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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: 10-27-15

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

Appendix I: Delegation of Authority within Area of Responsibility with External Organizations 

Up to $25,000

  • Executive Dean, Bertrand Crossing
  • Executive Dean, South Haven Campus
  • Dean, Arts & Sciences
  • Dean, Career and Workforce Education
  • Dean, Health Sciences
Up to $100,000 and $100,000+ with Board of Trustees Approval
  • Vice President, Administrative Services
  • Vice President, Finance
  • Executive Director, Lake Michigan College Foundation
  • Vice President, Academic Services
  • Vice President, Student Services
  • President

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

Executive Director, Facilities Management

  • Facilities contracts up to $9,999
  • Facilities related purchases up to $9,999
Chief Information Officer
  • Telecommunications contracts up to $9,999
  • IT service contracts up to $9,999
  • Technology purchases up to $9,999
Director, Marketing & Communications
  • Marketing contracts up to $9,999
  • Marketing related purchases up to $9,999
Director, Conference and Event Services (CES)
  • Food, beverage, and CES supply contracts up to $9,999
  • CES sponsorship and trade agreements up to $2,499
Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations
  • Mainstage contracts up to $9,999
  • Mainstage related purchases up to $9,999
  • Mainstage sponsorship and trade agreements up to $9,999
Executive Director, Human Resources
  • Recruitment related purchases up to $9,999
  • Human Resources service contracts up to $9,999
Manager, Purchasing
  • Purchase orders up to $9,999
  • Purchases up to $9,999
Director, Career Pathways and Community Education
  • Workforce Training & Development (WTD) contracts up to $9,999
  • WTD related purchases up to $9,999


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