Campus News

UK Surplus gives new life to university overflow items

University Surplus Operations has moved from its longstanding location at the Reynolds Building to Vaughan Warehouse and Office located at 1247 Versailles Road.
computer monitors
 horse drawn carriages

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2023) — From rows of desk chairs to sound boards used for announcing historic games at Memorial Coliseum, University of Kentucky Surplus is home to overflow items belonging to the university.

UK Surplus, which is responsible for accepting and accounting for all excess property within the UK system, allows UK departments to checkout/in inventory at no charge.

“It’s very easy to check out items or return items,” said Barry Swanson, chief procurement officer for UK. “Departments fill out a form list of property to return items or a Surplus invoice to check out items.”

Common items available include desk chairs, standing desks, medical equipment, computers, furniture and other various office supplies.

However, Surplus acquires some very obscure items. UK Surplus has housed an egg incubator, horse drawn carriages, cars and even several barns. 

“It’s amazing what comes through here. You never know what’s going to come in on any given day,” said Jeff Carmickle, purchasing and surplus assistant director for UK Surplus.

While the main goal of surplus is to provide resources to university departments, it also helps with the university’s sustainability and financial goals.

“The primary goal is to place these items back on campus for reuse,” said Swanson. “Surplus is the best possible outcome for all involved because it keeps these items out of the landfill.”

“We try to keep as much as possible,” Carmickle said. “So, if it has any value or functionality to it, we’re probably going to keep it."

Last fiscal year, Carmickle said UK Surplus’ cost avoidance was around $1 million.

“If I can save the university money, that's money that can go into another project somewhere,” he said.

Once all usable items have been made available to the university community for 10 business days, Surplus then works to donate, sell by auction or recycle remaining unneeded property.

Members of the public can get involved through their online auction service found here.

Learn more about UK Surplus here.

University Surplus Operations has moved from its longstanding location at the Reynolds Building to Vaughan Warehouse and Office, located at 1247 Versailles Road.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.