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UPPS 03.04.02 - Contracting Authority

Contracting Authority

UPPS No. 03.04.02
Issue No. 7
Effective Date: 6/20/2014
Next Review Date: 12/01/2020 (E6Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Vice President for Finance and Support Services


    1. This policy identifies persons who may sign contracts on behalf of Texas State University. This UPPS also establishes policy for committing the university to partnerships or alliances with external entities, regardless of whether the commitment is written or oral. UPPS No. 03.04.07, Interagency or Interlocal Cooperation Contracts or Agreements, contains policy regarding the interagency cooperation contacts with other state agencies or governmental entities.

    2. The president, the special assistant to the president, each vice president, and the director of Athletics have authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the university, provided that the contract does not require approval from the Board of Regents (refer to UPPS No. 03.04.04, Processing, Approving, and Executing Contracts, Purchases, and Agreements). Account managers may contract for certain professional services, in accordance with UPPS No. 03.04.01, Contracted Services, Including Consultants, Speakers, and Other Services.

      The director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing is authorized to sign Texas State purchase orders (refer to UPPS No. 05.02.02, Texas State Purchasing Policy).

      The director of the Office of Sponsored Programs has delegated signature authority for contract and grant agreements related to research, training, or public service for amounts less than $250,000.

    3. This policy does not apply to partnerships or alliances under which university employees or students, as university representatives, provide volunteer services outside their regular duties or academic coursework.

    4. All university contracts must be in writing and must name Texas State University as a party. Divisions, colleges, departments, institutes, centers, and offices may not enter into contracts in their own names.

    5. This policy does not apply to gift agreements or memoranda of understanding involving donor agreements with the university. Those documents must be approved by the division of University Advancement.

    6. Chapter III, Paragraph 19.3 of The Texas State University System Rules and Regulations requires central review and oversight of all university acquisitions of information technology by the vice president for Information Technology or designee, “including, but not limited to, computing hardware, software, and hosting services, regardless of source of funds.” Administrative heads shall consult with the vice president for Information Technology or designee prior to executing contracts involving the procurement of technology products or services.


    1. “Consulting service” means the service of studying or advising the university under a contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer and employee.

    2. “Employee time” means work time, leave time, and faculty assigned time.

    3. “Financial resources” mean all assets of the university, regardless of the source of funds.

    4. “Partnerships or alliances” mean arrangements under which university employees or students, acting as representatives of the university, collaborate on a project or endeavor that involves a commitment of university financial resources or employee time. Examples include: cooperative agreements with school districts, affiliation agreements for student clinical or internship experiences, and referral agreements for student medical services.

    5. “Primary contracting official” means the president, the special assistant to the president, each vice president, or the director of Athletics.


    1. A primary contracting official may delegate authority to sign specific contracts or specific types of contracts to a dean, director, an administrative officer, or an unclassified/exempt title with a base salary rate higher than that of a dean or director as identified in the University Pay Plan, such as an associate or assistant vice president or provost. In order to document such delegation, the primary contracting official must send a written notice of delegation to the person to whom contracting authority is delegated, with a copy to the vice president for Finance and Support Services (VPFSS).

    2. Only a primary contracting official, as allowed in Section 01.02, shall sign contracts for consulting services regardless of the amount involved. This authority may not be delegated to others.

    3. The written delegation must:

      1. identify the person, position, or group of positions to which authority is delegated;

      2. identify the contracts or types of contracts contemplated in the delegation;

      3. specify the length of time for which the delegation is valid, with the understanding that the delegation may continue indefinitely until revoked; and

      4. specify any conditions or special instructions associated with the delegation.

    4. The president, special assistant to the president, vice presidents, or director of Athletics may revoke delegated authority at any time by giving written notice of revocation to the delegated person and the VPFSS. If the delegated person is no longer employed at the university, notice of revocation will be given only to the VPFSS.

    5. A person holding delegated authority may decline or relinquish that authority only by sending a written notification to the primary contracting official who provided the delegation, with a copy to the VPFSS.

    6. The VPFSS will keep a list of persons to whom authority to sign contracts is currently delegated. The VPFSS will provide the list to each vice president, the director of Athletics, and the director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing upon request. The VPFSS will also post the contract authorization list on the VPFSS’s website. In addition, every August the VPFSS will send the list to each member of the President’s Cabinet for review.

    7. A contract signed by an unauthorized person is not binding on the university. A person who signs without proper authorization may be personally liable for any damages incurred by the university or the state.


    1. The university encourages faculty, staff, and administrators to develop cooperative partnerships and alliances with external constituents (e.g., volunteer efforts, settings for external student learning, collaborative efforts to address community needs).

    2. Such partnerships and alliances generally advance the best interest of the university; however, the supervisor of the employee proposing such efforts must approve them.

      1. University employees must inform their supervisors of proposed commitments before the commitments’ inceptions.

      2. A commitment of only departmental resources requires approval of the department chair or school director, a commitment of college resources requires approval of the dean, and so forth. Commitments of institution-level resources require President’s Cabinet approval.

    3. Partnerships and alliances shall adhere to all university policies in their use of university resources, including information resources as defined in UPPS No. 04.01.07, Appropriate Use of Information Resources.

    4. Account managers will determine whether a proposed partnership or alliance requires a written agreement or contract.

      1. Partnerships or alliances with any of the following elements will require a written agreement or contract:

        1. a term of more than twelve months;

        2. commitment of university resources in an amount greater than $5,000; or

        3. the use, lease, sale, or purchase of real estate by either the university or other parties to the partnership or alliance.

      2. If paragraph “a.” does not apply in making this determination, the account manager should consider the:

        1. nature and size of the university’s resource commitment (i.e., the greater the commitment, the more likely the manager will use a written agreement);

        2. length of time that the partnership or alliance will continue (i.e., the longer the commitment, the more likely the manager will use a written agreement); and

        3. potential for misunderstanding among the parties to the agreement (i.e., the more complex the agreement, the more likely the manager will use a written agreement).

    5. Managers must forward partnerships or alliances involving written agreements, contracts or memos of understanding through the appropriate dean, director, assistant vice president, associate vice president and vice president to the director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing who will review the document. The director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will consult with the Office of the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel of The Texas State University System as needed and in accordance with System policy. Upon review and approval of the agreement or contract as to form, the director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing will forward the document to the appropriate office for signature on behalf of the university.

    6. Individuals who anticipate using the same general agreement or contract type for similar partnerships or alliances should work with their managers and the director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing to develop standard agreement or contract language. This streamlines the contract review process, requiring the director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing to seek approval of only modifications to the standard agreement or contract language in accordance with Section 04.05, above.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Vice President for Finance and Support Services December 1 E6Y
      Associate Vice President for Financial Services December 1 E6Y
      Director, Procurement and Strategic Sourcing December 1 E6Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Vice President for Finance and Support Services; senior reviewer of this UPPS