The Finance office, in consultation with the vice president and General Counsel’s office (the “General Counsel”) reviews all contracts before they go to the Vice President for Finance and Administration for signature. A contract is considered any written document that commits the University to certain obligations. It is usually a financial obligation, but can also be nonfinancial obligation (i.e. use of logos, university resources, indemnification, etc.).
All memoranda of understanding, contracts and agreements entered into by Valparaiso University or any entity affiliated with Valparaiso University that is under its control will enhance and support the University’s mission and ethos, and all such agreements will be consistent with the core principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression for faculty, staff and students.
The review process is as follows.
- Review the contract prior to sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org to make certain that it conforms to your department’s needs and expectations. You are in a better position to know if Valparaiso University can perform the obligations under the contract. Contract negotiations (including pricing, terms, and other obligations) and budget funding must be finalized before submitting for review and signature.
- If the contract is to be paid through the requisitions process, please create the requisition and email the contract needing review to email@example.com in Microsoft Word or PDF format. The subject line of the email must include the requisition number and the name of the contract company/individual. The Word format is preferred due to its “track changes” feature, which is excellent for contract review and negotiations. If it is not possible to obtain the contract in Word format, then PDF format is acceptable. If the contract is only available in hardcopy, scan it into PDF format (no JPEGs) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please copy your email to your vice president or the provost so that he/she is aware of the pending contract.
- Contracts $15,000 and under may be expedited if the vendor agrees to the Contract Rider. Send the rider to the vendor, and if the vendor agrees to its terms, share their agreement in your submission. If your contract is $15,000 and below and you do not take this step on your own, you will be directed to do so after submission. Once we receive confirmation of the vendor’s agreement, we will submit for signature.
- Contracts over $15,000, or cases where a party may desire a full legal review, will not receive a contract rider. Please submit to email@example.com, ask for a full legal review, and follow the process outlined above.
- Contracts where Valpo is the original drafter, such as Valpo template agreements, also do not need a full legal review. Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know this is a template.
- Send the contract as early as possible, as it may take two to three weeks before it can be reviewed. The terms will be negotiated with the other party through you. Versions may go back and forth until the negotiations are complete. At that point in time, a final version will go to the Vice President for Finance and Administration, along with a copy of the requisition and legal advice from the General Counsel. The Vice President for Finance and Administration will make the decision whether or not to execute the contract. He/she may contact you for further information.
- When submitting a contract, please include follow-up instructions for handling of the approved and signed document. The department may be notified for pickup, it may be returned through campus mail, or forwarded to the Procurement department to accompany your purchase order.
- Again, when submitting a contract that involves a purchase, the department must create a requisition first. Please note within the comments of the requisition that there is a contract that must accompany the purchase order and reference the requisition number in your communication to email@example.com when submitting the contract for review. Once it is approved and signed, the document can be forwarded directly to Procurement. Please note that only the Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Provost, and the President have the Board-authorized authority to sign and enter into contracts on behalf of the University. Please review Procurement’s procedures for proper processing at Procurement Policies.