600 Approval of Agreements - Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Business and Finance
Responsible Officer:  Vice President, Business and Finance

I. Purpose

The authority to govern the University is vested in the Board of Trustees (Board), which is authorized to delegate to the President, the Chief Executive Officer of the University, signature authority to bind the University. Board policy, Reservation and Delegation of Authority, provides for this delegation, allowing the President to further delegate this function.

This policy establishes Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) requirements for approval of agreements and to provide the parameters allowing the President to further delegate signatory authority.

II. Scope

This policy applies whenever a signature (including an electronic signature) is made on behalf of the University by the President or, through a written delegation of authority given by the President, for any transaction with an external party that could create a financial liability or financial obligation; or obligate the University to provide resources, services, or goods; or obligate the University to accept resources, services or goods; or for use of University properties. Examples include, but are not limited to, contracts, grants, purchase orders, and memorandums of understanding/agreement. No signature which is covered by this policy may be made without written delegation of authority as provided in Section III. below. Any individual who signs in violation of this policy, without a written delegation, is subject to discipline and may be personally liable for the obligations created by his/her signature.

Signatures required for internal University operations are not subject to this policy and are governed by other University policies/procedures. Examples of the exercise of authority outside the scope of this policy, which are subject to other University policies/procedures, include, but are not limited to, travel authorizations, grant applications, employment contracts, course overloads, student advising, and reductions in student course loads.

III. Approval of Agreements – Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization

Whenever a signature is to be made on behalf of the University, it shall be made by the President, or by a person with specific delegated authority as provided below.

A.  Delegations/authorizations must be in writing, with the level of authority, any restrictions on authority, and the period of authority, if any, clearly noted.

B.  The delegation/authorization shall be made on a Delegation of Authority form and must be signed by the President of the University in order to be in compliance with this policy.

C.  Delegations shall run from the official holding authority to act, directly to the person exercising that authority. The principle is that the person holding authority should have direct knowledge of who within the University is exercising that authority on his/her behalf.

D.  Personnel with delegated authority should be qualified to do so by training and experience. The person making delegation is responsible for ensuring that the person to whom authority is delegated is qualified and understands the application of the authority delegated.

E.  The ramifications of exceeding or misapplying one’s delegated authority, as stated in the last paragraph of Section II. above, should be clearly understood and uniformly enforced.

F.  Periodic training should be provided to ensure persons with delegated authority have a clear, current understanding of their authority and its limitations.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: March 2022.

References: Board Policy: Reservation and Delegation of Authority.