Cornell University issues debt on behalf of the university for purchasing, improvements, and replacement of capital projects and equipment. In determining the funding strategy of these projects, departments are responsible to comply with the Capital Project Spending Guidelines.
The university uses many resources to finance capital projects such as tax-exempt debt, taxable debt, and lines of credit. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has strict compliance guidelines for when the university is permitted to use tax-exempt debt. In general, the university is required to report to the IRS if the project financed with tax-exempt debt is being used by an external party. As defined in the Private Use Policy and Guidelines, an external party is defined as "a person other than a member of the university faculty, staff, or student body."
Prior to borrowing any funds, each unit is responsible to comply with the Private Use Policy and Guidelines and required to complete a private use questionnaire and submit to the University Treasurer’s office. In addition, each unit is required to complete annually a private use questionnaire for each building they occupy on campus.