University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

President's Delegations of Authority

Policy Statement

The Board of Regents delegates authorities to the president to act as chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota, within the constraints of Board policy. The president may sub-delegate those authorities to employees throughout the organization where appropriate for their position.

President’s Delegations of Authority

Individuals with delegations of authority are able to act on behalf of the University and to bind the University to a legally enforceable obligation. The president may subdelegate or retain any executive management and administrative authority that has been given to the president by the Board of Regents and not otherwise restricted by specific Board policies or directives, to senior leaders who report directly to the president. The president may condition, limit, or revoke any delegated authorities at any time. Authorities retained by the president may not be exercised by any other person, unless expressly specified in administrative policy  or a documented presidential directive.

Sub-Delegations of the President’s Authority

Senior leaders who report directly to the president and to whom the president has delegated authorities may choose to sub-delegate authorities to positions who report to them. In situations where the president has placed a subdelegation limitation on an authority, further sub-delegations are prohibited. These leaders 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. Delegators may grant authorities only to a position (delegate) within the delegator’s area of managerial control and that is reflected as a direct report in the Position Management Module. The authorities must be granted and exercised consistently 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 AuthorityLegal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Control.
  2. Delegators must communicate their delegations of authority (new or revised) to their Delegation of Authority Specialist for their college/campus, in writing and in a format that is accessible to them. Delegators or a representative, typically the Delegation of Authority Specialist, must also notify the delegatee of the change(s).
  3. Delegatees must be currently employed in a position with some responsibility for the activity being conducted. When the delegatee no longer holds that position, the authority(s) remain with that position. The replacement who is hired into the position (and associated position number) will automatically have those same authorities, unless the delegator removes or limits one or more authorities associated with the position. If a replacement is hired for the position and is assigned a different position number, sub-delegations must be added to the new position number.
  4. Delegatees:
    • must act only within the scope of that delegation, including limiting their actions to the campus, college, or department referenced in the delegation;
    • may choose, at their discretion, to sub-delegate the authority to another position reporting to them if it is not expressly disallowed or limited in any way;
    • may not sub-delegate greater responsibility and decision-making authority than their position has been delegated; and
    • remain responsible and accountable at all times for the exercise of any authority they choose to delegate.

In the event that the delegatee has an individual or institutional conflict of interest as defined by University policy related to an authority that they have, the delegatee must inform their delegator of the conflict and must not exercise the authority until the conflict has been eliminated or managed by the University.


Delegatees 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.

Delegatees with delegations of authorities that require additional approvals (e.g., legal or financial) must ensure that these additional approvals are obtained. (See Board of Regents Policies: Reservation and Delegation of AuthorityLegal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Control.)

Employees who do not have the authority to sign contracts and agreements are prohibited from doing so.

Ambiguities involving Delegations of Authority

In the event that there is an ambiguity or an inconsistency involving delegation assignments, the president or the president's delegate will determine who has the ultimate authority.


The Delegation of Authority specialist will retain documentation from the delegator that authorizes any additions or changes to their sub-delegations as well as the notification of change that was provided to a delegatee. This documentation must be made available upon request by the Office of Institutional Compliance or Office of Internal Audit.

Annual Reviews

Colleges/campuses must review delegations of authority at least annually to ensure they are up-to-date and appropriate and communicate completion of this work to the Office of Institutional Compliance. These reviews will be facilitated by Delegations of Authority specialists.

Reason for Policy

To implement Board of Regents Policies: Reservation and Delegation of Authority (PDF), Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions (PDF), and Internal Controls (PDF). These Board of Regents policies require an administrative framework that protects the University’s interests in the execution of contracts, management of risk, and compliance with the law and University policies. This administrative policy also minimizes the risk of unintentional misuse of authority that could potentially bind the University to a contract and to safeguard the University from intentional/misuse of authority.


Primary Contact(s)Lorelei Smith612-624-8852[email protected]
Training requests or assistanceLorelei Smith612-624-8852[email protected]
Questions on the meanings of authoritiesOffice of the General Counsel612-624-4100 
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • University President
  • Assistant to the President
  • Interim Chief Compliance Officer
  • Lorelei Smith



Any employee in a position to whom authority to take action on behalf of the University has been delegated.

Delegations of Authority Specialists

Employees designated by a dean or administrative officer who are responsible for supporting units in complying with this policy and updating the Delegations of Authority system with their unit delegations.


Any employee in a position with authority to take action on behalf of the University or any employee in a position that has assigned authority to another University employee (delegatee).

Senior Leaders

Employees who report directly to the president and who hold the title of executive vice president, senior vice president, vice president, chancellor, chief auditor, general counsel, chief compliance officer, president and chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota Foundation, president and chief executive officer of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, special assistant to the president for government relations, director of intercollegiate athletics (Twin Cities campus), and senior assistant to the president.

President’s Delegations of Authority

Authority that is originally delegated to the president by the Board of Regents, enables senior leaders of the University to act on behalf of the University, and binds the University within the scope of that authority to a legally enforceable obligation.



A delegatee is responsible for executing the delegated or sub-delegated authority associated with their position, as needed, within the limitations of their duties and this policy.


A delegator is responsible for ensuring delegations and sub-delegations of authorities are communicated to delegatees (electronically or in writing); reviewing their delegations annually to ensure they are up-to-date, achieving ongoing consistency and alignment between management authority, responsibility, and accountability, and making adjustments as appropriate; and for providing delegatees with sufficient training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities and respective authorities effectively.

Delegations of Authority Specialists

Employees designated by a dean or administrative officer who are responsible for supporting units in complying with this policy and updating the Delegations of Authority system with their unit delegations. Review exception reports and make corrections in the system as needed. Coordinate the annual review of delegations for the unit(s). Maintain and provide documentation of authority changes approved by delegators and of notifications to delegatees to the Office of Compliance, when requested.

General Counsel

The General Counsel is 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. Advising the Regents, the president, and other University officials on the proper administration of delegations and sub-delegations of authority for the institution.

Office of Institutional Compliance

The Office of Institutional Compliance is responsible for educating and supporting senior leaders and delegation specialists to promote unit compliance with this policy, for working with the president and others to monitor overall institutional compliance with this policy, and update delegations to the senior leaders. Maintaining the central Delegations Library (e.g., updating key tables) and reviewing monthly exception reports and communicating exceptions to the respective units for corrections.


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 senior leader appointment letters, job descriptions, presidential delegations of authority, and president’s Board of Regents policy assignments with their delegated authorities; and for providing direction to the chief compliance officer on the proper communication and education of this policy as appropriate to the University community. Annually reporting to the Board any significant changes to the delegations.

Related Information



July 2022 - Comprehensive Review:

  1. Expanded the FAQ to address common questions or problems.
  2. Emphasized the document requirements that authorize changes to delegations as well as notifications to delegatees. 
  3. Made other minor updates to reflect current practice and improve clarity.


September 2019 - Comprehensive Review:

  1. Policies and procedures revised to change the delegations from an individual level to the position level.
  2. Minor policy changes to reflect title changes.
  3. Clarified that delegations must be made in writing and in a format accessible to each unit’s DOA specialist.


October 2018 - Delegations assigned by position rather than person. Other minor changes for clarification.


June 2015 - Comprehensive Review, Minor Revision. Reduced the scope of the policy to signature authority, which aligns to recent improvement to the Delegations of Authority Library. Expands the prohibition language around individuals who have a conflict of interest that also relates to a delegated authority. Provides more clarity around the ability to limit the scope of an authority to a unit, a department or campus. Supported Procedure and FAQ also revised.


March 2011