The primary goals for Puget Sound’s contract policy and resources are to streamline the contracting process for university departments while managing risk effectively for the university.

Contract Policy – Summary:

  1. Only individuals who have authority delegated by an appropriate university official are authorized to enter into agreements (“contracts”) on behalf of Puget Sound.
  2. The Contract Policy communicates:
    • Basic definition/information about contracts
    • Requirements identified in the Board of Trustee resolution that governs contracting
    • Conditions for delegating contract authority
    • Responsibilities related to contract authority
    • Links to documents/resources related to contracts
  3. Location:

Key Responsibilities Related to Contracts:

  1. Each President’s Cabinet Area takes responsibility for:
    • Planning, negotiating, reviewing, signing, and managing their contracts using Checklists and Template Agreements (the person signing needs to have formal, delegated authority for the type of contract, including amount and duration)
    • Submitting fully-signed contracts to
    • Submitting completed contractor/vendor Forms W-9 and approved invoices or disbursements requests to Office of Finance, Jones Hall Room 018
  2. Before any commitment is made for service arrangements with individuals, guidance must be obtained from Human Resources or, if for students, from Career and Employment Services, to ensure the person is properly classified as an employee, student leader, or independent contractor according to federal and state regulations. The Accounts Payable or Payroll? web page has general guidance for certain types of arrangements (such as Guest Presenters and Artists). Reviewing it before contacting HR or CES is recommended.
  3. Chief Information Officer:
    • Co-signs contracts for software, software as a service (cloud or online), computer hardware, and web-related services up to the dollar/duration limit of the co-signer, not to exceed $250,000 and 4 years (CFO Sherry Mondou would sign above that level)
    • Must also be consulted regarding equipment that would interface with computers
  4. The authority to sign vendor credit applications has not been delegated. To ensure Puget Sound is able to comply with the terms, a university financial officer must sign vendor credit applications. All requests to establish new vendor accounts and/or complete vendor credit applications should be sent to Office of Finance, Procurement Services at
  5. Individuals with Contract Authority are responsible for:
    • Adhering to the parameters in their written authorization to enter into contracts
    • Submitting a scanned copy of the complete, fully-signed (by all parties) contract to the central Puget Sound contract file at
  6. University officers should have the applicable budget manager or department head co-sign contracts with them to ensure the budget manager or department head is aware of all terms and conditions.
  7. The department or area that initiates a contract and that is receiving most of the benefits is responsible for ensuring that the vendor delivers as promised and that the university fulfills its obligations, including timely submission of payment requests to the Office of Finance in conformance with the contract and university accounts payable procedures.
  8. The Office of Finance is responsible for remitting payment as specified in payment requests that are properly completed, approved, and submitted in a timely manner in the Office of Finance.
  9. Office of University Counsel:
    • Provides oversight for contract protocols and orientation to contracting at Puget Sound
    • Rather than review all contracts, provides assistance with using contract resources, responds to questions, and may review higher risk contracts on a selected basis
    • Approves and facilitates access to external legal counsel when needed
    • Initiates periodic review of policy and contract resources to keep them current

Contract Web Pages

  1. Location:
  2. Current Content – Contract Resources:
    • Contract Policy
    • Orientation to Contracts at Puget Sound
    • Approved Template Agreements (with checklists for completing them)
    • Checklists for Planning and Reviewing Contracts
    • Contract Legal Term Definitions
    • General information/guidance about the distinction between paying individuals for services with a contract through accounts payable or as an employee through payroll

Template Agreements

  1. Standard forms of agreement for more frequent types of arrangements
  2. Already reviewed by stakeholders, external legal counsel, and other advisors
  3. Use template agreements whenever possible (use of an approved template agreement is required for certain types of contracts, such as student leadership agreements)
  4. Current, approved template agreements:
    • Professional Services (other than Medical Services)
    • Medical Services
    • Speaker/Performer (3 different forms of agreement, with guidance for choosing the appropriate form)
    • Recording Agreement
      • Addendum to speaker/performer agreement or standalone agreement when a recording will be made of a guest’s presentation/performance
      • Much simpler permission form used if recording will be made of presentations/performances of students, faculty, staff, alumni (or their family members)
    • Puget Sound has a few other approved template agreements for specialized use in specific departments/areas ( for more information)

Contract Checklists

  1. Planning: planning items to consider and steps to take before reviewing a contract and a commitment is made
  2. Review: checklist for reviewing vendor (contractor) forms of agreement or contractor’s changes to our template agreements
  3. Checklist for completing each of the approved, template agreements above


  • contract-related questions (orientation, policy, web pages, template agreements, checklists, who is authorized to sign an agreement); or call the Office of University Counsel at campus extension 2735.
  • payment-related questions (disbursement requests, IRS Forms W-9).