University of Minnesota


President's Delegations of Authority
Responsible University Officer: University President
Policy Owner: Director, Office of Institutional Compliance
Policy Owner: Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Policy Contact: Michele Gross


The Board of Regents delegates certain authorities to the president to act as chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota, within the constraints of Board policy.

President's Delegations of Authority

The president may delegate executive management and administrative authority to the University's executive officers. The president's delegations of authority authorize his executive officers to act on behalf of the University and to bind the University within the scope of authority to a legally enforceable obligation. The president may condition, limit, or revoke any authorities so delegated at any time. Authorities that the president reserves may not be exercised by any other person, unless expressly authorized by administrative policy or presidential directive.

Sub-Delegations of the President's Authority

Executive officers who have authorities delegated to them by the president may, but need not, sub-delegate authorities to employees who report to them and so on throughout the organization. Executive officers are ultimately responsible and accountable for the proper sub-delegation of the president's authorities throughout their units, in accordance with this policy.

Delegations of Authority Provisions

  1. Delegated authority must be granted and exercised consistent with the terms and conditions of the original delegation and with all applicable laws and University policies, including specifically Board of Regents Policies: Reservations and Delegations of Authority, Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Controls.
  2. Delegators must delegate authority only to persons who are current University employees, who have some level of responsibility for the activity being conducted, who are knowledgeable about University policies, rules, laws, regulations and procedures, and over whom the delegator has management authority. All delegations become null and void upon the last date of employment.
  3. Delegators must communicate their delegations of authority (new or revised) to the Delegations of Authority Program (see Delegators must also notify the delegatee in writing, retain documentation of all of their delegations, and review those delegations at least annually to ensure they are up-to-date and appropriate. This documentation must be made available upon request.
  4. Delegatees:
    • have full discretion to reserve to themselves any authority delegated to them;
    • may delegate the authority if it is not expressly disallowed or limited in any way;
    • may not delegate greater responsibility and decision-making authority than they have been delegated;
    • may not delegate authority to anyone who has an individual or institutional conflict of interest related to that authority, as defined by University policy; and
    • remain responsible and accountable at all times for the exercise of any authority they choose to delegate to others.

Scope of Authority

Employees with delegated authority must act only within the scope of that delegation. Employees who act outside the scope of their authority and do not have documented authority to do so may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Ambiguities involving Delegations of Authority

In the event that there is an ambiguity or an inconsistency involving delegation assignments, the president or his/her delegatee will determine who has the ultimate authority.


To implement Board of Regents Policies: Reservation and Delegation of Authority, Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Controls, which require an administrative framework that protects the University’s interests in the execution of contracts, in the management of risk, and in compliance with the law and University policies. The reason for this policy is also to minimize the risk of unintentional misuse of authority that could potentially bind the University to a contractual agreement and to safeguard the University from the intentional misuse of authority.

Primary Contact(s)
Request for changes
Lorelei Smith
Questions on the meaning of delegations
Office of the General Counsel


Approval Authority
Authority required to determine compliance with policies and procedure, University-wide implications, and to assess major risks. Where required, Signature Authority is invalid without Approval Authority.
Any employee who is officially delegated or transferred the authority to act on behalf of the University, campus, college, or department.
Any employee who has authority to take action on behalf of the University, campus, college, or department who transfers ("delegates") his/her authority to another University employee ("delegatee").
Executive Officers
Employees who report directly to the president and who hold the title of senior vice president, vice president, chancellor, associate vice president for internal audit, general counsel, president and chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota Foundation, Associate Vice President for Government Relations, and director of intercollegiate athletics (Twin Cities campus).
Funding Approval Authority
The approval by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of those financial commitments and transactions that require specific approval by the Board of Regents or by Board of Regents policies. No financial transactions requiring Funding Approval Authority may be presented to the Board of Regents without the CFO's prior approval. Where required, Signature Authority is invalid without Funding Approval.
Legal Approval Authority
The review and approval of a contract or agreement by the Office of the General Counsel required by Board of Regents Policy: Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions. Where required, Signature Authority is invalid without Legal Approval. For information about obtaining Legal Approval, see the Office of the General Counsel web site at
President's Delegations of Authority
Authority that is originally delegated to the president by the Board of Regents, enables executive officers of the University to act on behalf of the University, and binds the University within the scope of authority to a legally enforceable obligation.
Signature Authority
The authority to bind the University by executing an agreement or contract or taking a personnel action. This authority may only be exercised after obtaining any required approval, funding approval, and legal approval. Signature Authority is invalid without the other required approval(s).
Sub-delegations of President's Authority
A mechanism by which employees at and below the level of executive officer authorize individuals in their reporting hierarchy to act on behalf of the University in the same way that the president delegates authority to executive officers.


A delegatee is responsible for executing his/her delegated or sub-delegated authority within the limitations of their duties and this policy.
A delegator is responsible for communicating delegations and sub-delegations of authorities to delegatees in writing; for reviewing their delegations annually to ensure they are up-to-date, to achieve ongoing consistency and alignment between management authority, responsibility, and accountability, and to make adjustments as appropriate; and responsible for providing delegatees with sufficient training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities and respective authorities effectively.
Delegations Coordinators
Employees who are responsible for supporting units in complying with this policy.
University employees are responsible for acting within the scope of their authority.
General Counsel
The Office of the General Counsel is responsible for verifying delegations of authority before approving signed contracts that bind the University to an enforceable obligation. The General Counsel is also responsible for informing the Board of Regents of any existing Board policy or directive that is inconsistent with or alters the delegations of authority as provided for in Board of Regents Policy: Reservations and Delegations of Authority, and for advising the Regents, the president, and other University officials on the proper administration of delegations and sub-delegations of authority for the institution. Respond to inquiries regarding the meaning of individual delegation authorities.
Internal Audits
The Department of Internal Audits is responsible for reviewing unit documentation of delegations and sub-delegations of authority as part of their standard audit operations, including advising the president and institutional compliance officer on issues of concern regarding policy compliance.
Office of Institutional Compliance
The Office of Institutional Compliance is responsible for educating and supporting executive officers and delegation coordinators to ensure unit compliance with this policy, for working with the president, associate vice president for internal audit, and others to monitor delegations of authority and to ensure overall institutional compliance with this policy. This office if also responsible for maintaining the president's Delegations Library.
Policy Owner
Policy owners are responsible for ensuring that the administrative policies and procedures in which they're assigned ownership are in alignment with this policy and the delegations and sub-delegations of authority.
The president is responsible for ensuring alignment of this policy with Board of Regents Policy: Reservations and Delegations of Authority; for reviewing and updating the president's delegations of authority assignment annually; for aligning the executive officer appointment letters, job descriptions, presidential delegations of authority, and president's Board of Regents policy assignments; and for providing direction to the Institutional Compliance Officer on the proper communication and education of this policy as appropriate to the University community.


March 2011

Document Feedback

Date Revised

May 2011

Date Effective

May 2011