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Division of Business and Finance

East Tennessee State University

FP-37 Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization

The purpose of this policy is to comply with Tennessee Board of Regents Policy 1:03:02:20 Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization by adopting a policy which formally enacts University procedures for delegation of authority/signature authorization.


This policy applies whenever a signature (including an electronic signature) is made on behalf of the University through a delegation of authority for any transaction with an external party that could create a financial liability or financial obligation: or obligate the University to provide resources, services, or goods; or for use of University properties. Examples include, but are not limited to, contracts, grants, purchase orders, and memorandums of understanding/agreement. No signature which is covered by this policy may be made without written delegation of authority as provided in Section III below. Any individual who signs in violation of this policy, without a written delegation, is subject to discipline and may be personally liable for the obligation created by his/her signature. 

Signatures required for internal University operations are not subject to this policy and are governed by other University policies/procedures. Examples of the exercise of authority outside the scope of this policy, which are subject to other University policies/procedures, include, but are not limited to, travel authorizations, grant applications, employment contracts, course overloads, student advising, and reductions in student course loads. For those internal operations that require a delegation of signature, the Request for Authorization of Signature should be used. This form can be found under Miscellaneous Forms on the Procedures page.

  • Delegations/authorizations must be in writing, with the level of authority, any restrictions on authority and the period of authority, if any, clearly noted.
  • Forms for delegation/authorization shall be in the format shown in Attachment 1 and must be signed by the president of the University in order to be in compliance with this policy.
  • Delegations shall run from the official holding authority to act, directly to the person exercising that authority. The principle is that the person holding authority should have direct knowledge of who within the University is exercising that authority on his/her behalf.
  • Personnel with delegated authority should be qualified to do so by training and experience. The person making delegation is responsible for ensuring that the person to whom authority is delegated is qualified and understands the application of the authority delegated.
  • The ramifications of exceeding or misapplying one’s delegated authority, as stated in the last paragraph of Section II above, should be clearly understood and uniformly enforced.
  • Periodic training should be provided to ensure persons with delegated authority have a clear, current understanding of their authority and its limitations.
Original effective date: August 11, 2014
Revised: August 11, 2014
Last review: August 11, 2014

Cross Reference: TBR Policy 1:03:02:20 Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization
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