Agreements with other domestic entities
Academic units at VCU form agreements and partnerships to leverage resources and expand educational opportunity for students, among other reasons. The Office of the Provost is available to provide a consultation regarding agreements when the appropriate routing process is unclear.
Types of agreements
Domestic agreements can include but are not limited to the following. Academic units should consult with the Office of the Provost on agreements not contained in this list and when the appropriate review and approval process is unknown.
A non-binding “handshake” agreement of a ceremonial nature between VCU and a partner institution. Agreement terms range from one to three years, renewable. (Development timetable: ~one month)
Agreement that facilitates student clinical placements. Clinical affiliation agreements can be executed on VCU’s approved template or on a non-standard template that goes through additional reviews and approvals. Agreement terms range from one semester to five years, renewable. (Development timetable: ~one month, or longer for nonstandard templates)
Agreement that allows students to pursue study in a VCU academic program and an academic program at another institution, and receive two separate program completion credentials. Agreement terms are for three years, renewable. (Development timetable: ~18 months to three years)
Agreement between VCU and a high school or school district authorizing the delivery of VCU courses at the high school for which students receive high school and college credit. Agreement terms are for one academic year. (Development timetable: ~18 months to two years)
Agreement to engage in revenue-generating activities. Agreement terms vary. (Development timetable: varies)
VCU's Transfer Center works with the Virginia Community College System and Richard Bland College to establish pathways for transfer students in a variety of academic programs.
Process for executing agreements
The specific process for executing agreements varies according to the agreement type. In general, agreements that are routed from academic units through academic affairs include these steps:
The purpose of this meeting is to review a series of questions to determine the terms of the agreement and next steps. Agreements that should be routed through academic affairs proceed to step two. Other agreements will be routed to the appropriate university unit(s).
The next step is to develop the agreement and to conduct all required reviews leading to a final agreement. The duration of this step can vary from one month to multiple years. Unless otherwise specified during the discovery meeting, academic affairs liaises to complete the required review. A review may include but not be limited to any of the following:
- Legal (i.e., University Counsel and the partner legal unit)
- SCHEV and SACSCOC implications
- Enrollment and financial aid implications
- Curriculum development, review and approval
- Budget implications
After the agreement language is finalized, academic affairs coordinates the signature process with the support of the VCU academic units. Copies are provided and an archive is maintained.
No VCU employee should sign an agreement without a written memo granting them authority to do so. Email or verbal permission is insufficient. Per the VCU delegation of signatory authority policy: Unless specifically authorized by this policy or a properly written delegation of signatory authority, no VCU employee may enter into an agreement that purports to bind the university. Any agreement executed with terms that exceed the authority of the individual signing or that of the university is void according to Virginia law and shall not bind the university. In such cases, the employee exceeding their authority, whether also signing or not, may be personally liable for the agreement’s contents and obligations.
No activity associated with an agreement should be promised or begin until this process is complete. Failure to comply with this requirement places the university at risk and can have significant negative implications.
Renewal and termination
For agreements that contain renewal terms, the renewal process should begin at least three to six months before expiration. For agreements routed through academic affairs, units should contact academic affairs to initiate the renewal process accordingly.
Agreements to be terminated must follow the termination process outlined in the agreement. Agreements that are terminated or not renewed should be handled according to the appropriate records management policy.
Please direct questions to Andrew Arroyo, Ed.D., assistant vice provost for academic programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.