Contracts & Transactions
What is the process to get a contract signed by the University?
In accordance with the University’s policies regarding Business Conduct and Professional Standards, “a contract is any agreement, written or verbal, that obligates the University to pay money or other consideration for goods, services or facilities, or to provide goods, services or facilities in exchange for money or other considerations and all proposed contracts must be submitted to the Office of the General Counsel for review.” This means that contracts such as license agreements, consultant agreements, real estate leases, service provider agreements and other forms of agreement must be submitted to the Office of the General Counsel for legal review.
Note, however, the Accounts Payable department and the Procurement Services department have established (on their respective websites) procedures regarding the purchase of goods and services from certain vendors and/or under specified dollar amounts. These procedures should be followed in those cases. In addition, some types of agreements must be sent to other departments at the University prior to being submitted to our office. For example, all international contracts focused on education, academic affairs or service must first be sent to the Office of the Provost and all real estate leases must first be sent to the Director of Business Services.
As explained in the contract review procedures, unaltered template agreements need not be sent to the Office of the General Counsel for legal review prior to signature. A University “template” agreement is an unaltered pre-approved form of agreement created by the Office of the General Counsel. Our office maintains university-wide and, in some cases, department-specific template agreements.
Both altered template agreements and non-template agreements require legal review by the Office of the General Counsel prior to signing by an authorized signatory. To submit such a document to the Office of the General Counsel for legal review, the Contract Submission Checklist must be completed and delivered to our office in hardcopy with two copies of the draft agreement. (Note: As of October 2018, the Contract Submitter Checklist and Gatekeeper Review Checklist have been replaced by the Contract Submission Checklist. However, contracts submitted with the Contract Submitter Checklist and Gatekeeper Checklist will be accepted until January 1, 2019)
Both parties—the University and the service provider—must sign the contract. Please DO NOT sign the contracts on behalf of Northeastern. At Northeastern, only certain individuals have the authority to sign contracts.
How will I know the status of a contract that I have submitted for review?
Could I be personally liable if I sign a contract and I am not one of the University's authorized signatories?
Are there any agreements which need to be submitted to an office or department prior to being submitted to the Office of the General Counsel?
International contracts must first be sent to the VP of Global Relations in the Provost’s office. Real Estate Leases much first be sent to the Director of Business Services.
Are there any insurance requirements for either holding an event my department wants to sponsor on campus or organizing an event off campus?
What is the law regarding hiring an independent contractor to work at the University?
New Procedures and Forms
For more information, or to schedule a training, contact the Office of the General Counsel at x2157.