Contract Review and Approval Process
The Office of the General Counsel provides contract review services to Indiana State University Vice Presidential areas, President’s Cabinet members, and College offices. Contract review and approval at ISU is governed by Policy 620 Contract Approval, Signatory, and Reporting. Generally, legal review only takes place after the Vice President, Cabinet Member, Dean or their designee has authorized the contract to move forward. When the OGC receives the agreement, it will be routed to the Office of Risk Management for review of risk-related and insurance concerns and to other administrators as needed.
Normally, the department, division or college contact is charged with negotiating the particular terms related to the contract. Each department, division or college contact should review the ISU Contract Manual (the "Manual") prior to initiating negotiations. The Manual provides support of assuring all contractual agreements meet ISU's legal compliance requirements. If an attorney is negotiating on behalf of the other party, the General Counsel’s Office will negotiate directly with the attorney. Contracts must be signed by an authorized ISU official. Please see the signature delegation information below to determine who should sign the contract. Faculty members and department chairs are not authorized to sign contracts on behalf of ISU.
Do not use the contract submission form for the following types of agreements:
- Clinical Affiliations. Clinical affiliation agreements should be routed by the appropriate contract coordinator in each College via the Concord contract management system. Standard clinical affiliation agreements approved by OGC do not require separate OGC approval and can be uploaded directly into the Concord system by the appropriate contract coordinator. Contract coordinators should rely on the direction provided in the ISU Contract Manual prior to uploading clinical affiliation agreements.
- Purchase of Goods or Services. Agreements for the purchase of goods or services should be directed to the Purchasing Department.
- Sponsored Programs. Route agreements associated with sponsored research to Office of Sponsored Programs.
- Internship Agreements. Route student internship agreements through the Career Center.
- Real Estate Agreements. Real Estate agreements are the responsibility of the University Treasurer.
Frequently Asked Questions
My Department, Division, or College would like to enter into a contract. What is the process for review and approval?
- Check the panel on the right side of this page and review Policy 620 Contract Approval, Signatory, and Reporting. Your contract should be sent utilizing the routing process identified or by utilizing the Request for Contract Review Form.
- Read the entire agreement. You are in the best position to evaluate if the agreement appropriately details your understanding of the obligations. Be certain you understand and agree to the conditions and responsibilities. If there are terms to which you cannot agree, you will need to negotiate those items with the other party prior to submitting the agreement for review. Be certain you have secured the funds necessary to satisfy the financial obligations of the agreement.
- Fill in all terms, party names, and conditions prior to submitting the agreement for review (with the exception of signatures or dates of execution). The agreement you submit must be complete and include all information.
- Route the agreement through the appropriate channels within your College or Department. The Dean or Vice President of your department must approve the agreement prior to submission to the Office of General Counsel for review. College Deans may assign an associate Dean to review contracts.
- Complete the Request for Contract Review Form, attach your agreement (along with any exhibits or addenda, if referenced), and click "Submit." Please be sure to provide as much information as possible and to attach confirmation of the approval of the Vice President, Cabinet Member, or Dean. Your contract will be emailed to the Office of General Counsel and then forwarded to the Office of Risk Management for risk and insurance review.
Who can sign the Contract?
ISU Handbook Policy 620 Contracts Approval, Signatory, and Reporting Policy governs signatory authority for contracts at ISU.
In some instances, signing an agreement without the proper authority could expose an employee to individual liability.
Complete the Request for Contract Review Form, attach your agreement (along with any exhibits or addenda, if referenced), and click "Submit." Please be sure to provide as much information as possible and to attach confirmation of the approval of the Vice President, Cabinet Member, or Dean. Your contract will be emailed to the Office of General Counsel and then forwarded to the Office of Risk Management for risk and insurance review.
How long will the review take?
Please be sure to allow enough time for the contracts to be reviewed and approved. One way to reduce or eliminate the time for review and approval is to use standard contracts approved by the Office of the General Counsel as much as possible. The Office of the General Counsel’s goal is to provide feedback on risk management, insurance, and legal issues within seven (7) calendar days. If the agreement involves a complex matter or multiple parties, please allow additional time. To expedite reviews, please be sure that you have thoroughly read the agreement, agree with all of the business terms, and have included all information in the initial submission. Agreements are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. If your agreement requires immediate attention, please indicate in the Request for Contract Review Form, the need for immediate review and the date by which you need the agreement in the "Brief Description of the Nature/Purpose of the Agreement."
What do I submit?
Please take a close look at the Request for Contract Review Form and provide as much information as possible about the services that you are expecting to receive from the contract. Please be sure to attach the entire agreement, any attachments to the agreement, and confirmation of approval from the Vice President, Cabinet Member, or Dean (or a designee).
How will I know if my agreement has been reviewed?
Generally, reviews of straightforward contracts are completed within seven (7) business days. Once the review is completed, you will receive an email from the Office of the General Counsel indicating that your agreement has been:
- Reviewed and approved and is ready for signatures; or
- Reviewed and requires changes, which will be marked on the document.
What do I do if my agreement requires changes?
If changes to the submitted agreement are required, the individual who sent in the request for contract review and the Vice President, Cabinet Member or Dean (or designee) will be emailed information about the changes needed. It will be the College/Department’s responsibility to communicate the required changes to the other party, except where the other party is represented by an attorney. Once those changes have been agreed upon by the other party and incorporated into the agreement, please resubmit the agreement using the Request for Contract Review Form. In the section of the form asking for "Brief Description of the Nature/Purpose of the Agreement," please indicate that this is a resubmission with requested changes incorporated.
I want to renew an existing agreement that is about to expire.
If an ISU department, college, or division wishes to renew an existing agreement that has been previously approved by the Office of the General Counsel, please submit the agreement through the standard submission process but note in the "Brief Description of the Nature/Purpose of the Agreement" section of the submission form that you are seeking renewal of a previously approved agreement. If there are changes to any of the terms (dates, services, costs), please be sure to identify and detail those changes. Please be sure to attach the existing agreement that has been previously approved.
I want to terminate an existing agreement.
Contracts typically include a clause that details a specific process through which a party may terminate the agreement. Often this will include providing notice of termination to the other party. In the event that an ISU department, college, or division wishes to discontinue the services provided under an existing agreement before the contract term expires, please submit a copy of the fully executed agreement to the Office of the General Counsel before initiating the termination. Please detail the specific reason(s) for the early termination.
How does the Contract get Signed?
Once the negotiation period is completed, the individual submitting the contract for review is responsible for providing the contract to the Vice President, Cabinet member, or Dean for signature. Please note that Dean’s may not delegate signatory authority to an Association Dean, as Policy 620 provides for only one level of delegation.