University of Minnesota  FAQ

Acquiring and Disposing of University Real Estate


Expand all


Table of Contents

TOC placeholder


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. Does the University sell real estate? I want to buy some.

    Yes, although not often. The University sells property that has been designated as "surplus." A property is defined as surplus when it is determined the real estate is no longer needed to fulfill the University’s mission. The University maintains a website listing all University properties for sale (property description, sale process, contacts, etc.) at U Real Estate Website, University Properties for Sale.

  2. Who owns University real estate?

    Regents of the University of Minnesota, a Minnesota constitutional corporation.

  3. I want to sell property to the University. How does that work?

    The University typically purchases property after a source of funding and a specific use have been identified. If the property is within the boundaries of a campus master plan, the University may have an interest in purchasing the property. The University's decision to purchase property follows an in-depth review and approval process, including one or more appraisals and a Phase I (and possibly a Phase II) Environmental Site Assessment. For properties valued at more than $1,000,000, located on or within 2 miles of a University campus, or larger than 10 acres, Board of Regents approval is required. The University also is required to seek an advisory recommendation from the Minnesota Legislature for all property purchases regardless of size or value.

  4. What is the Board of Regents’ process for considering a real estate transaction?

    Generally, the Board of Regents' review and approval process occurs in two meetings – review at the first meeting; action at the second meeting. Real Estate transactions are agenda items for the Finance and Operations Committee meetings.

  5. How can a utility company obtain permission to use University real estate for installation and maintenance of their equipment?

    Start by contacting the Real Estate Office at [email protected]. The Real Estate Office will generally not consider selling land for this purpose, but may offer utility companies licenses to install and maintain their equipment (which includes such things as electrical lines, gas lines, and telecommunications equipment). See also Administrative Policy: Use and Lease of Real Estate.

  6. We are seeking permission from the University to perform environmental investigation or some other matter that requires short-term, invasive access to the property. Who should we contact and what are the requirements?

    Start by contacting the Real Estate Office at [email protected]. If appropriate, the Real Estate Office will offer an Access Agreement to conduct the work. See also Administrative Policy: Use and Lease of Real Estate.

  7. A University building was built from revenue generated by programs operated within our department. We no longer need that building for our activities. Can we sell that building to another University department that can use it?

    Buildings are not owned by individual departments, but by Regents of the University of Minnesota, a Minnesota constitutional corporation. If a department no longer needs the use of space previously assigned to the department, the University will re-evaluate the property and, as appropriate, either seek out an appropriate reuse or dispose of the property.