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Contracts & Agreements - Divisional Policy & Guidance
The Extension Dean’s Leadership Team (DLT) is working with UW-Madison leadership to clarify policy and guidance on Grants and Contracts, Signature Authority and Delegation of Signature Authority, and Volunteer Organizations. Please take the time to review these important updates and points of contact for additional information. The information below represents required changes to past practice for Extension.
Grants and Contracts
- All grants or contracts that obligate UW employee time or UW resources must be approved and processed through UW-Madison. This includes subawards that obligate UW employee time or resources. Those grants and contracts that obligate employee time or resources cannot be routed through the county.
- If you have a grant or contract that obligates UW employee time or resources, start by contacting the Division of Extension Office of Financial Services (OFS) for first-level support and review. The submission will also need to be reviewed by UW-Madison Research and Sponsored Programs (see Research and Sponsored Programs).
- Faculty automatically have Principle Investigator status, and academic staff can apply for Principal Investigator (PI) status (see Research Policies - Principal Investigator Status). PI status is required to apply for grants and UW-employees can only serve as a PI on grants administered through the university.
- Letters of support are allowed if they do not obligate university resources, including employee time.
- It can be difficult to determine whether funding opportunities are grants, gifts or contracts. Treatment of grants, gifts and contracts can vary significantly. For help in determining the classification, please reach out to OFS for guidance.
Signature Authority and Delegation of Authority
- All contracts and agreements must be reviewed and approved by designated UW-Madison signature authorities. Division of Extension employees are not authorized to directly sign agreements with external parties.
- At the county level, Area Extension Directors (AEDs) are working with individual county governments to secure delegation of authority documents. The delegation of authority allows the AED to sign on behalf of the county government, for specific items that may vary between counties, in order to facilitate and manage local Extension office functions. This option is consistent with prior signature authority guidance as it provides the AED authority to sign on behalf of the county and not on behalf of Extension.
Volunteer Organizations and Purchasing, Contracts, and Agreements
- For a variety of legal reasons, several Extension processes and practices related to volunteer clubs and groups need to be updated, including those related to purchasing, contracts, and agreements.
- To better understand and propose sound and sustainable guidance to Extension volunteer and member groups (e.g. 4-H, Master Gardner’s), we are asking program faculty and staff (e.g. Extension Educators and Coordinators), to work directly with their Program Manager and 4-H Assistant Program Managers (APMs) in executing needed purchases, contracts, agreements etc. Specific guidance includes:
- For those events/purchases/agreements that are funded by the county budget, continue to work with your AED.
- For events/purchases/agreements that are funded by a volunteer club/group, work with your Program Manager or Assistant Program Manager.
- When there is no funding (but it is an Extension event, such as with 4H or Master Gardner) or both entities fund (county and group contribute), work with your Program Manager or Assistant Program Manager.