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2.4.5 Protection of Property

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Approved by the Vice President for Business Affairs and Chief Financial Officer.
Last Updated

Formerly Known As Policy Number: 28.6

This Guide Memo outlines departmental responsibilities for safeguarding University property.

1. Security of Facilities

a. Arrangements

Each department is responsible for making whatever arrangements are necessary to secure University facilities when they are not in use.

b. Instructions to Employees

All employees should be instructed to lock all windows, doors, and storage facilities when they leave an area unattended and at the close of normal work. Employees who work outside of regular hours should relock doors upon entering as well as when leaving a building.

2. Protective Measures Against Theft and Vandalism

a. Keys

The number of people given keys to buildings, offices, labs, and storerooms should be kept to a minimum. A list of people with keys should be kept by each department. Keys must be returned upon termination of employment. Arrangements should be made to change keys and locks from time to time.

b. Safeguarding Equipment

Each department is responsible for the inventory and safeguard of all valuable equipment. If equipment is loaned, a record should be kept of each temporary assignment. Portable equipment of value should be kept in locked storage when not in use if this can be arranged. Consideration should be given to bolting or chaining computers, microscopes, and similar equipment to the working surface. Contact the Police Department at 650/723-9633, or see for advice concerning security of property through the STOPP program. Monetary losses to the department may be reduced by implementation of the program and the $1,000 insurance deductible may be waived.

c. Valuable Papers and Records

Special arrangements should be made for protecting valuable, irreplaceable, and confidential papers and records. Desks, file cabinets, and safes containing confidential or valuable documents must be locked whenever they are unattended, even for a short time. Consideration should be given to maintaining duplicate records, disks, tapes, or microfilms. Off-site storage should be arranged for valuable records. Such records should be kept current.

d. Safe Deposit Boxes

If items are to be kept in a safe deposit box, the box should be rented in the name of Stanford University and fees billed to the University (not to an individual). Notification of the box location and authorized signatures should be sent to the Risk Management Office and the Accounting Officer, Controller's Office.

e. Money and Personal Property

Employees should be reminded periodically not to leave cash, wallets, pocketbooks, or personal possessions of value in accessible locations. Personal automobiles should be locked.

f. Works of Art, Precious Metals, and Stones

Whenever works of art, precious metals (such as gold, silver, platinum, rhodium, and rhenium), or valuable stones (diamonds, opals, sapphires, etc.), whose total value is significant are acquired by purchase, donation, or loan to the University, the department is responsible for providing an adequate security and accountability system. The Police Department and the Risk Management Office are available for assistance in developing an auditable system for the receipt, inventory, storage, and accountability of the precious items. A written description of procedures should be filed in the department. Departments accepting loans or gifts of such property should send a copy of the inventory to the Risk Management Office for insurance coverage.

g. Vandalism

Adequate protection against theft should provide equal protection against acts of vandalism. If physical facilities are such that unauthorized access is possible, departments may ask the advice of the Stanford Police for methods of obtaining adequate protection.

3. Reports of Theft or Vandalism

a. Immediate Reports to the Police

Thefts, evidence of attempted theft, and acts of vandalism must be reported to the Stanford Police as soon as the discovery is made.

b. Investigation of Theft or Vandalism

Only the police are authorized to conduct an investigation of a theft or act of vandalism. Everyone else is cautioned to refrain from disturbing the evidence and from taking action in the matter except under the direction of the investigating officer.

c. Insurance

The Risk Management Office processes all claims for the replacement value or repair of University property that has been stolen, destroyed or damaged. For more information, see Guide Memo 2.4.4.

4. Theft by University Employees

a. Staff

A staff employee determined to have participated, as perpetrator or accomplice, in theft of University property or property for which the University is responsible is subject to discharge and legal action.

b. Faculty

Members of the Academic Council are governed by the Statement on Faculty Discipline, which can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

5. Use of University Property

University property may not be used for personal purposes or for personal gain. See Guide Memo 8.2.1: University Events, and the Public Events Policy and Practice Manual for policy on use of University property for public events.