Definitions of Terms

Capital Project 
A construction, renovation or maintenance project over $100,000.

Capital Project Authorization Form 
A form used to request funding of a capital project, by the project manager and forwarded to the Treasurer for processing.

Capital Project Request 
A request that is completed for all capital projects expected to cost at least $100,000, and complex projects estimated to cost less. The purpose of this request is to provide information that will be used by the Capital Project Planning Group, President and Board of Trustees to understand the project scope, assess its impact on the community, determine the resources needed, prioritize project among others requested and authorize the project to proceed.

Contract 
A legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties. Remember: Contracts can be oral! Oral contracts are harder to enforce.

Contract approval or Contracting authority 
The right and responsibility to agree to, on behalf of the College, entry into an agreement with a third party for goods and or services. Approval does not mean that the approving party must sign the agreement or have read the agreement – that responsibility (signatory authority) may be delegated to a manager who reports to the contracting authority.

Contract Review Checklist 
A tool used by individuals initiating a contract to verify that all policies and procedures have been addressed and completed.
 
Construction-based maintenance contracts 
A contract related to the construction, renovation or of new and existing facilities. These contracts include construction, architectural and engineering services.

Contracts for entertainment 
A contract to hire or provide entertainment services. This includes bands, dee-jays, performers.

Contract for external funding and other activities 
A contract between a governmental or private funding source of research projects and the College.

Contracts for professional services i.e. Consultants 
A contract for the purchase or sale of professional services such as consulting or legal services.

Contracts for the purchase of goods/services 
A contract for the purchase of movable items, such as furniture and computers, and non-professional services, such as delivery of office equipment and grounds work. Agreements for the purchase of goods/services can also be imbedded in another contract, such as a construction contract.

Contracts/Agreements for student volunteer work 
An agreement with an outside agency to allow students to participate in volunteer activities. These agreements can include opportunities the students sign up for on their own or mandatory activities tied to a Mount Holyoke class, which is referred to as “service learning.”

Contracts for the use of resources and/or facilities (Events Contracts) 
A contract for the use of College resources and/or facilities such as athletic fields, buildings or rooms, by any person or organization not acting on behalf of the College.

Indemnification 
Indemnification is the payment for expenses related to a loss without holding another party responsible. 

Insurance 
Insurance provides the financial backing to provide for the payment of expenses that arise from an indemnification.

Payment Approval 
Employees may be authorized to approve payment for goods or services by their department administrator. This is not contracting authority.

Signatory Approval 
Signatory Approval may be granted to employees, in letter form, by senior administrators with signatory authority. Signatory approval allows authorized representatives to execute departmental contracts on behalf of the College.

Signatory Authority 
The authority of representatives to sign contracts on behalf of the College. Representatives are granted signatory authority for contracts, based on authority given. See Policy.
Persons signing agreements must be familiar with College Procedures and contract requirements and have reviewed any agreement in accordance with said procedures before signing it.

Spending Limits 
The amount that a signatory authority is permitted to commit College funds to. The spending limits should be set forth in a letter form to the employee by the delegating authority.

Subcontract for external research projects and other activities 
A contract between Mount Holyoke and another Institution or organization that has obtained funding for research from a governmental or private funding source for a Mount Holyoke College employee to become a subcontractor in the project.