The two types of non-research contracts the university may enter into are a Standard Agreement for purchasing goods and services and a Fee for Service Agreement for providing services for a fee. A contract can only be signed by individuals authorized by the Board of Regents Signature Authority Policy.

All About Contracts

What is a Contract?

  • The Board of Regents defines a contract in RP (b), as “Any deliberate written or oral engagement between the University and one or more parties, upon legal consideration, to do, or abstain from doing some act.”.
  • The State of Nebraska defines a contract as having: a) at least two signatures, b) compensating service(s) for a fee of $.01 or more.
  • The university generally considers the nature of its contracts to be either:
    • an expenditure of funds, through the use of a Standard Agreement.
    • revenue generating, through the use of a Fee for Service Agreement.
  • Only those authorized by the Board of Regents can sign contracts.

Why Does the University Need a Contract?

In order to be compliant with Board of Regents policy, Procurement Services continues to have an increasing role in contracting for professional services.

Who Is Involved with Contracts?

  • The University community.
  • Professional services engagements may involve partnerships, corporations, or individuals.
  • Examples of “professional services” typically acquired by the university include consulting, software development/design, speakers, web design, hotel, transportation, conference arrangements, workshops, and entertainment.

How Does The Purchasing Guide Relate to Contracts?

Procuring professional services, both licensed and non-licensed, may require a contract between the university and the party.

  • A contract may result from a bid and/or negotiation for a good or service. If you are in doubt about when to enter into an agreement, please refer to the Purchasing Guide or contact Procurement Services.

Departments are able to negotiate and approve contracts under $5,000 in value and for a term of no longer than one year.

  • UNL has developed a standard contract template for professional services and it may be adapted to address the particular needs of your college/department.

All contracts with a value greater than $5,000 and/or a term longer than one year must be approved by Procurement Services.

  • Work outlined in the contract CANNOT begin until the contract is signed by the appropriate personnel.
  • For any service provided to the university, a Certificate of Insurance MUST be on file prior to commencement of such service. Use the Certificate of Insurance Lookup to see if a current certificate is on file.

Certificate of Insurance

Any individual or entity performing services for the University of Nebraska is required to provide a Certificate of Insurance, naming the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska as an additional insured. 

The Certificate of Insurance provides proof of insured coverage for a supplier/company with limits to include $1 million per occurrence and $3 million general aggregate.  University policies should be followed when procuring goods or services.  All design, construction or maintenance services must be coodinated  with and approved by University Facilities. This certificate must be on file in Procurement Services PRIOR to commencement of any services. Insurance coverage varies by services provided. Instructions for approved certificates.

Use the Certificate of Insurance Lookup Form to see if a company has a certificate of insurance on file with us.

Board of Regents - Contract Signature Authority

Contract Signature authority is determined by the Board of Regents. A complete list of authority limits can be located on Authority to Purchase Policy Procurement web page.

For Licensed Professional Services such as architects, engineers, landscape architects and land surveyors, all work must be coordinated through Facilities Planning & Construction.

Procurement Services recommends bidding when competition exists. Refer to the Authority to Purchase Policy Section of the Policies page for supporting policy documents.

What Type of Contract Template Will I Need?

A contract can result when there is an expenditure of funds (Standard Agreement) or when revenue is generated (Fee for Service Agreement).