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Leaving academics- equipment?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 10:44 am
by Melanie
Hello everyone,

I hope that someone out there has an answer to this question for me. I have found a position in the private sector and have given my University 90 days notice. Other faculty (friend and foe) have already been touring my space, looking at my equipment or even requesting some of my consumables. My question is- do I have to leave all equipment, even that I purchased with my own grants? There is very little that I would like to take with me, but I have some office things that would be nice to have. Otherwise, need to know whether I am even authorized to designate who gets what of mine...I thought about asking someone at the University, but wanted an unbiased answer.

Thanks for your help!


Leaving academics- equipment?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:17 am
by John G. Hoey, Ph.D.
Hi Melanie:

AS a general rule, you do have to leave the equipment behind. Although purchased with "your" grant funds, all of this material belongs to the university. This should be pretty clearly spelled out in your employment contract. You can, however, request permission to take it with you....I've heard of universities allowing scientists to this on occasion. Other than the obvious fact of being honest, it would not bode well for you if you tried to simply walk away with university property; they do in fact own this equipment, and classify it as their "property" (rightly or wrongly).

I'm just curious....where at Columbia are you located?

John G. Hoey, Ph.D.

Leaving academics- equipment?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:05 pm
by Teresa

I agree with the other post that it all belongs to the University. From what I have seen before you can try to 'set aside' what you want while you gain the appropriate permissions. Be careful as usually around this time things will disappear whether you mediate who gets what or not. You might get the powers that be (head of your department, etc) involved right away so that 1) you don't have to deal with people fighting over things and 2) so things don't walk before you leave which the school will later hold you responsible for...

Leaving academics- equipment?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:19 pm
by Emil Chuck
First, congratulations on your new position.

Second, I'll agree with what has been said about equipment purchases. In general, it is the University's property.

Third, If there are specific pieces of equipment that you consider essential, vital, and irreplaceable at your new position, then negotiate with both your new firm and the University about transferring property rights. You probably should have negotiated that as part of your offer/contract negotations with your new firm, but you ought to be sure that you can move that equipment. Otherwise, you actually don't want to take everything with you if the new firm can buy all the things you need to succeed and get up and running quickly.