Policy and Procedure Regarding Contract Approval, Signatory Authority and Spending Limits


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, certain Vice Presidents, 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 his or her 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 Vice President for Academic Affairs 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 President or Vice Presidents 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 Vice President Approval

Other contracts that must be approved (or signed) by the Vice Presidents for their respective divisions (the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Advancement, Vice President for Enrollment and College Relations, and Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of LITS) 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.
  • Any contract or business relationship where either money or services is returned to the College, such as a fee for being permitted to do business on campus (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 vice presidents involved.
  • Projects or relationships that have a community impact.

If the Vice Presidents (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.

Authorized Signatories

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:

Finance & Administration:
VP for Finance and Administration
Associate Treasurer
Director of Auxiliary Services
Director of Willits-Hallowell/Conference Services
Director of Dining Services
Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Director of Facilities Planning and Management
Director of Human Resources
Director of Public Safety and Service
Director of Compliance and Risk Management

Dean of Admission
Sr. Associate Dean of Admission

Director of Athletics
Sr. Associate Director of Athletics

VP for Enrollment and College Relations
VP of Communications and Marketing
Second Designee (appointed by two above officials)

Professional and Graduate Education Programs (PaGE):
Executive Director of Professional and Graduate Education

VP for Advancement
Director of Advancement

VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Associate Dean of the Faculty

Library, Information & Technology Services:
Chief Information Officer & Executive Director

Student Affairs:
Dean of the College and VP for Student Affairs
Dean of Students
Dean of Residential Life
Director of Student Involvement

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 Chair. For example, the Director of Facilities Management may authorize the 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 and should be filed with the employee’s personnel file as well as be on file with the Department. 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 his/her supervisor before entering into contract negotiations or before revisioning, approving or signing a contract, and must excuse him/herself from any involvement in the contract. The supervisor shall assume responsibility for the contract or arrange for the appointment of a substitute responsible administrator.