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Authority to Bind College to External Agreements (Policy)

LMC Revised Date

Office of Origin: Board of Trustees
Responsibility: President
Original Date Adopted: 10-26-10 
Dates Reviewed: 08-24-15; 08-11-17; 12-4-19; 08-26-20, 08-10-21
Last Date Approved: 4-22-20; 09-22-20


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., timesheets, journal entries, purchase requisitions.)

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

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

Authorized Signatures

The President, acting on behalf of and through the authority of the Board of Trustees (the Board), 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 executive management team (Cabinet) to bind the College as outlined in Appendix I – Delegation of Authority for Transactions with External Organizations.

In addition, others employees have been given authority to bind the College in specific instances as outlined in Appendix II – Limited Delegation of Signature Authority 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 Cabinet member, and/or College legal counsel.

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 or approved in writing by a Cabinet member.

Conflicts

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.

Appendix I: Delegation of Authority with External Organizations

Up to $100,000 and $100,000+ with Board Approval

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • President
  • Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Vice President, Advancement & Community Impact
  • Vice President, Student Affairs

Up to $25,000

  • Dean of Accreditation, Planning, and Quality
  • Dean, Arts & Sciences Education
  • Dean, Career and Workforce Education
  • Dean, Health Sciences Education
  • Executive Director, Facilities Management

Appendix II: Limited Delegation of Authority within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations

Budget Managers

  • Contracts and purchases up to $2,500 within area of responsibility

Director, Hanson Technology Center

  • Workforce Training & Development (WTD) and Hanson Center Technology related contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Director, IT Operations; Director, Enterprise Solutions

  • IT, technology, and telecomm contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Director, Mainstage

  • Mainstage contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Executive Director, Community Impact & Resource Development

  • Foundation contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Executive Director, Facilities Management

  • Contracts up to $100,000 if related to a capital project approved by the Board

Executive Director, Finance

  • Finance contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Executive Director, Human Resources

  • Human Resources contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Executive Director, Marketing & Communications

  • Marketing contracts and purchases up to $10,000

Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations

  • Mendel Center contracts, sponsorship and trade agreements, and purchases up to $10,000

Grant Managers

  • Contracts and purchases up to $2,500 within area of responsibility

Manager, Purchasing & Risk Management

  • Purchasing contracts, purchase orders, and purchases up to $10,000

Vice President, Advancement & Community Impact

  • Mendel Center artist/speaker/performer contracts with the co-signature of the Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations. Written notice of signed artist/speaker/performer contracts over $100,000 will be made to the Board Chair and the President within one business day of binding.

 

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