Contract Review

A contract is an instrument used for the procurement of a product or service with the expectation that specific outputs by both Winthrop and the sponsor will be delivered during a stated timeline. All contracts must be reviewed and signed by the President, or Chief of Staff as required, and executed by the sponsor before work can commence, as specified in the Contract Administration Policy.

All legal agreements between Winthrop and another individual or entity, should be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel as well. Some documents also require the review of other campus divisions, such as IT or Finance. Note that all contracts must submit using the Contract Authorization Form (125 KB) as a cover sheet.


What is a contract or agreement which requires legal review

Any agreement made on behalf of Winthrop with any person or entity which promises that something will done for some type of benefit must be reviewed. This would be any document which commits the funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, property, protected data, or other resources of the University. It also includes any agreement which creates a revenue stream for the University.

Other terms sometimes used to refer to a contract include, but are not limited to: agreement, memorandum of understanding (MOU), memorandum of agreement (MOA), lease, deed, license, use permit, letter of agreement, letter of intent, bond, or loan. Any offer which is extended by the University which, if accepted, would form a binding agreement must also be reviewed.

Clinical Affiliation Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding for Student Applied Learning Experiences should be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel prior to signature by the appropriate University official. If the document is a pre-approved template, review will be expedited.

Prospective university policies which need legal review can also be submitted under this document review process.

If you have any questions regarding agreements, please contact our office at


Contract Authority

Only the President or the Chief of Staff have the authority to sign the majority of the agreements which bind the University. In some instances, the President and the Chair of the Board of Trustees are required to sign an agreement. No other employee has the authority to bind the University in legal agreements unless stated in the Contract Administration Policy section 5.0: Limitations and Delegation of authority for Winthrop University.

All documents will be routed to the Office of the President by the Office of General Counsel for signature at the completion of the review process.


Contract Administrators

A contract administrator is the person who will be responsible for ensuring that both Winthrop and any third parties meets all of the obligations or deliverables in the agreement. This person will be the Winthrop point of contact with outside parties. Contract administrators must review terms prior to legal review to ensure the document describes all of the needed terms relative to the anticipated relationship. While there are several areas of campus that may review a document for compliance with policies, laws and regulations, the Contract Administrator is responsible for ensuring that terms are reasonable and acting in the role of a fiduciary, has reached a fair and good bargain on behalf of Winthrop University.

Contract administrators should contact the Office of General Counsel if there are concerns related to proposed terms.

Prior to submitting a document for legal review, the contract administrator should have the contract routing form completed by their campus division. This form along with any documents must be uploaded to the Office of General Counsel through the Request for Document Review form.


Campus Division Points of Contact

Some campus divisions may choose to designate a point of contact (POC) to manage and prioritize documents. POCs will receive periodic training to assist with this role. Where a POC has not been selected, the Vice President of that division will serve in that role.

Division POCs will receive weekly updates regarding the status of their documents.


Legal Review

After a document set is submitted to the Office of General Counsel, it will be reviewed for compliance with relevant state and federal laws. The Office also works with other review areas regarding compliance issues.


Other Divisional Review

Depending on the type of document, other campus departments may also need to review the proposed agreement. The Contract Administrator will select the needed reviews. Once the files are uploaded to the Office of General Counsel, they will be forwarded to the other relevant reviewing areas. Those areas may include the following:

  • Procurement-purchases

  • Privacy/Data Compliance-data sharing

  • Information Security-software, software as a service, hardware

  • Information Technology-hardware, software, change in processing needs which creates the need for additional hardware

  • Human Resources-planned hires or grants that propose to change employment types

  • Budget-proposed revenue streams and/or credit card processing


Routing Procedures

Once the Contract and Contract Authorization Form have been submitted, the submitter will receive an e-mail confirmation. The agreement will be routed to any additional divisions for specific reviews.

The campus division point of contact will receive updates regarding any document in the review process.

Once all needed approvals are received, the Office of General Counsel will forward the document to the President for signature.

Please allow an average of three weeks for contract routing and approval. If you have any questions about the routing process please contact us at

For more information, please see the Contract Administration Policy.