SMU implemented a new Contract Administration process in 2015. The goals of this initiative provide:
- more timely and cost effective manner for processing contracts
- a standard contract template for use across campus
- constructive input on legal contract documents relating to purchasing items, conditions, indemnification, intellectual property, etc.
- management of a complex process across functions, including legal and risk
- addressing vendor performance issues
- managing the contract tracking software
A central contract lead facilitates the process for specific areas on campus. These identified employees are called Contract Leads and receive specialized training on the administration software and best practices. Contract Leads will work with their area to process and track the contracts.
Contract Leads for Student Affairs:
- Reyna Munoz – Chaplain and Religious Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Hegi Family Career Development Center, Office of the Vice President, Social Change and Intercultural Engagement, Student Center and Activities, Student Organizations
- Bonnie Hainline – Campus Recreation
- Michael Hogan – Dean of Students and Dr. Bob Smith Health Center
- Loren Newton – Residence Life and Student Housing
- Scott Nelson – Residence Life and Student Housing
What is a contract?
The University defines a contract as — an agreement, regardless of form, between the University (acting in its own name or through a school or any operating unit) and one or more parties, or an instrument delivered by the University to another entity, intended to have binding legal effect.
Contracts include but are not limited to:
- Letters of Agreements
- Memoranda of Understanding
- Offers proposed for acceptance by the University or another party
- Purchase Orders
- Renewals or modifications of existing contracts
Importance of having a contract:
- Ensures the transaction conforms to all University policies and procedures
- Guarantees there are no conflicts of interest among the parties to the transaction
- Safeguards the liability to the University is minimized through an assessment of risk and insurance requirements
- Certifies reasonable legal protection for the University
- Contracts are required for:
Performers (speakers, musicians, dancers, comedians, DJs, etc.)
- Catering (casual catering, catering where company provides servers, food trucks)
- Services (rental equipment such as tables, chairs, stage, lighting, sound, tents)
- Transportation (rental cars, buses)
- Risky activities (inflatable games, bounce houses, dunk tanks)Regardless of the amount paid or funding source. Vendors providing services at no cost are also required to have a contract.
Who has signature authority?
- President of the University
- Vice President for Business and Finance
- Vice President for Student Affairs
- Director of Purchasing
If you do not hold one of the positions above, you DO NOT have authority to sign a contract.
ALL contracts within the Division of Student Affairs MUST be submitted via the Contract Information Form found under Forms on the home page of SMU360. Submission should be 14 days in advance of the event, although 30 days in advance is ideal. Additional processing time may be required for more detailed contracts or when significant funding is involved.
The Contract Information Form will create an Asana task which will be assigned to the appropriate Contract Lead. The task will contain information about the event or service and will allow the Lead to access attachments you have uploaded. Upon notification of the Asana task, the Contract Lead will process the agreement in the appropriate manner and upload into the University’s contract software for review, approval and signature routing. Upon full execution of the agreement, the Contract Lead will email you a copy and may provide additional instructions, if warranted. The Asana task will also serve as a repository for the fully executed agreement.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to prepare the payment request or invoice and email to Patty Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to initiate the payment process. SMU Accounts Payable requires a fully executed contract to process a payment request or invoice from Student Affairs.