For Iowa State units that periodically need to lease land or building space for their academic, research or business operations, new "how to" documents help them complete those leases.
There are two documents, one for when an outside group is using university-owned property, another when the university is using someone else's property. Both documents are available on the university counsel's contract assistance and templates website (see "real estate leases").
In clear, numbered steps, the documents spell out the lease process and provide links to relevant forms and contacts.
Representatives from the provost office, operations and finance, facilities planning and management (FPM), research and demonstration farms, procurement and university counsel developed the procedure documents.
"We didn't create anything new," said university controller Amy Tetmeyer, who was part of the team. "All these steps were there before, we simply gathered them in one document and put them in an efficient sequence."
"We're trying to create awareness about the steps to take when you create a lease," she added.
Tetmeyer said one benefit of centralizing the process is shared information that can save time and money, for example, if the type of space you seek actually is available within university facilities.
"We want to support our employees and what they need. We also need to support the university; we can do both," Tetmeyer said.
Centralizing multiple inventories
In addition to standardizing the lease process, the new procedures will help centralize a single inventory of lease agreements, somewhere in excess of 100 leases. In the past, lease lists were kept locally in operations and finance, FPM, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on behalf of research and demonstration farms, university counsel and procurement. A central list makes record-keeping more reliable and helps with university audit and accounting standards, Tetmeyer said.
With an eye on preserving the reliability of a central inventory, the documents emphasize the final, though not new, action in each lease process. Copies of a lease for ISU-owned property should be shared with FPM and the office of the senior vice president for operations and finance. Billing the lessee remains the responsibility of the department or college. A copy of a lease for property an Iowa State unit is renting should be shared with procurement services, where the lease is uploaded to Workday.