Contracts and Leases

The Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration is responsible for campus review of all contracts with the following exceptions:

  1. Contracts related to the application for or awarding of a grant are handled in the Office of Research Services.
  2. Contracts related to gifts are handled in External Relations and Constituent Engagement.
  3. Contracts related to construction projects are handled in Campus Facilities Management and Procurement.
  4. Contracts related to the purchase of tangible goods are handled in Procurement.


Departmental representatives should always check with the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration before signing contracts.


  • Forms should be completed in full (with as much specificity as possible), printed out and signed by the other party first.
  • The contract should then be sent to the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration for execution on behalf of the university. Finance and Administration will retain one copy and return a copy to the department.
  • When processing a payment, attach a photocopy of the fully signed agreement to the Non-PO voucher before sending it to the Accounts Payable (AP) Shared Services Center.
  • Contracts for services costing $500 or less do not require a formal signed agreement and may be handled within the department on the basis of a letter agreement, honorarium agreement or email exchange with the other party.
  • AP Shared Services does not require backup documentation for such a transaction. However, the purpose of the payment, including pertinent details such as dates of service, etc., should be clearly spelled out on the face of the voucher.

Review and approval

The Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration reviews contracts and coordinates with the UM General Counsel's Office when necessary to resolve issues. Any contracts handled by Finance and Administration are centrally archived.

Signature authority on contracts is reserved for the Chancellor, or those to whom the Chancellor has specifically delegated signature authority. For contracts handled through Finance and Administration, the Vice Chancellor, and in most cases, the Assistant to the Vice Chancellor have been delegated signature authority. Any other signature is considered invalid unless a specific delegation of signature authority has been received from the Chancellor in writing.

Contract types

Appearance Agreement

This form is used for a very short-term, one- or two-day appearance for the purposes of giving a lecture, presenting a seminar, facilitating a meeting, etc. Speaker Lecturer Agreement (PDF)

Performance Agreement

This form is used for musical, theatrical or other artistic performances. Performance Agreement (PDF)

Consulting Agreement

This form is used for contracts with individuals offering personal services of a duration longer than two days.

  1. Read the Consulting Agreement Procedures (PDF).
  2. In order to determine if the consultant is, in fact, an independent contractor and not someone who should be placed on the University payroll due to the nature or duration of the work being performed, complete the Independent Contractor Classification Checklist (PDF).
  3. Complete the Consulting Agreement form (PDF).
  4. Submit the Checklist and Consultant Agreement to the contracts office.

Special Considerations

Special care should be taken when evaluating whether or not a present or former employee of the university should be hired as an independent contractor. Present and recent former university employees should usually be paid as employees.

According to IRS guidelines, a continuing relationship is one indication of an employee/employer relationship. In addition, any employment of present and former university employees as independent contractors should be evaluated carefully for other indications of employee status. In this situation, employee status might be required due to:

  • The worker being previously paid as an employee to perform essentially the same type of work.
  • Other workers being paid on an employee basis to perform similar tasks.

Common Errors

The following are the most common errors made in drafting and processing contracts.

  • Ex post facto contracts: "Ex posto facto" means "after the fact." All contracts should be prepared, reviewed and executed BEFORE the work is commenced or the event occurs.
  • Lack of specificity: It is imperative to completely describe the work to be done. This allows for much easier resolution of any disputes and provides a basis for evaluation of the quality of services provided.
  • Failure to attach needed backup: If supporting documentation is needed or referenced (classification checklist, vita, exhibits or addendums), make sure it is attached to the contracts when submitted.
  • Signatures on the wrong line: Make sure that the other party knows where to sign.
  • Failure to have PI sign on a consulting agreement to be paid from grant funds: The principal investigator (PI) of the grant should sign where indicated on any consulting agreement where the consultant is being paid from grant funds. By signing, the PI verifies that the expenditures are in accordance with the terms of the grant.
  • Failure to have sufficient number of copies signed: At least two, and preferably three, originals should be signed by the other party and submitted to Colin Gage for processing. Finance and Administration will retain one original and return two to the department (one for departmental records and one to be given to the other party).

Leases/Facilities Use Agreements

All leases of real property are handled through Finance and Administration. Leases must be reviewed and approved by the UM General Counsel. In certain cases, leases need additional approval from the Board of Curators.

Short-term use agreements, such as hotel contracts, facilities use licenses, etc., should be directed to Finance and Administration for review and execution. As with contracts, signature authority rests only with the Chancellor or those to whom the Chancellor has specifically delegated signature authority.

Finance and Administration also prepares Facilities Use Agreements with outside entities seeking to use UMKC facilities (other than the University Center) for their events.

Contact Us


Administrative Center
5115 Oak St., Room 333
Kansas City, MO 64112