A contract is an agreement between two parties and it's a good business practice to reduce the agreement to writing. At the very least, the contract should contain these essential elements:
- the responsibilities of each party, in clear detail
- the period of time the contract is to be in effect
- the amount of payment
- and the terms of payment.
Some thought should be given to whether any liability issues need to be added. In preparing grant contracts, special consideration should be given to clauses which protect intellectual property.
The university cannot agree to indemnify another party. As an entity of the state, indemnification by the state is prohibited by law. Additionally, consideration should be given as to whether the other party should provide insurance coverage.
Learn more on Procurement and Business Services' Contract Management webpage.
University policy 1.4 states contracts may require approval by the SFA Board of Regents.
Contracts for grants and sponsored programs must be coordinated by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for routing.
It is the responsibility of the originating department to maintain a fully executed copy of all contracts.
All contracts using a university-approved template must use the most current version of that template. Any contracts using a prior version will be returned to the originating department, unsigned, by the Office of the General Counsel.
This agreement should be used in connection with obtaining field instruction facilities for students.
Departments should consult with the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management regarding liability insurance coverage for students participating in field practicums. Students who are placed in field practicum programs which require liability insurance for placement should be given appropriate information for obtaining such insurance through professional associations or appropriate arrangements should be made through the practicum course so that the course fees may be used to help procure such insurance.
This agreement should be used with other educational institutions for the transfer of completed courses to SFA.
Charter Bus Contract
The annual charter bus contract is to be used on an annual basis with charter bus companies with whom the university may contract. A signed annual charter bus contract will eliminate the need to submit a new contract each time services are needed. If entering into an agreement with a Broker, please use the charter bus/broker contract.
If it is only necessary to use the services of the charter bus company once in the fiscal year, the single use charter bus contract may be used. A document containing the details of the trip should be attached to this contract as "Attachment A". This document may be provided by the charter bus company.
Facilities Use Agreement
The use of university facilities by external users is governed by university policy 16.33. Facilities may not be used for private commercial gain.
The Facilities Use Agreement should be used any time an external party or group uses a university facility. This includes but is not limited to meetings, luncheons, day conferences, recreational activities and lock-ins. A separate agreement is maintained for use of the small meeting spaces in the Baker Pattillo Student Center, camps and conferences where attendees reside in the university's housing facilities, and for rentals of the Johnson Coliseum for concerts.
Certain events will require the external party to provide proof of insurance, with the university named as an additional insured. Section 15 of the Facilities Use Agreement has a box that must be marked with the appropriate designation. Insurance is required for any event that is deemed high-risk to the university. This includes but is not limited to rental of the campus recreational facility (excluding use of its meeting room) or other outdoor pursuit activities and overnight activities. Meetings, luncheons and weddings will ordinarily not require proof of insurance. School districts and government agencies may self-insure and should affirm this fact in the agreement.
Any questions regarding the contracting process should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel. Any questions concerning insurance should be directed to General Counsel or the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management.
Interagency Cooperation Agreement
This contract is only to be used for contracts with other state agencies.
This contract is only to be used for contracts with local government entities.
International Cooperation Agreements
There are currently two forms that can be used to establish a relationship between the university and an international educational institution.
The General Academic Cooperation Agreement should be used to establish a generic relationship between the two institutions.
The Memorandum of Understanding can then be used to further outline the specifics of the agreement, for example the details of student and faculty exchanges.
Major Consulting Contract Request
To be used for consulting contracts for which it is reasonably foreseeable the value of the contract will exceed $25,000. View university policy 17.1 for full details.
The following procedure should be followed in order to comply with statutory requirements:
At least 60 days prior to entering a major consulting contract:
- The Major Consulting Contract Request Form should be completed and forwarded to General Counsel.
- The form provides the necessary information for a finding by the president.
- The justification for the contract needs to be substantial.
- The information will be provided by General Counsel to the president for approval and finding.
At least 30 days prior to entering into a major consulting contract:
- An invitation for consultants to provide offers will be published in the Texas Register by General Counsel.
When the contract is executed:
- The department should forward a fully executed copy to General Counsel so that a notice can be published in the Texas Register.
When the contract has been completed:
- Copies of any report or other deliverable generated, if any, and to the extent required by statute, will be forwarded to the Texas State Library.
Off-Campus Facilities Contract Addendum
This addendum is to be used in conjunction with contracts for short-term and long-term lease of off-campus facilities. It is required for General Counsel approval of any facilities lease agreement.
This contract may be used for presenters, artists, guest lecturers, consultants, some professional services and other general services to be provided to the university.
You must first determine whether an individual should be hired as a contractor or an employee. Appendix E of the Texas Workforce Commission Independent Contractor Test may be helpful in making this determination. Contact General Counsel or the Department of Human Resources for further assistance.
Professional and consulting services
Professional services require special attention and include those services listed in university policy 17.1 (accounting, architecture, landscape architecture, land surveying, medicine, optometry, professional engineering, real estate appraising and professional nursing). Consulting services are those that involve studying of or advising the university and additional rules must be followed if it is reasonably foreseeable that the value of the contract will exceed $25,000. This includes individual contracts for that amount and cumulative amount of recurrent contracts with the same individual for same or similar services.
Upon submittal of an offer by a private consultant to provide consulting services to the university, any officer or employee shall report to the president within 10 days of receipt of the offer:
- any financial interest that the officer or employee has in the private consultant
- or any financial interest in the private consultant of anyone related to the officer or employee within the second degree by consanguinity or affinity as determined under Texas Government Code Chapter 573.
Visit the Major Consulting Contract Request section for detailed instructions regarding how to initiate a major consulting services contract.
Limitations on contracts with previous employees or retirees
No state funds may be used to compensate an individual who has been previously employed by the university within the past twelve months under any consulting, professional, or employment contract. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "employment services" shall include a personal services contract regardless of whether the performance of such a contract involves the traditional relationship of employer and employee.
Non-appropriated funds could be used under the following conditions: a cover memo should be attached to the contract for approval and signature routing which contains the following information:
- the job the consultant previously held while employed by the university
- the consultant's salary while employed by the university
- the consultant's dates of employment with the university
- and the source of the funds to be used in paying the contract.
Contractor employed with another state agency or TRS-eligible institution:
You must also determine whether it is appropriate, under state law, for an honorarium to be paid to that contractor who is employed by a state agency and whether retirement should be paid.
The following links will helpful in making those determinations:
- Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 173
- Texas Constitution Article 16 Section 40
- and TRS Compensation Rules, Chapter 25, Section 25.21(d).
To avoid duplication of payment and auditor inquiries, remind the contractor employed by a state agency that caution should be used regarding taking vacation or other leave time from the other agency for the period of time they are performing the service for SFA. Duplication of reimbursement for travel expenses also should be avoided.
Contracts with individuals from other countries
When contracting with individuals who are not citizens of the United States, a copy of the individual's visa must be attached to the contract. There are restrictions on the payment of such individuals. Contact the General Counsel with any questions.
Standard Contract Addendum
The Standard Contract Addendum should be used where a vendor provides a contract containing terms and conditions. The addendum is attached to the vendor’s documents and is incorporated by reference into the contract.
Any contracts provided by a vendor that do not utilize a form approved by General Counsel or have not been negotiated with involvement by General Counsel must contain the university's Standard Contract Addendum. This form is necessary in order to comply with applicable law.
Waiver of Liability
The Acknowledgment of Risk, Release and Indemnification Agreement should be completed prior to the start of the event/activity. Insert the name of the event/activity in the first line in the fillable field. Contact General Counsel for questions regarding this form.