I have a contract.
What do I do now?
All contracts — including renewals and some End User License Agreements (EULAs) —must be submitted, unsigned, to email@example.com for review. See which EULAs are excluded from the contract review process
If you're hiring an external independent contractor (non-SSU employee), such as a speaker, performer, guest musician, photographer, or consultant, you may complete an Independent Contractor Agreement (the EZ form or the regular, depending upon complexity) and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, for review.
All other contracts, including those associated with service and maintenance, software licenses, and travel, should be submitted to email@example.com, with a completed Contract Intake Form.
From the department perspective, the Contract Review process has just three steps.
Step 1: Read the entire agreement.
- Does the agreement accurately reflect your understanding of the goods or services to be provided and the amount to be paid?
- Does the agreement refer to other documents or to terms and conditions posted online? If so, be sure they are attached.
- Can the department fulfill all the conditions required by the agreement? If not, discuss areas of concern with the other party. There’s almost always room for negotiation. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Does the agreement cover professional services obtained from someone outside the University (i.e., a speaker, entertainer, musician, actor, consultant, sports official, etc.)? If so, complete the appropriate Independent Contractor Agreement and skip to Step 3, below. Using one of these pre-approved forms always streamlines the review process.
- For all other agreements, like goods or services, software licenses, or travel, proceed to Step 2.
Step 3: Submit all documents
The unsigned agreement or template, any other documents or terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement, and the Contract Intake Form (if applicable) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an automated response, by return email, acknowledging receipt of your documents.
REMINDER: The Contract Intake Form is not necessary when either version of the Independent Contractor Agreement is used.
And, that’s it! Your work is done! Contracts Management staff will take care of the rest and will copy you on email correspondence with the other party. A copy of the signed agreement will also be returned to you and to the other party, when the review process is complete.
Click to view an expanded illustration (PDF) of the Contract Review Process.
How long will the process take?
The complexity of the agreement usually determines how long the review process will take. For example:
- Independent Contractor agreements have been pre-approved by General Counsel, so review is usually completed within days.
- Contracts containing terms prohibited by the State of Ohio must be negotiated, in order to remove those terms. The length of the negotiation depends, largely, upon the number of terms being negotiated and the responsiveness of the other party. Other terms are required by the State and cannot be negotiated. See General Counsel's web page for more information.
- Agreements involving an IT purchase (e.g., software purchases or web-based services requiring IT support) require review by Information Technology Services (ITS). Please see Understanding the Evaluation Process and Conditions for Use of Campus Computing Resources.
What is typical? It is recommended that contracts be submitted for review as early as possible, especially between July 1 and the first day of Fall Semester, but no later than two weeks prior to the desired start date. Complex agreements with major companies will, more than likely, take even longer. Be sure to allow plenty of time.
What can I do to help speed up the process?
- Use a pre-approved template whenever possible, and be sure all requested information is provided and is accurate.
- Complete the Contract Intake Form with as much detail as possible. Also, be sure all contact information is provided and is accurate. This helps prevent follow-up emails, seeking clarification.
- Consult with ITS during the early planning stages for new IT purchases or agreements that involve online, hosted websites. That allows questions to be answered before the contract review process even begins.
- Consult with Facilities’ staff when planning large equipment purchases to determine if electrical, water, or other building accommodations are necessary, prior to installation.
- Submit all contracts and forms as individual PDF or Word documents, rather than scanning them into a single PDF file.
- Submit your contract as early as possible, especially between July 1 and the first day of Fall Semester, but no later than two weeks prior to the start date. Complex agreements with major companies will, more than likely, take even longer.
- Timing is important! Performance of the contract may not begin until the agreement has been signed by all authorized parties (PDF). Obtaining the appropriate signatures is part of the Contract Review Process. Be sure to allow enough time. (See Policy 5.27 Signature Authority for Contracts (PDF) and Procedure 5.27 Signature Authorization (PDF) for details.)
- A copy of the fully executed contract will be returned to the office initiating the agreement and to the other party.
- Administration of contract obligations falls to the department.
- Original, signed contracts are housed in Contracts Services.
- Contracts with renewal dates are entered into SSU’s contract repository, and the system notifies departments of important dates (e.g., renewal, termination).
- Disputes that arise after a contract is signed should be reported immediately to the appropriate division administrator and to Contracts Management, who will work with the Office of General Counsel to resolve the issue.
Whom should I contact if I have questions?
Contract status updates:
Office of General Counsel