or land owned or leased by the University or otherwise maintained under its control.
  1. Property Officer: The University’s official for all real property transactions and the Property Acquisition and Leasing Office.
  2. Millennial Properties: Millennial Properties, established by the UNC Board of Governors pursuant to NCGS 116.198.34(8b), enhances the institution's research, teaching, and service missions as well as the economic development of the region served by the institution. At WCU, the Division of Administration and Finance is the administrative unit charged with managing Millennial Properties.
  3. Property Acquisition and Leasing Operations and Procedures Manual:  The Manual provides detailed instructions on the acquisition or disposition of real property, including by lease. Information includes approval thresholds, advertising requirements, procedures, and steps to acquire or to dispose of real property. The Manual is available on the WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Office Website.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Sponsoring Unit: The administrative unit of the University requesting space, including a lease, is responsible to submit the request to the Property Acquisition and Leasing Office for processing.  Requests are required to have a funding source and approval of the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. The sponsoring unit must first seek any needed space through the Space Management Committee. 
  2. Property Review Committee (PRC): In accordance with UNC Policy 600.1.3[R], the     University shall establish and properly constitute a Property Review Committee (PRC). The functional composition of the PRC shall be proposed by the constituent institution, approved by the UNC System Office and appointed by the Chancellor.  The membership composition and detailed responsibilities of the PRC are listed in the WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Operations and Procedures Manual.
  3. University Property Officer and Property Acquisition and Leasing Office: The Property Officer is designated by the Chancellor and charged with evaluating, developing, negotiating and managing real property transactions for WCU.  Detailed duties and responsibilities are in the WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Operations and Procedures Manual.
  4. Office of Legal Counsel: As required by applicable state policies and procedures, coordinates with the University Property Acquisition and Leasing Office, State Property Office (SPO) and the Attorney General’s office to review and/or draft all leases and related real property agreements.
  5. Space Management Committee: Coordinates with the University Property Acquisition and Leasing Office to ensure acquisitions, including leases, are justified and required by the requesting unit. Investigates and proposes alternatives to purchasing or leasing off-campus property.

V. Operations and Procedures

  1. All detailed operations and procedures related to real property transactions, including leasing, are found in the WCU Property Acquisition and Leasing Operations and Procedures Manual for Real Property Transactions.

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