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Policies and Procedures

10.02 Contracting Authority

Purpose:

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa (Board) is the governing authority for the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). The Board has retained contracting authority over certain transactions as provided in the Iowa Administrative Code and the Board Policy Manual including real estate purchases, sales, security interests and easements; certain land and real property leases; engagement of legal representation, bond counsel or bond-related financial advisors; contracts for major capital improvements; contracts for fire protection services; and contracts for architectural, engineering, construction management and design services on major capital improvement projects. The Board has delegated their authority to make other contracts and agreements to the President of UNI.  In order to assure compliance with law and Board policies and to manage the risks associated with contracts and agreements, this policy outlines the contracting authority delegated to other university officials by the President, assigns responsibility for the review and approval of contracts and agreements, and specifies required retention.

Policy Statement:

The President delegates the authority to sign contracts as follows:

 1. For the employment of:

a. All academic appointments, including Provost Office staff, graduate assistants and post-doctoral fellows, to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee;

b. Professional and scientific staff (excluding athletics head coaches), or merit employees, to the applicable division head or designee;

c. Student employees to the employing unit head or designee;

2. Agreements to form educational consortia for joint educational projects and for cooperative education to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee;

 3. Applications and agreements for grants (other than grants received through the UNI Foundation), contracts, memoranda of agreement, or any other similar contractually binding document pertaining to educational development and research from all sources to the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs.  Specific procedures for grants and contracts are covered in Policy 9.01;

 4. Except as noted below, all procurement contracts relating to the purchases of goods and services from sources outside the University, to the division heads with further delegation to employees who have fiscal officer authority for contracts and agreements to be paid from the accounts over which they have fiscal authority.  Such procurement contracts shall not include those for property and facilities which are covered under Chapter 9 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual; and fire protection, legal services, and engineers which require the approval of the Board.  Procurement contracts, not covered by Chapter 9 or requiring approval of the Board, for $10,000 or more should be cosigned by the Director of Business Operations or designee. 

 5. Agreements for property and facilities, as governed by Chapter 9 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations with further delegation as authorized by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations.

 6. Agreements with the UNI Foundation to the Foundation’s President.

7. Certain agreements to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations with further delegation as authorized by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations; these agreements include—

  • Revenue bonds and revenue refunding bonds,

  • Master Lease/Capital Lease transactions  and financing agreements,

  • Bank loans/Notes payable.

Except as noted in the next sentence, these types of agreements (listed in this paragraph 7) are subject to Board authorization.  The Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations or designee shall review and is authorized to approve Master Lease/Capital Lease transactions for less than $250,000 per Board Policy 7.05, financing agreements, internal loans, and any bank or credit union account opened in the name of the University or using the University’s taxpayer identification number.

Other delegations of the President’s contracting authority may be made by the President from time to time by a memorandum of delegation which is copied to the Office of University Counsel. Any division head may further delegate the authority the division head has received to other employees of the University through a memorandum of delegation copied to the Office of University Counsel.  Withdrawal of a delegation of contracting authority may be made in a similar manner.

Review Procedure:

Appropriate review and coordination of contracts and agreements are the responsibility of the authorizing fiscal officer. In particular all contracts, grant agreements, memorandums of agreement, simple letters of agreement, and/or other similar documents committing the University or one of its units, must receive advance review by the University Counsel unless: 

1. The agreement or contract relates to UNI Foundation matters;

2. It is an agreement, contract, memorandum of agreement or other similar document relating to Grants and Contracts handled by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs;

3. The agreement or contract is for employment and uses the standard offer letter template approved by Human Resource Services (HRS) for professional and scientific (P&S) or merit staff hires, or the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee for faculty hires, or if deviating from the offer letter template, is reviewed by the director of HRS or designee (staff offers) or the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee (faculty offers);

 4. A UNI Professional Services Contract or other form which has been pre-approved by the University Counsel and Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations is used, provided the dollar amount of the contract is $2,000 or less. Pre-approved forms must note the approval of the form on the template.  The University's Payroll Manager will review such agreements or related payment vouchers to insure compliance with tax laws and UNI policies relating to independent contractors.

 5. Other agreements or contracts using standard forms approved by the University Counsel and Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations.  These agreements include the Use of Facilities Agreement and other standard contract forms that may become available from time to time.

Other exemptions to the advance review requirement may be authorized by the University Counsel and Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations under specific circumstances.

Contracts or agreements that contain financing arrangements, other than those for Property and Facilities, must be reviewed and accepted by the Office of Financial Accounting & Reporting Services and the Office of Business Operations/Purchasing and Payables, which will verify that appropriate terms and conditions are included before being signed.

Contracts or agreements for property and facilities governed by Chapter 9 of the Board of Regents Policy Manual shall be coordinated with the Office of Financial Accounting and Reporting Services.  See also paragraph 7 above.

Retention of Documents:

 Signed employment offer letters for faculty and staff hires are retained in the HRS personnel file. Signed employment offer letters for faculty members are also retained in the personnel files maintained in the applicable Dean’s office.

A copy of all final agreements/contracts must be retained in the respective administrative office in accordance with the UNI record retention policy and copies of all agreements and contracts, other than employment contracts, and property and facilities agreements and contracts, must be provided to the Office of Business Operations/Purchasing and Payables.

See also UNI policy 1.07 Records Retention Policy.

Additional information or assistance:

Bidding procedures for goods and services: UNI Purchasing Policies and Procedures or Purchasing personnel (http://www.vpaf.uni.edu/obo/purchasing/index.shtml)

General legal: University Counsel (http://uni.edu/university-counsel/)

Grants and Contracts: Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (http://www.uni.edu/rsp)

Policy 9.01

Insurance: UNI Risk Manager, telephone (319) 273-3189.

Financing arrangements and terms: Office of Financial Accounting & Reporting Services and Office of Business Operations/Purchasing and Payables

Board of Regents, State of Iowa Policy Manual

 

Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations, approved September 11, 2015
President’s Cabinet, approved March 7, 2016
President and Executive Management Team, approved March 8, 2016