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University of Minnisota  Administrative Policy

President's Delegations of Authority

Responsible University Officer(s):
  • University President
Policy Owner(s):
  • Chief Compliance Officer
  • Senior Assistant to the President
Policy contact(s):
  • Michele Gross
Date Revised:
Oct 22, 2018
Effective Date:
May 13, 2011

Policy Statement

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 or retain, any executive management and administrative authority that has been given to the president by the Board of Regents. The president’s delegations authorize senior leaders who report directly to the president to act on behalf of the University and to bind the University to a legally enforceable obligation. The president may condition, limit, or revoke any delegated signature authorities at any time. Authorities retained by the president may not be exercised by any other person, unless expressly authorized by administrative policy or presidential directive.

Sub-Delegations of the President’s Authority

Senior leaders who report directly to the president and to whom the president has delegated signature authorities may, but need not, sub-delegate signature authorities to positions who report to them and so on throughout the organization. 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 signature authorities only to a position within the delegator’s area of managerial control, and the authorities 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.

    Delegatees must be currently employed in a position with some responsibility for the activity being conducted. When the incumbent leaves that position, the signature authority remains with the position and is automatically transferred to the successor, unless the delegator removes or limits one or more authorities associated with the position.

  2. Delegators must communicate their delegations of authority (new or revised) to the Delegation of Authority Specialist for their college/campus. Delegators or representative 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.
  3. In the event that the incumbent in a position to which signature authority has been delegated has an individual or institutional conflict of interest related to that authority, as defined by University policy, that person must inform the delegator of the conflict and must not exercise the authority until the conflict has been eliminated or managed by the University.
  4. Delegatees:
    • have full discretion to reserve to their position any authority delegated to them;
    • may sub-delegate the authority to another position reporting to them if it is not expressly disallowed or limited in any way;
    • may not 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 to positions.

Scope of Authority

Delegatees must act only within the scope of that delegation, including limiting their actions to the campus, college, or department referenced in the delegation. 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.

Individuals with delegations of authorities that require additional approvals (e.g., legal or financial) must insure that these additional approvals are obtained. (See Board of Regents Policies: Reservation and Delegation of Authority, Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Controls.)

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.

Reason for Policy

To implement Board of Regents Policies: Reservation and Delegation of Authority, Legal Review of Contracts and Transactions, and Internal Controls. These 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. The reason for this policy is also to minimize 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.




Frequently Asked Questions


Primary Contact(s) Michele Gross 612-624-8081
Request for changes Lorelei Smith 612-624-8852
Questions on the meanings of authorities Office of the General Counsel 612-624-4100


Any employee in a position to whom authority to act on behalf of the University has been delegated.
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).
Delegations Specialists
Employees designated by a dean or administrative officer who are responsible for supporting units in complying with this policy.
Senior Leaders
Employees who report directly to the president and which hold the title of executive vice president, 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, Special Assistant to the President for Government Relations, director of intercollegiate athletics (Twin Cities campus), and the president’s Chief of Staff.
President’s Delegations of Authority.
Authority that is originally delegated to the president’s position 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 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).


Executes the delegated or sub-delegated authority within the limitations of their duties and this policy.
  • Communicates delegations and sub-delegations of authorities to delegatees in writing
  • reviews their delegations annually to ensure they are up-to-date, achieving ongoing consistency and alignment between management authority, responsibility, and accountability, and makes adjustments as appropriate;
  • Provides delegatees with sufficient training to enable them to carry out their responsibilities and respective authorities effectively.
Delegations Specialists
  • Supports units in complying with this policy and updating the Delegations of Authority system with their unit delegations.
  • Reviews exception reports and make corrections in the system as needed.
General Counsel
    • Verifies delegations of authority before approving signed contracts.
    • Informs 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
    • Advises 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
  • Educates and supports senior leaders and delegation specialists to ensure unit compliance with this policy
  • Works 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
  • Maintains the central Delegations Library.
Office of Internal Audit
Reviews 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.
Policy Owner
Ensures that administrative policies and procedures for which they’re assigned ownership are in alignment with this policy and the delegations and sub-delegations of authority.
  • Ensures alignment of this policy with Board of Regents Policy: Reservations and Delegations of Authority;
  • Reviews and updating the president’s delegations of authority assignment annually;
  • Aligns the senior leader appointment letters, job descriptions, presidential delegations of authority, and president’s Board of Regents policy assignments with their delegated authorities;
  • Provides direction to the Chief Compliance Officer on the proper communication and education of this policy as appropriate to the University community.

Related Information


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
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