Contracting Process

Contract Forms and Templates

The University has developed numerous standardized agreement templates for various types of activities.  Links to the most common templates can be found on the Finance Contracts page and the Provost Contracts page.  It is recommended that business units use of one of the University’s pre-approved templates whenever possible, as doing so will expedite the review and approval process tremendously and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the contracting process.


Most contracts signed through Financial Operations relate to the activities of a particular school, department or business unit and thus the primary relationship and interface with the other contracting party should be handled at the local level. Some schools and units have established offices that handle particular contracts (e.g. practica, internships, real eastate agreements) but in other cases the business manager or other responsible person at the local level will need to manage the relationship and handle contractual correspondence.

Financial Operations will review and edit the agreement and coordinate any required internal reviews by other University offices (see below).  In the event negotiation is required, this office will assist in explaining the University’s legal position and discussing potential compromise language.


Different internal offices provide input depending on the nature of the contract at issue.  Potential required reviews include:

  • Office of General Counsel for state and federal legal compliance.
  • Office of Risk Management for review of liability and insurance provisions.
  • Office of Export Controls for review of contracts involving foreign entities, foreign nationals or export-restricted technologies.
  • Registrar’s Office for contracts implicating academic transcripts or credit.
  • Student Financial Services for contracts involving student tuition or payments to students that may affect eligibility for financial aid.

Note that if a standard template is employed, aside from contracts raising export controls issues, additional institutional reviews are usually unnecessary and the contract review time should be minimal.


In addition to signature by an authorized representative, each contract must be approved at the department or business unit level. Depending on the nature of the contract and the commitments involved, additional approvals from higher levels of the administration may be required. 

Approval can be provided in different ways depending on the circumstances, including:


After the contract terms have been negotiated and approved, and all approvals obtained, the contract should be routed for signature. Contracts for signature by the Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations or the Director of Financial Operations should be routed to this office.  Contracts for signature by the Provost’s Office should be routed to the Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost.

Record Retention

Contracts should be retained in accordance with University policy and procedures regarding the retention and disposition of University business records.

Questions or Comments?

Please contact us with any questions about tax compliance issues or contracting activities.

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