Contracts Approval Authority

Contract Signing Authorities, Process and Record Keeping


ü  Definition:  For the purpose of this update, a “Contract” is a legally binding agreement whereby the University purchases goods or services, receives a grant or donation or makes a commitment to a third party.

ü  Scope:  This update includes all Contracts, excluding the following types of agreements: 

o    Financial transactions (excluding leases) and establishing banking or brokerage accounts are not considered for the purpose of this review.  These transactions and accounts require the signature of the VP Finance & University Treasurer.

o    Bank and brokerage account signatories are not considered for the purposes of this review.  Once accounts are established, signatories on these accounts are limited to the President, VP Finance & University Treasurer, the Associate VP Finance, Controller and our overseas Program Directors and Associate Program Directors.

o    Requisitions and purchase orders are not considered for the purposes of this review.   Requisitions and purchase orders are governed by a different set of procedures and authorities.  Please see the Purchasing section of the Business Office website at for those details.

ü  Record Keeping:  Last January, we announced a change from past practice regarding contract record keeping.  Specifically, all contracts of over $500 in value, regardless of where the contract is reviewed and signed in the University, when fully executed by both SLU and the other party, should be scanned and emailed to Purchasing .  The purpose of this procedure is to create a centralized data base of all University contracts.  If you have any questions, please contact Nick Ormasen at X-5303  and/or April Wells X-5896.   


Authorized Signatories

The Board of Trustees delegates authority to sign contracts and legally bind the University to the President and the Vice President-Finance who then delegate signing authority to others in the institution to facilitate the University’s business.   Below is the list of authorized signers and any limitations or restrictions imposed on their authority.  This roles associated with the group of signers is consistent with the University’s past practice, though in recent years some of the individuals have changed.

Position                                                 Individual                              Limitations & Restrictions

President                                              Bill Fox                                                   None

VP Finance & Univ. Treasurer                Joe Manory                                             None

Chief Facilities Officer                          Dan Seaman                                           Up to $100,000 (only Facilities related contracts, excludes leases)

Director, Purchasing                             Nick Ormasen                                        Up to $10,000 (excludes leases)

VP & Dean of Student Life                     Joe Tolliver                                            Up to $5,000 (only Student Life related contracts, excludes leases)


Contracts are originated throughout the University and we should work to move these documents through our institution in a proscribed way.  We should also make sure that the individuals who are authorized to sign the agreements have sufficient time to read, review and, if applicable, make inquiries or engage in negotiations about the Terms of the Contract.

Below there is an outline of how Contracts should flow through the University…

Contract Flow

Student Life Contracts
*Originator then to
*VP & Dean of Student Life, Joe Tolliver
*If more than $5,000 then goes to the Director, Purchasing, Nick Ormasen
*If more than $10,000 then goes to VP Finance & Treasurer, Joe Manory

Facilities Contracts
*Originator then to
*Chief Facilities Officer, Dan Seaman
*If more than $100,000 then goes to VP Finance & Treasurer, Joe Manory

All Other Contracts
*Originator then to
*Director, Purchasing, Nick Ormasen
*If more than $10,000 then goes to VP Finance & Treasurer, Joe Manory


v  We should avoid asking the President to review and sign contracts in the normal course of our activities as the VP Finance & University Treasurer has the same signing authority.

v  The final University signer is responsible for sending the signed Contract to the originator.  The originator is responsible for 1) if needed, obtaining the counter signature from the other party and receiving a fully executed contract after it is signed by the other party or 2) if the other party signed first, sending the fully executed contract to the other party.

v  Once the originator has a fully executed contract, the executed Contract should be scanned by the originator and emailed to The originator should keep a copy and a copy should be sent to the final University signer also for record keeping.