Contract Review and Signature Authority
To outline the review and approval process for executing (signing) contracts on behalf of the University.
All faculty and staff of the University of Kansas.
Subject to Kansas Board of Regents Policy, the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) has authorized state universities, such as the University of Kansas (KU), to enter into contracts to acquire or provide goods or services, which may involve an exchange of funds or other consideration, if such contracts are related to the operation, function, or mission of the University. In alignment with this authority, the Office of the General Counsel provides legal representation regarding the institution’s contractual obligations.
- Contract Review
All University contracts must be in writing and in the name of the University of Kansas and not in the name of individual faculty or staff, campuses, schools, divisions, and departments. All University contracts, regardless of contract amount, must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel for correct form and legal sufficiency prior to authorized signing. Current contract review procedures are available at the Office of the General Counsel website.
- General Purchases
University purchasing contracts for supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property and services, regardless of the source of funds, must be submitted to the Office of the General Counsel through KU Procurement Services or the KUMC Purchasing Department, or a controlled affiliate, as applicable. University purchasing contracts and submissions must comport with the University’s established procurement policies and procedures. Contracts that do not require purchasing approval are to be submitted directly to the Office of the General Counsel for contract review.
- Contracts for Expenditures or Transfers over $1,000,000
The Kansas Board of Regents Policy Manual requires that the KBOR President and CEO be notified in writing of any contract that requires expenditures or transfers by the University of an amount greater than one million dollars ($1,000,000), excluding contracts directly related to a capital improvement project. Such notifications are made by the Chief Financial Officer in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel.
- Signature Authority
Only the Chancellor and the Chancellor’s designees may execute (sign) contracts on behalf of the University of Kansas. The Chancellor’s letter delegating authority to execute contracts is filed at least annually with KBOR. The Chancellor’s delegation letter for the current year is available at the Office of the General Counsel website, together with the Chancellor’s Memorandum to the designated University employees. Further delegation by such employees may be done after careful consideration and provided that the delegate’s sub-delegation is documented in writing and periodically reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel.
Anyone who is not authorized by written delegation, and who signs a contract that purports to bind the University of Kansas or any of its units, or a controlled affiliate, is acting without authority and may be held personally liable for the contract and all costs incurred thereunder.
- Processing of Grant-Funded Contracts Related to Sponsored Programs
Grant contracts and contracts related to research activities (including but not limited to grant awards and subawards, sponsored research agreements, clinical trial agreements, collaboration agreements, material transfer agreements, and confidential disclosure agreements to discuss potential research collaborations) may be processed in accordance with the applicable University of Kansas Center for Research (KUCR) or University of Kansas Medical Center–Research Institute (KUMC-RI) contract review process, as mutually determined by the applicable research office(s) and the Office of the General Counsel.
Contracts for supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, and services to be purchased with grant or other sponsored project funds are subject to University or applicable controlled affiliate procurement policies and may require review by the Office of the General Counsel.
- Contracts Related to KU Intellectual Property
Contracts that transfer any interest in University-held intellectual property subject to the All-University Intellectual Property Policy (including but not limited to inter-institutional agreements, licenses, and revenue distribution agreements) are processed by the KU Center for Technology Commercialization in accordance with its applicable processes.
- Real Estate Transactions
Transfers of real property to or from the University of Kansas are subject to KBOR policies and approval. Further, Kansas law (K.S.A. 75-2131 and 74-3264) requires that easements across state land be approved as to form by the state attorney general. Moreover, certain leases of real property require KBOR’s approval. Requests for the described approvals must be made through the Office of the General Counsel.
Lawrence Campus Contact:
245 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045-7535
University of Kansas Medical Center Contact:
2001 Murphy Administration Building, Mail Stop 2013
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160-7101
- For purposes of this policy, “contract” means any agreement, regardless of its title or form, that is intended to obligate the University to a responsibility, including promise of payment, promise of action, provision of services, use of resources or facilities, income-generating, or allocation of liability.
- Contracts can be formal or informal, including, but not limited to letters, memoranda of understanding or agreement, purchase orders containing terms and conditions, purchase or sale agreements, leases, rental agreements, employment or professional services or consulting agreements, event space and catering agreements, affiliation agreements, agreements for student internships, liability waivers or releases, settlement agreements, nondisclosure agreements, assignments of agreements to other parties, student or faculty exchange agreements, and online terms-of-use agreements (“click-wrap” or “click-through” agreements).
- The term “contract” also includes amendments, addendums, or modifications to contracts.
01/11/2023: Fixed broken link.
04/03/2020: Policy added to the Policy Library.