Contracts at MSJC
All outside professional services and/or any other purchase or activity that requires a signature on behalf of the District needs to follow the contract process. Often these purchases include a scope of work with pertinent information such as description of services, dates of services, start and end dates, and a total cost or hourly rates.
Contracts can also be called agreements, services agreements, a memorandum of understanding (MOU), affiliation agreements, estimates, registration forms, proposals, registrations, revenue agreement, hold harmless (indemnification), or even applications. Generally, any document that includes terms of service, indemnification, start/end dates, and/or requires a signature in order to complete a purchase or move forward with a service is considered a contract.
Tips to assure a smooth contract process:
1. Allow enough time! Contracts must be signed prior to services being rendered, so plan ahead to allow ample processing time. The entire contracts process takes at minimum several weeks to complete, often longer. During certain times of the year when many departments are gearing up for the start of the school year or for a new semester, processing time can increase significantly.
2. Be thorough and descriptive! Provide as much detail as possible for the requested contract, such as:
- Full vendor contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail)
- Detailed description of what the service/item is and what it is for
- Starting and ending dates
- Obtain approvals from your Dean and VP BEFORE sending the request to Business Services
- Please send requests to Business Services e-mail address only when you have all contract information ready to go. Copying Business Services on e-mails before you have complete information can slow the process down significantly as each e-mail needs to be reviewed.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you are unsure if something should be a contract or not, are unclear of the process, or if you have any questions about contracts, please contact the Contracts Coordinator. We are here to help!
Frequently asked questions:
Who can sign contracts?
Per MSJC Board policy, contract signing authority has been assigned to the Vice President of Business Services. Regardless of the type of contract/agreement, even if no cost is involved, no other staff or faculty are authorized to sign contracts/agreements on behalf of MSJC.
Where do I find the contracts process?
MSJC employees may find the most up-to-date contract templates and forms on SharePoint
How long does the contract process take?
Please allow a minimum of 2-3 weeks for your request to go through the contracts process. During certain times of the year, this estimate could be longer. Keep in mind that there is one Contracts Coordinator and many departments who request contracts.
How do I know where my contract is in the process?
Please view the Smartsheet or Contract Tracking Excel spreadsheet. They can be found in the respective folders for each fiscal year on SharePoint.
Is my request really a contract?
If the expense is for a service (either one-time or ongoing), if there are any “terms” noted on an invoice, estimate, or proposal, if MSJC has to agree to something in order to move ahead, then it is most likely a contract. If you have any questions or need help determining this, please contact the Contracts Coordinator.
When does the vendor get paid?
Per the typical contract language, vendors are paid after services are rendered, upon invoicing the District. Invoices are generally paid net 30 days from invoice date. The District does not pre-pay for services. However, a deposit may be arranged. Please work with the Contracts Coordinator if special payment arrangements are required (this should be the exception, not the rule).
Questions or suggestions?
If you have any questions about the contracts processor have other questions or suggestions, please contact the Contracts Coordinator at BusinessServices@MSJC.edu.