Only authorized signatories named by the Board of Visitors, or to whom signatory authority has been delegated in writing by the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, can legally bind the University to a contract.
Prior to execution of a proposed contract, the authorized signatory must coordinate all required reviews, obtain all internal approvals, and ensure compliance with applicable University policies and state and federal law . For more information, see the University’s policy on FIN-036: Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts.
IMPORTANT: If an individual without delegated signature authority signs an agreement purporting to bind the University, he or she could potentially face personal liability for any suit or claim arising from that contract. If an employee hasn’t received an official signatory authority delegation letter from the EVP/COO, then he or she does not have authority to sign an agreements on behalf of the University.
Contracts Reviewed by Financial Operations: Financial Operations manages the review and execution of contracts for three separate authorized signatories:
- Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations: The Assistant Vice President for Financial Operations (AVPFO) is the holder of residual signature authority for the University’s academic division and College at Wise. As such, authority for all contracts not specifically delegated to other University business units resides with the AVPFO, up to a maximum amount of $3M over the life of the contract. Contracts exceeding the maximum must be signed by the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer or the President. Per Board of Visitors policy, contracts concerning real estate or allowing the payment of more than $5M in any one year must receive prior approval by the Board and be signed by an authorized official.
- Executive Vice President & Provost: The Executive Vice President & Provost has signature authority for all academic program agreements for the University’s academic division. Academic program agreements are contracts between the University and another institution or organization to establish a joint educational program, a collaborative academic relationship such as a student exchange, or a research activity unrelated to sponsored research. The Provost’s signature authority is limited to $5M over the life of the contract. Contracts exceeding the maximum must be signed by the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer or the President. Per Board of Visitors policy, contracts concerning real estate or allowing the payment of more than $5M in any one year must receive prior approval by the Board and be signed by an authorized official.
- Director of Financial Operations: In addition to managing the contract process for the AVPFO and Provost, the Director has authority to sign certain agreements for the University’s academic division and College at Wise, including clinical practicum contracts, student internship contracts, service agreements, art loans, copyright licenses, location agreements, facility use agreements and merchandising agreements, provided that the total value of any such contract does not exceed $500k in any one year.