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Authority to Bind College to External Agreements

Office of Origin: Board of Trustees
Date Adopted: 10-26-10
Date Reviewed: 08-18-14
Last Date Modified & Approved: 09-23-14

Policy Statement
Delegation of authority represents the legal power to act in the name of Lake Michigan College (the College) to bind the College to an obligation. Signing an agreement is the most common way delegated authority is exercised.

This policy delineates who has the authority to obligate the College to an external organization. This policy does not apply to those approvals required for processes internal to the College (e.g., time sheets, journal entries, purchase requisitions.)

The College is not bound by and does not recognize as binding any obligation made by an unauthorized person.

Any College employee who fails to comply with this policy will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from reprimand to discharge. The nature and severity of the disciplinary action will be consistent with established College disciplinary procedures.

Authorized Signatures
The President, acting on behalf of and through the authority of the Board of Trustees, is vested with general authority to execute documents and contracts on behalf of the College.

The President has also delegated signature authority to members of the College’s executive management team (Cabinet) to bind the College for matters within their respective areas of responsibility as outlined in Appendix I – Delegation of Authority for Transactions within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations.

In addition, others College employees have been given authority to bind the College in specific instances as outlined in Appendix II – Limited Delegation of Signature Authority for Transactions within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations.

Delegations in the appendices following are tied to the position and not to a specific individual – i.e., a person acting on an interim basis assumes the same authority to bind as if he or she held the position on a regular basis.

Delegation of Signature Authority Modification
Requests to modify the delegation of signature authority are to be directed to the President. The President may also make non-substantive changes to this policy to reflect changes to or elimination of titles or positions.

Required Procedure
Normal consultations, administrative reviews, and approvals are expected to occur prior to binding signature including, where appropriate, review by the President, appropriate vice president, and/or College legal counsel.

A person with delegated signing authority may not obligate the College to an agreement in which he or she has or could have a personal interest that would prevent objective analysis, such as one where he or she would personally benefit. Agreements in this category must be authorized by the person with authority at the next highest level organizationally.

Internal Controls
Proper segregation of duties must be maintained at all times so that no single employee is authorized to both approve a commitment of funds and to authorize the payment process. Therefore, a person with delegated signing authority may not authorize the commitment of funds beyond those budgeted.

Responsibility: President