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A&S Vehicle Acquisition and Use Policy

The College of Arts & Sciences recognizes that departments have many and varied uses for motor vehicles, both on and off campus. Whenever practical, employees are encouraged to use motor-pool vehicles, or personal vehicles with mileage reimbursement. Cost-benefit analyses suggest that these are the two most economically feasible approaches.

However, there are instances where specialized vehicles (pick-up trucks, vans, 4x4s, etc.) may be required for transporting equipment, supplies, students or research personnel on a very regular basis (daily or weekly) for extended periods of time. In these situations, it may be economically feasible to purchase (or lease) a vehicle (either by the department or the PI of a grant-funded research project). Whenever possible, departments are encouraged to consult with other departments within the college that may be willing to loan a vehicle for specific purposes.

All university vehicles must conform to University Policy 47.001: Safety, Procurement, Operation, Maintenance, and Disposition of University Vehicles.

It is the responsibility of the academic department to which a vehicle is assigned to assure that all policies and procedures are adhered to. It is the responsibility of the department Chair, to which the vehicle is assigned, to ensure that the vehicle is used only for official university business. Under no circumstances should a university vehicle be used for personal business. The Chair, or appropriate designee, must establish an annual process and procedure that ensures that all drivers (1) possess a valid US drivers license (license number kept on file), and (2) have a 5-year driving history consistent with safe behavior behind the wheel (BMV report kept on file). The latter may be obtained online through the BMV by potential drivers. Likewise, each unit is responsible for establishing a system for knowing and documenting the driver of any particular assigned vehicle at any particular time (e.g., a vehicle log book containing driver name, date, times in/out, mileage in/out). Only faculty, staff, or students of Ohio University may drive a college vehicle.

Acquisition, repair, maintenance, and service is expected to be completed through Transportation and Parking Services (TPS), as is the annual safety inspection. All licensing, registration, and other legal documents are maintained by TPS. The requesting department is responsible for all "costs of ownership" associated with procurement, operation, maintenance, and insurance of a vehicle. If the vehicle is purchased on grant funds or part of a start-up package for a PI, the PI is responsible for all costs of ownership up until account expiration, at which point responsibility is returned to the department. Any new vehicle request coming forward to the college must be accompanied by a memo from the Chair agreeing to the terms of this policy. Priority use of vehicles is determined by the PI or department, whomever is currently responsible for the cost of ownership. Each department is responsible for establishing its own priority of internal use. Every attempt possible should be made to share vehicles within and among faculty/staff and departments, whenever practical.

In considering the acquisition of a vehicle, departments (and/or PIs) should consider the following: (1) is there a need for a specialized vehicle that precludes the use a personal vehicle, (2) can a motor pool vehicle meet the need, (3) is the purchase economically feasible and advisable (cost of purchase and annual expense divided by projected use period), (4) does the department have a policy in place for monitoring drivers, assuring priority usage requests, and assuming cost of ownership?

BCM: v.1, 14-MAR-2016