Authority to Bind College to External Agreements (Policy)
Office of Origin: Board of Trustees
Date Adopted: 10-26-10
Date Reviewed: 08-24-15; 08-11-17; 12-4-19
Last Date Modified & Approved: 10-27-15; 08-22-17; 4-22-20
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Appendix I: Delegation of Authority within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations
Up to $25,000
- Dean, Arts & Sciences Education
- Dean, Career and Workforce Education
- Dean, Health Sciences Education
- Dean of Accreditation, Planning, and Quality
Up to $100,000 and $100,000+ with Board of Trustees Approval
- Chief Financial Officer
- Dean, Student Affairs
- Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
- Vice President, Administrative Services
- Vice President, Advancement & Community Impact
Appendix II: Limited Delegation of Authority for Transactions within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations
Director, Hanson Technology Center
- Workforce Training & Development (WTD) and Hanson Center Technology related contracts and purchases up to $9,999
- Mainstage related purchases up to $2,500 and artist and presenter contracts up to $9,999
Executive Director, Community Impact & Resource Development
- Foundation contracts up to $9,999
- Foundation purchases up to $9,999
Executive Director, Facilities Management
- Facilities contracts up to $9,999
- Facilities related purchases up to $9,999
Executive Director, Finance
- Finance department and related contracts up to $9,999
- Finance department and related purchases up to $9,999
Executive Director, Human Resources
- Human Resources department and related purchases up to $9,999
- Human Resources service contracts up to $9,999
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications
- Marketing contracts up to $9,999
- Marketing related purchases up to $9,999
Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations
- Mendel Center related purchases up to $9,999
- Mendel Center sponsorship and trade agreements up to $9,999
Manager, IT Services; Manager, IT Operations; Manager, ERP Systems
- Telecommunications contracts up to $9,999
- IT service contracts up to $9,999
- Technology purchases up to $9,999
- Purchase orders up to $9,999
- Purchases up to $9,999
Vice President, Administrative Services
- May execute Facilities’ contracts exceeding $100,000 if the related capital project was previously approved by the Board of Trustees and the contract to be executed relates to goods or services included in that approved capital project.
Vice President, Advancement & Community Impact
- Mendel Center artist/speaker/performer related contracts with the co-signature of the Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations. Notice of signed artist/speaker/performer related contracts over $100,000 will be made to the Board of Trustees Chair and the President within one business day of binding.