University Policies

Approval Date: 08/19/02
Approved By: President

Contract Procedures

A contract is defined as an agreement (with an offer and acceptance) supported by consideration and voluntarily entered into by parties having the capacity to contract. This policy applies to all written University contracts, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Contracts for goods or services (only if cost is greater than $1,500)
  • Revenue-producing agreements
  • Agreements for the purchase or lease of real property
  • Affiliation/internship agreements
  • Performance contracts
  • Entertainment contracts
  • Study/travel abroad contracts

Agreements executed on behalf of the University must follow the Board of Trustees Regulations and other internal procedures. These procedures provide for not only administrative review of the agreement but also review for the contract elements required by the State of Illinois. The review for State requirements does not consider the merits of the University entering into the agreement. That determination should be made at the departmental level, Dean's level (when applicable), and the Vice President's level before the contract is presented for authorized University signature.

Contracts must be submitted for signature prior to the effective date of the agreement. At certain dollar levels, contracts must be filed with other agencies of the State. Late submission of these agreements requires the University to file a "late filing affadavit" with the agreement.

As described in the Board of Trustees Regulation, V., B., 3., d., only the President or his/her designees are authorized to sign contracts for the University. Any violation of this Regulation may render the contract void, if in the best interests of the University, and make the signing employee personally responsible for any consequences of the voided contract.

The paperflow for a contractual agreement is essentially as follows:

  1. Faculty/staff member prepares the contract based on the contract format available in the Administrative Procedures Handbook. If the company/individual with whom the University is contracting has its own format, the faculty/staff member should contact the Purchasing Office for review and possible modification.
  2. The departmental fiscal agent reviews the contract and, if necessary, discusses the contract with the originator.
  3. The contract is forwarded to the appropriate Dean's office for review and signature (if applicable).
  4. The contract is then forwarded to the Vice President for the area originating the agreement. Paperwork shall be initialed or signed by that Vice President.
  5. The contract may then be forwarded to Sponsored Projects to determine if the agreement constitutes a sponsored project. Paperwork shall be initialed or signed by Sponsored Projects representative.
  6. The agreement is then forwarded to either the Purchasing Office or directly to the Vice President for Administrative Services Office (VPAS).
  7. If the contract is forwarded directly to the VPAS Office, it is sent to Purchasing for review and initialing and then returned to the VPAS Office for authorized signature.
    If the agreement is in excess of $100,000, the required written description is prepared and signed by the Purchasing Office, then forwarded for approval and signature by the Vice President for Administrative Services and finally for approval and signature by the President.
    If the agreement is in excess of $500,000, Purchasing prepares a written description to be included in the President's report to the Board of Trustees and forwards that to the Vice President for Administrative Services.

If at any time during the review process of the agreement, legal concerns arise, the contract shall be reviewed by legal counsel. These concerns shall be brought to the attention of the VPAS Office who will submit the agreement to legal counsel for review. (Board of Trustees Regulations, V., B., 3., b. and V., C., 3., a.). Legal counsel shall also review all contracts relating to real estate, study/travel abroad, and those contracts requiring Board of Trustees' approval.

No contracts are signed until all applicable approvals have been secured. All executed contracts are logged and kept on file in the Vice President for Administrative Services Office.