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Policy: Academic Approval and Signatory Authority for Academic Program Agreements 


Date: 06/28/11 Policy ID: FIN-035 Status: Final

Policy Type: University
   
Contact Office: Executive Vice President and Provost (Office of the) or Comptroller (Office of the University)
   
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
   
Applies To: Academic Division.
   
Table of Contents:  Policy Statement
  1. Types of Academic Program Agreements
  2. Ageements Governed by Other Poloicies or Procedures

Procedures

   
Reason for Policy: 

The University has established requirements for approval of academic program agreements so that (1) there is adequate lead time to process the agreement; (2) a determination can be made that the agreement advances the mission and priorities of the University; (3) the agreement is approved by the appropriate academic oversight office; and (4) the agreement is reviewed and signed by a University representative who is an authorized signatory of the University.

   
Policy Summary: 
   
Definition of Terms in Statement: 

Academic Program Agreement: Any contract between the University and another institution or organization involving educational activities, or research activities unrelated to approved sponsored research, or which express the intent to collaborate in such activities.

Authorized Signatory: An individual authorized pursuant to the Board of Visitor’s Signatory Authority policy to sign contracts with external parties on behalf of the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

Contract: Any agreement between the University and one or more parties for performing, or refraining from performing, some specified act(s) in exchange for a valuable benefit known legally as “consideration.”
   
Policy Statement: 

Academic program agreements require two types of approval:

  1. Academic approval, first by the appropriate school dean and then either by the executive vice president and provost (provost) or his/her designee or, in the case of research-related academic program agreements, by the vice president for research (VPR). The review should verify that the agreement effectively advances the mission and priorities of the school and University and all commitments and liabilities are approved.
  2. Administrative and legally binding approval, which is provided either by the University comptroller or, in the case of research-related academic program agreements, the assistant vice president for research administration.  This review considers business issues and ensures applicable laws and contractual terms are addressed.

In addition, academic program agreements with institutions or organizations outside the United States require the approval of the vice provost for international programs and the director of the International Studies Office.
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  1. Types of Academic Program Agreements:
    Any type of academic program agreement is a contract and is governed by the University’s Policy on Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts. The following types of academic program agreements are governed by the aforementioned policy and this policy include, but are not limited to:
    • Agreements for the exchange of students or faculty with other institutions of higher education, either in the U.S. or beyond,
    • International practicum agreements,
    • Study abroad program agreements,
    • Art loan agreements (agreements governing the loan of University-owned artwork to outside organizations or the loan of artwork owned by outside agencies to the University), and
    • Memoranda of understanding or memoranda of agreement related to educational or research activities not otherwise exempted below.
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  2. Agreements Governed by Other Policies or Procedures:
    The following types of agreements, although related to educational and research activities, are governed by other policies and/or procedures and are therefore exempt from the requirements of this policy:
    • Agreements governed by policies and procedures of the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) [refer to the policy on Grants and Contracts & Grants and Contracts, Documents to be Approved by OSP],
    • Sponsored programs non-disclosure agreements [contact OSP],
    • Material transfer agreements [contact OSP],
    • Procurement contracts [refer to the policy on Purchases of Goods and Services from Outside Vendors or contact Procurement Services],
    • Agreements arising from approved service activities [refer to the policy on University Services and Activities or contact the Comptroller’s Office],
    • Clinical placement or domestic practicum agreements [contact the Comptroller’s Office],
    • Equipment loan agreements [refer to the policy on Equipment Loans or contact Procurement Services or the Comptroller’s Office];
    • Agreements governing the loan of University-owned artwork to outside agencies or organizations [contact the Comptroller’s Office], and
    • Leases of employee time [contact the Comptroller’s Office].

Questions regarding whether a specific activity or type of agreement is covered under this policy or other policies and procedures should be directed to the Comptroller’s Office.
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Procedures: 
  1. Initial Contract Review
    Any individual or department who either has an interest in developing an academic program agreement with another institution, or who is approached by another institution expressing such an interest, should notify his/her Dean’s Office immediately. The Dean’s Office will alert the Comptroller’s Office and the Provost’s Office to ensure that the contract is developed in accordance with University policies and procedures.

  2. Academic Approval by the School
    The dean of the school to which the academic program agreement pertains must review and approve the agreement as it relates to his/her school. The dean should submit the agreement and a written letter endorsing the academic program(s) proposed and his/her agreement to assume the obligations contained therein, to the Provost’s Office or the Office of the Vice President for Research for review and approval.

  3. Academic Approval by the Director of the International Studies Office and the Vice Provost for International Programs
    After the initial contract review and academic approval by the appropriate dean, an agreement that involves an institution or organization outside the United States must be forwarded to the Director of the International Studies Office for his/her review and approval by the Vice Provost for International Programs.  Approval is indicated by the Vice Provost for International Programs either co-signing the academic program agreement or submitting a written approval of the agreement to the Provost or VPR.

  4. Academic Approval by the Provost or VPR
    The provost or VPR will indicate his/her approval either by co-signing the academic program agreement with the authorized signatory or by submitting a written approval of the agreement to the authorized signatory’s office (either the Comptroller’s Office or the Office of Sponsored Programs). The requirements and procedures for approval by the provost or VPR will vary depending on the type of agreement being considered (See “Guidelines for Developing Some Common Types of Academic Program Agreements”).

  5. University Approval
    Copies of all academic approvals must be forwarded to the University officers authorized in accordance with the Board of Visitor’s Signatory Authority policy for executing contracts with external parties. The authorized signatory’s office will perform the contractual review, consult with the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Risk Management where appropriate, and coordinate execution of the agreement in compliance with the University Policy on “Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts.”

See Preparation of Contract Approval Sheet, Procedure: 7-70.
See also Guidelines for Developing Some Common Types of Academic Program Agreements.
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Related Information: 

Guidelines for Developing Some Common Types of Academic Program Agreements
BOV Signatory Authority Policy (June 15, 2001)
FIN-036, “Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts”

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Policy Background: 
   
Major Category: Finance and Business Operations
   
Category Cross Reference: 
   
   
Process: 
   
Next Scheduled Review: 06/28/14
   
Approved By, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 06/28/11
   
Revision History: This is the first version of the policy.
   
Supersedes (previous policy):