Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Finance Office

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

August 2019

Related Policies and Additional References:


Written contracts are required whenever St. Mary’s enters into a binding agreement with another party that involves stated or implied consideration. Signature authority is approved by the Board of Trustees, and any individual executing a contract on behalf of St. Mary’s without the authority to do so may be personally liable for damages flowing from repudiation of the contract.

Contracts include, but are not be limited to, purchase orders, agreements, cooperative agreements, memorandums of understanding, interagency contracts, grants, loans, easements, licenses, leases, permits and restrictions on acceptances of gifts and bequests. Other parties include, but are not limited to: Federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, private businesses, partnerships and individuals.

For non-grant (non-employment related contracts), the Board has authorized Vice Presidents to sign contracts up to $10,000. Signature of the President, Provost or Vice President for Administration and Finance is required for amounts over $10,000.

For grant related (non-employment related contracts), the Board has authorized the President, Provost and Vice Presidents to sign such contracts. Two signatures are necessary for amount over $100,000, one of which must be the President for amounts over $250,000.

The legal names and locations of the parties who are entering into the contract need to be properly identified in order for completion and execution of the contract. Contracts must be consistent with St. Mary’s Mission Statement, policies and procedures as well as with state and federal laws, rules and regulations. In addition, contracts must have clear beginning and end dates and provisions for events of default of each party. Do not negotiate a contract containing a provision that St. Mary’s University will be responsible for the other party’s attorney’s fees.

Contracts which require certificates of insurance must be submitted to the University’s Risk Pool prior to being finalized. The review is coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance. Obtaining the certificate could take up to 30 days depending on the nature of the contract and the comments from the Risk Pool.

Copies of contracts are retained by the department initiating the request. Generally, documents are retained for a period of seven years after all contractual obligations are met.

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