Hi Andy,

Check your institutional definition of Supplies vs Equipment (i.e. not 
just Equipment).  If what you are buying is not Equipment, it is 
Supplies, thus the importance of this distinction.  Although the short 
cut for putting a tracking number on things is usually a dollar cut off, 
the actual definition usually has length of expected service as an 
alternative.  Look at the actual Federal/University agreement on 
overhead to see what the legal wording is. They are all a little 
different, and may not be between PSU and NSF, it may be with the Office 
of Naval Research, NIH etc.  Each institution has a single one, so if it 
is with NIH, NSF uses it,  and so on.

Cabinets, drawers and unit trays all have a useful life of 20 years, so 
usually can be considered equipment that way.


On 7/22/2015 11:23 AM, Andy Deans wrote:
> Hi all,
> If you ordered new cabinets, drawers, and unit trays for your collection how would your institution apply overhead? For example if a cabinet cost >$5000 Penn State would consider it a capital improvement and not collect overhead. If the cabinet cost $1600, though, it would.
> Then what if you purchased 50 cabinets, each of which was $1600 ... and at the same time you also ordered 1,200 drawers ($40 a piece) to fill them, and then the thousands of unit trays ($1 each) needed to fill those drawers? If it added up to $150k would your institution consider it a giant capital improvement, or would your institution see that each thing cost less than $5k and so requires collection of overhead.
> You can see where I am going with this question. Thanks for any info/thoughts,
> Andy


Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50
1911 West Lincoln Street
NW corner of Lincoln and S.19th
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717

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