Contracting Authority and Process

Original Implementation: June 2012

Last Revision: October 2012

This policy governs the authority to enter and make contracts, purchases, and agreements of any character on behalf of Cambridge College.

I.      Conflict of Interest - Any member of the Board of Trustees who has a pecuniary interest in a contract pending before the Board shall recuse themselves from participating in that matter. In circumstances where there is a contract with a Trustee or Officer of the College (as defined in the Conflict of Interest Policy), the matter must be thoroughly reviewed by the Finance Committee of the Board and determined to be a clear benefit to the College. Employees who have a pecuniary interest in a contract with the College must self disclose and have the matter reviewed by the Compliance Committee (as defined in the Conflict of Interest Policy). When in doubt, disclosure should be made to the General Counsel for a determination on whether and how the matter should be reviewed.

II.     Board Approval - The following contracts, purchases and agreements shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval.

  1. Contracts, purchases, or agreements in the amount of $300,000 or more, whether the amount is income or expenditure, with the exception of external grants or materials/services purchased for emergencies resulting from disasters, hazards or other exigent circumstances.

  2. Banking, depository or investment contracts.

  3. Long term (6 months or more) facility lease agreements.

  4. Purchase, sale or exchange, or gifts of real property.

  5. Such other contract related matters outlined in the Delegation of Authority to the President/Items Requiring Board Approval Policy.

III.   President’s Authority - The President has been delegated the responsibility and authority to enter into contracts, purchases, and agreements for sums less than $300,000, or amounts over $300,000 to the extent authorized by the Board. At the option of the President, contracts, purchases, and agreements for sums less than $300,000 may be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval.

IV.    Delegation of Authority - The President may delegate to other employees of the College power to contract, purchase, or enter into agreements delegated to the President in Section III of this policy. The President will remain responsible for all contracts, purchases, and agreements so delegated, and for the proper administration of all grants and agreements funded by private individuals, governmental agencies, and foundations, regardless of delegation of power to contract, purchase, or enter into agreements. Only written delegations issued by the President will be considered valid.

a. In the absence of the President, or at such time as the President is unavailable to sign a document by a requied deadline, the following individuals are authorized to sign on her behalf in the discretion of the General Counsel: (listed in order of priority for signature authorization) Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Finance and Administration. Other Vice Presidents may sign in emergency circumstances within the discretion of the General Counsel. The General Counsel will exercise extreme caution and judgment in approving these authorizations which should not be granted for otherwise routine items that are not time urgent. In addition, for any significant items the General Counsel should make reasonable efforts to make contact with the President to consult prior to granting such signing authority. All other delegations must be specific and in writing to be effective.

b. Contract specific delegations – The following specific delegations are hereby granted as follows:

  • Program Articulation Agreements (except for foreign program and exchange agreements); Internships, Practicum or other program placement agreements which are wholly academic and do not exchange monies shall all be signed by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  • Adjunct faculty appointments.
  • Contracts whose dollar value is $5000 or less may be signed by the Vice President for the area involved or the Vice President for Finance and Administration.

c. All delegations of contracting authority to persons other than those listed above which were made by a previous President shall be void once a new President assumes office.

  1. Review Process – All contracts (including those with specific delegated authority) shall be routed for review and sign off by the following: the individual responsible for the contract (and budget), the Vice President for the area involved, the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the General Counsel. Occasionally other individuals may be required to sign off on a routing process such as the Policy for Articulation Agreements. Routing forms are maintained by the Board Liaison/Assistant to the General Counsel and the process should be initiated with that office. A routing log is maintained to keep track of the process and to maintain timely processing. The individual responsible for the contract is primarily responsible for being the liaison with the contracting party and associated negotiations/clarifications, however, the General Counsel will assist with legal negotiations when appropriate. The determination to obtain outside counsel services when needed shall rest with the General Counsel, with the approval of the President. Conflict of interest procedures will be followed for outside counsel contracts when appropriate and the Board shall otherwise be kept informed of retained outside counsel through litigation/legal reporting in executive session.

  2. Contract Retention – The individual responsible for initiating the contract shall insure that a fully executed contract (routed for signature both at the College and also executed by the contracting party) is provided to the Board Liaison/Assistant to the General Counsel in a scanned format. All original hard copy contracts shall be maintained by the Business Operations Office, unless it a zero dollar contract of a pure academic nature (or adjunct contracts) which shall be maintained by the Provost’s Office. Contracts shall be retained for 6 years beyond the life of the agreement, unless otherwise determined to be kept for a longer period.

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: General Counsel