The authority to approve and sign contracts on behalf of the College rests with the authorized senior managers and officers identified in this policy (see “Authorized Signatory” section below), although in some cases, additional approval of the President, the Provost, certain Vice Presidents, the Chief Information Officer, the Board of Trustees, or a Board committee is also required. As described below, approval and signatory authority may generally be delegated in writing to a responsible designee by those Authorized Signatories, subject to appropriate limitations or conditions. Spending limits or payment approval requirements (e.g., for periodic or performance-based payments required under a contract) can be established by the Authorized Signatory who has delegated their signatory authority to a subordinate, with significant variation depending on the nature of the contract. For example, one office might be limited to spending authority of $500 (within budget for office supplies) whereas the associate director of Dining Services might be authorized to make food purchases well in excess of $100,000 (in line with standing contracts and the budget).
Contracts over $1 Million
All Contracts with a value over one million dollars ($1,000,000) must be approved in writing (or be signed) by the President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the Provost and Dean of Faculty. In addition to these approvals, facilities and technology projects over $1,000,000 must also be approved by a vote of the Board of Trustees and all new banking relationships must also be approved by a vote of the Trustee Finance Committee. If the officers listed above approve but do not sign the contract, the contract shall be signed by the appropriate official designated in the “Authorized Signatories” section below.
Other Contracts Requiring Division Head Approval
Other contracts that must be approved (or signed) by the division heads for their respective divisions (the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Provost and Dean of Faculty, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Vice President for College Relations, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of LITS, Vice President for Student Success and Dean of the College, and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion) include:
- New projects that have not been already approved as part of the budget process.
- Contracts over $500,000 (this may often be done as part of the budget process).
- New significant business relationships, such as a change in food service vendors, or an agreement to purchase all computers from a new vendor.
- Agreements for technology, software, or information services or those that involve sharing or hosting institutional data.
- Any contract or business relationship which includes a rebate, a percentage revenue share or other similar payments to the College (see also mandatory review).
- Capital projects.
- Projects that involve multiple departments or have an impact on several departments. Projects or agreements that affect more than one division should have the approval of the division heads involved.
- Projects or relationships that have a community impact.
If the division heads (or other officials) designated in this section approve but do not sign the contract, the contract shall be signed by the appropriate official designated in the “Authorized Signatories” section below.
The following senior officers and managers of the College (herein “Authorized Signatories”) have the authority, with respect to contracts and agreements that relate to functions and operations within their respective administrative and business units, to (a) approve and execute such contracts and agreements, and (b) to delegate approval and/or signatory authority to a subordinate officer or manager, with any appropriate dollar-value, timeframe, contract-specific or other limitations they deem appropriate:
- Chief of Staff and Secretary of the College
Finance & Administration:
- VP for Finance and Administration
- AVP for Finance
- Assistant Treasurer
- Chief Investment Officer
- AVP for Hospitality Operations
- Director of Willits-Hallowell/Conference Services
- AVP for Facilities Management
- Director of Environmental Health and Safety
- Director of Facilities Administration and Planning
- AVP for Human Resources
- Director of Risk Management
- VP for Enrollment Management
- Dean of Admission
- Executive Director for Student Financial Services
VP College Relations
Professional and Graduate Education Programs (PaGE):
Executive Director of Professional and Graduate Education
- Provost and Dean of Faculty
- Associate Deans of the Faculty
Library, Information & Technology Services:
Chief Information Officer & Executive Director
- AVP for Strategic Operations
VP for Student Success and Dean of the College
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:
VP for Equity and Inclusion
Delegation of Authority by Authorized Signatories
Contracts can be approved and signed by individuals who are not designated as “Authorized Signatories” in the preceding section only if, and to the extent, they have been given written authority to do so by an Authorized Signatory who is also their division head or department manager or faculty department chair. For example, the AVP for Facilities Management may authorize a department project manager to enter into construction, repair and maintenance agreements up to $100,000. This approval must be granted in memo form by the Authorized Signatory. This authority is given only for contracts that directly impact or relate to the department of the person holding the signatory authority.
No person who is not an Authorized Signatory may enter into binding contract negotiations, or approve or execute a contract on behalf of the College, without explicit written permission from an Authorized Signatory who is their division head, or department manager or chair. Those signing without such authority may incur personal liability, and/or may be subject to discipline by the College, including termination.
Departments will be responsible to manage and direct contract approval, signatory authority, and spending authority for their staff.
Renewals, Extensions, Amendments and Modifications
Renewals, extensions, amendments and modifications to previously approved contracts should be approved and signed in the same manner as the original contracts. If the individual who approved and signed the original is other than an Authorized Signatory listed above, the individual can approve and sign the renewals, extensions, amendments and modifications only if and to the extent their written delegation memo clearly gives them such authority.
Conflicts of Interest
It is the responsibility of all College employees to ensure that the College does not knowingly enter into contracts that present conflicts of interest. College officials must accordingly exercise their authority in a manner consistent with applicable conflict-of-interest policies. If a conflict arises, an official who otherwise has contract negotiation and/or approval and signatory authority must disclose the conflict promptly to their supervisor before entering into contract negotiations or before revisioning, approving or signing a contract, and must excuse themself from any involvement in the contract. The supervisor shall assume responsibility for the contract or arrange for the appointment of a substitute responsible administrator.
For more information on contracts, including additional levels of review, see the Contracts and Contracting section of College policies.