Skip Sub Menu

Contract Basics & Approval

What is a contract?  A contract is a legally enforceable agreement, lease or license between two or more parties. In the course and scope of regular work for the University, many employees experience the need to negotiate and execute contracts that legally bind the Institution. The Approval Authority Policy is intended to provide employees with a framework for understanding the specific types of contracts, review process, signature authority and insurance required before a contract may be executed on behalf of Drake University. 

The Contract Process Summary lays out the process for Independent Contractors and Business/Vendor Contracts.  The Contract Review Checklist is available as a tool to review a contract for the necessary items. 

Whether a document is called an Agreement, a Letter of Agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a Memorandum of Agreement, a Letter of Understanding, a Purchase Order or any other obligation; if it creates legal obligations on the part of Drake University and another party, it is likely a binding agreement subject to the University contracting policy.

When is a contract needed?

  • Any outside group or organization to use Drake-owned facilities and/or equipment contact Office of Conference and Events Services
  • Hiring third parties to perform services on campus
  • Holding an event on campus using third-party services
  • Consultants
  • Independent Contractors
  • Bus/limo services
  • Honorarium & guest speakers
  • IT software / hardware
  • Memorandum of Understanding
  • Appointment letters
  • Inflatables, acts, bands, etc.
  • Experiential learning host sites

We have approved templates for you to use. Some vendors will require us to use their form of contract. If this is the case, these require special attention as these are normally written with terms that benefit the vendor. If you need assistance navigating a vendor agreement, please contact

Who has authority to sign contracts?

Approval Authority Policy provides authorization guidelines for signing contracts on behalf of the University. No other person may obligate the University to any contract, agreement, purchase order, memorandum of understanding, promise or any other potentially binding agreement.


Resources for negotiation, signing and retaining contractual agreements:

University Approved Templates

University Calendar 
University News