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College-wide Policies

Signature Authority for Government Grants

Colorado College requires that all of its government-funded proposals and awards be executed by authorized individuals. Through the Colorado College Purchasing and Procurement Policy, the President has vested the Dean of the College with the institutional authority to approve state and federal proposals and accept award agreements and any subsequent amendments on behalf of Colorado College that support research. Through the Colorado College Purchasing and Procurement Policy, the President has vested the VP for Advancement with the institutional authority to approve state and federal proposals and accept award agreements and any subsequent amendments on behalf of Colorado College that support non-research activity. No government funded proposals or award agreements will be accepted without the proper institutional signature authority. The purpose of this policy is to establish and clarify the delegation of institutional signature authority for proposals and agreements between the College and government sponsors.

Responsible office
Dean of the College
Responsible party
Dean of the College, VP of Advancement
Last revision
September 2013
Approved by
Dean's Office
Approval date
October 2013
Effective date
October 2013
Last review
October 2013
Additional references
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110

Scope

All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus are within the scope of this policy. If there is variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy.

Policy

(1)    General

No officer, agent, or employee of the College has the authority to sign contracts or other agreements on behalf of the College or any unit, department or subdivision of the College in the absence of a formal assignment of delegated authority as described below.

This delegation of institutional signature authority applies to all documents that obligate the College to activities featuring government sponsors, irrespective of the title or designation of the document; e.g. “proposals,” “award agreements” and “amendments” are all covered herein.

(2)    Assignment of Delegated Authority

The President has delegated to the Dean of the College and the VP for Advancement specific institutional authority to execute documents pertaining to government-funded proposals and agreements on behalf of the College. The Dean of the College and the VP for Advancement may subdelegate this authority.

(3)    Subdelegation of Authority

In certain circumstances, the Dean may subdelegate the authority to sign documents related to government-sponsored proposals and agreements in support of research to other officers acting in conjunction with the Dean.  Subdelegates may include the Associate Dean of the Faculty or the Associate Dean of the College. 

In certain circumstances, VP for Advancement may subdelegate the authority to sign documents related to government-sponsored proposals and agreements in support of non-research activity to other officers acting in conjunction with the VP for Advancement.  Subdelegates may include the Associate VP for Advancement or the Assistant VP for Advancement. 

(4)    Same Force and Effect

Any documents signed by the delegated institutional signatory shall have the same force and effect as if the documents were signed by the Dean of the College or the VP for Advancement.

(5)    Revocation

Any subdelegation of authority may be revoked at the discretion of the Dean of the College or the VP for Advancement.

(6)    Who Should Be Knowledgeable About This Policy

a. Dean of the College and Associate Deans of the College

b. Vice President for Advancement

c. Vice President for Finance and Administration

d. Associate Vice President of Development

e. Director and Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations (Grants Office)

f. Director of Faculty Research Support

g. Controller and Assistant Controller

f. Principal Investigators and Project Directors

Board Approval

a. This policy does not require approval by the college’s Board of Trustees.

b. Periodic review of policies shall take place in accordance with each policy’s individual review frequency.

Procedures

 (1)    Certification of Signature Authority for Government Grants Letter

The Dean and his or her subdelegates shall sign a Certification of Signature Authority for Government Grants letter. The original will be filed with the President’s Office; copies will be filed with the Office of the Dean. The Dean will have the ability to amend or revoke assignments of delegated authority at any time. He or she is expected to periodically review any assigned delegations.

The VP for Advancement and his or her subdelegates shall sign a Certification of Signature Authority for Government Grants letter. The original will be filed with the President’s Office; copies will be filed with the office of the VP for Advancement. The VP will have the ability to amend or revoke assignments of delegated authority at any time. He or she is expected to periodically review any assigned delegations.

(2)    Internal Approval of Proposals for Government Grants

All proposals for government grants in support of research must receive approval from the Dean of the College, or the Dean’s subdelegates in the absence of the Dean, to be documented by the College’s internal endorsement process, to be managed by the Director of Faculty Research Support.

All proposals for government grants in support of non-research activity must receive approval from the VP for Advancement, or the VP’s subdelegates in the absence of the VP, to be documented by the College’s internal endorsement process, to be managed by the Director or Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Subdelegates may invoke their authority to submit proposals only after the proposal has undergone the College’s internal endorsement process.

(3)    Delegation of Authority for Post-Award Documentation

By signing the internal endorsement documentation, the Dean will delegate authority to the Director of Faculty Research Support to execute, deliver and file post-award grant documents related to all research grants. 

Similarly, by signing the internal endorsement documentation, the VP for Advancement will delegate authority to the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations to execute, deliver and file post-award grant documents related to all grants for non-research activity. 

(4)    Format for Changes to Assignment of Delegated Institutional Signature Authority

Changes to the assignment of delegated institutional authority shall be recorded by memo to the President by the Dean or the VP for Advancement and shall include the following elements:

-    Name and signature of the Dean and name of the affected individual

-    Description of action including the name and title of the individuals concerned (i.e., whether the change is an assignment or full or partial revocation of delegated authority)

-    Effective date of the change

(5)    Possible Consequences in the Event of Non-Compliance

The College reserves the right to withdraw any application that has not been institutionally approved at the proposal stage or to decline awards resulting from a submission that was not institutionally approved. Individuals who initiate proposals or enter agreements without the necessary authority are subject to personal legal liability, disciplinary action and, at a minimum, will be required to submit all documentation according to standard college procedures.

(6)    Conditions of Authority

As the President’s delegate of institutional signatory authority for government proposals and awards, the Dean and the VP for Advancement will be responsible for executing documents in the majority of situations. This assignment of delegated authority is subject to the following conditions:

(a)  The Dean or the VP for Advancement may not approve proposals or agreements when a real or apparent conflict of interest exists. In these cases, the Dean or the VP for Advancement must disclose any potential conflicts of interest to the President. If a conflict of interest is determined to exist by the President, he or she shall amend assignment of delegated authority in a manner appropriate to avoid the conflict.

(b)  Subdelegations will not be allowed unless established in advance and specifically documented as an assignment of delegated authority.

(c)  If the Dean is absent, the President must sign unless appropriate advance subdelegations have been made by the Dean.  If the VP for Advancement is absent, the President must sign unless appropriate advance subdelegations have been made by the VP for Advancement.