Financial Policies

FN11 Contracts and Leases

Policy Status: 


Policy Steward: 

Associate Vice President for Finance


  • Purpose
  • Scope and Authority
  • Limited Delegation of Signature Authority
  • Further Information
  • Cross References

    To state the authority for signing contractual documents which include, but are not limited to: agreements, contracts, leases (for real estate or equipment), construction documents, entertainment industry contracts, academic affiliation and research collaboration agreements, and agreements for the utilization of non-Penn State property.


    Except as stated under LIMITED DELEGATION OF SIGNATURE AUTHORITY below, all contractual documents, must be signed by one of the following University officials as authorized by the Board of Trustees to contractually bind the University:

    President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer (Board Officers), and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business, and the Corporate Controller (University Officers). In addition, for all agreements and contracts related to the affairs of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, the Associate Vice President for Finance and Corporate Controller, and in his/her absence, the Associate Controller.


    As expressly authorized by the Board of Trustees, the Treasurer, or in his/her absence, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business may delegate in writing to such employees of the Corporation as they may deem appropriate, the authority to execute and acknowledge on behalf of the University's standardized agreements and contracts for which those employees have administrative responsibility. These delegations (except for the Milton S.Hershey Medical Center) are detailed in Financial Guideline #2.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Corporate Controller.


    • FNG02 - Limited Delegation of Contract Approvals

    Most recent changes:

    • September 2, 2022 - Editorial change to change Policy Steward from Associate Vice President for Finance and Corporate Controller to Associate Vice President for Finance.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • November 8, 2018 - Subject Matter Expert added.
    • September 13, 2018 - Editorial changes to add Cross References section and to remove redundant Date Approved, Date Published, and Effective Date information.
    • June 26, 2014 - Editorial changes. In SCOPE AND AUTHORITY section, first sentence of paragraph #2, changed the reference from "Corporate Controller" to "Associate Vice President for Finance and Corporate Controller." In the last sentence of paragraph #2, changed "Assistant Controller" to "Associate Controller."
    • September 25, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
    • October 22, 2001 - Deleted Associate Treasurer from SCOPE AND AUTHORITY section.
    • February 9, 1998 - Under Scope and Authority, 'Associate Vice President for Health Finance and Controller' changed to 'Associate Vice President for Finance and Business and Controller.'
    • August 11, 1997 - Under Scope and Authority, Hershey's 'Assistant Controller' replaces 'Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, University Hospital.'
    • January 12, 1996 -
      • 'Vice President for Finance' changed to 'Senior Vice President for Finance and Business.'
      • Added provision for the Treasurer, or in his/her absence, theSenior Vice President for Finance and Business, to delegate in writing to employees authority to execute and acknowledge standardized agreements.
    • March 29, 1994 - Reorganization of policy, and added Guideline #2 for delegated authority.
    • May 26, 1992 -
      • Changed the Associate Vice President for Finance, and theCorporate Controller from 'officers of the Corporation' to 'officers of the University.'
      • Added provisions for contracts and sub-contracts for sponsored(e.g., research) funds.
      • Added special provision for equipment lease agreements containing a clause indicating Penn State will comply with IRS information reporting requirements.
    • July 18, 1991 - Added Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, and the Corporate Controller to the list of corporation officers; Deleted as officials of the University the Assistant Vice President for Operations and Services, and the Associate Vice President for Administration and Operations at Hershey.
    • March 12, 1991 - Eliminated ASA/SGA funding restriction for University Master Entertainment Form under the Entertainment Industry Contracts provision.
    • June 30, 1990 - Under Common Contractual Documents, the dollar amount applicable to equipment leases, maintenance agreements, or for the purchase of supplies, equipment or other tangible goods, was changed from $50,000 to $25,000.
    • May 14, 1990 - New Policy derived from Policy PC12.

    Date Approved: 

    October 22, 2001

    Date Published: 

    October 22, 2001

    Effective Date: 

    October 22, 2001