Regent Policy Documents

SECTION 13: CONTRACTS

13-2 REAL PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT SIGNATURE AUTHORITY AND APPROVAL

(Formerly 93-1)

Scope

This policy addresses official authorization to sign real property and construction-related contracts on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

The policy applies to all documents related to conveyances of real property or other real property transactions including, but not limited to, purchases, sales, trades, and gifts of real property; easements; and leases of real property to be occupied by the Board.

The policy also applies to all construction-related contracts and change orders within the budgets that have been specifically approved by the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission.    

The policy does not apply to contracts not affecting real property.  Signature authority for those contracts is covered in Regent Policy Document 13-1, General Contract Signature Authority, Approval, and Reporting Requirements.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that individuals signing real property and construction-related contracts that bind the Board of Regents of the UW System and UW System institutions are duly authorized to sign on behalf of, commit, and represent the Board of Regents.

Policy Statement

Through this policy, the Board of Regents recognizes that the efficient operation of the UW System depends on the UW System’s and UW institutions’ ability to conduct business transactions in an efficient manner.  Therefore, the Board of Regents delegates certain contracting authority and other responsibilities to designated university officials.    

Individuals authorized to sign contracts under this policy are expected to have the necessary information and expertise to fully understand the implications of making such commitments.  In addition, persons with this authority are expected to perform appropriate due diligence activities to ensure that any attendant liabilities are identified and can be effectively managed.

Delegation of Authority – Real Property Transactions

The Board of Regents authorizes the Secretary of Board of Regents and the President of the University of Wisconsin System to sign real property-related contracts that bind the Board of Regents and/or UW System institutions:

In addition, the Board of Regents delegates to the President of the University of Wisconsin System the following responsibilities:

  1. Authority to approve land transactions within the campus boundaries, including purchases, trades, gifts, and the sale of lands that have been declared surplus by the Board of Regents.

  2. Authority to negotiate and pay all assessable improvements charges levied by municipalities.  For charges over $50,000, this authority is subject to the provisions of ss. 66.0703(6) and 66.0705(2), Wis. Stats.

  3. Authority to undertake leases of real property to be occupied by the Board, subject to State Department of Administration approval under ss. 16.84(5) and 36.11(1)(b), Wis. Stats.

The Board of Regents further authorizes the President of the University of Wisconsin System to delegate these responsibilities to other UW System Administration officials deemed to have the requisite knowledge, judgment, and operational need to exercise such authority.  Any such delegations must be made in writing, filed in the Office of the President of the University of Wisconsin System and be reviewed periodically by the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit to ensure that named individuals are current employees and are exercising their authority appropriately.  Individuals should be delegated signature authority only for the specific documents, or types of documents needed to allow them to efficiently and effectively perform the responsibilities of their position.

Delegation of Authority – Construction Contract Activity

All construction contract activity, except as noted below, is initiated and managed by the State Department of Administration Division of State Facilities.  Signature authority for these contracts rests with that agency.

Exception:  Projects under $500,000 which are funded entirely with the proceeds of gifts or grants made to the UW System are treated differently.  Contract signature authority for these projects rests with the UW System President or his/her designee or the Chancellor or his/her designee of the institution at which the project is located, if the project has been delegated.

Items Requiring Formal Approval by the Board of Regents
  1. All sales, trades, purchases, and gifts of real property which affect the boundaries of a campus require the review and approval of the Board of Regents.  Approval of the State Building Commission is also required for all sales and purchases of real property, pursuant to s. 36.11(1)(b), Wis. Stats.

  2. Gifts, grants, or bequests of real property with a value in excess of $150,000 or any gift, grant or bequest of a building or structure that is constructed for the benefit of the system or any institution thereof require the approval of the State Building Commission pursuant to s.13.48(2)(b)(1m), Wis. Stats.

  3. All capital construction projects require the review and approval of the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission.

  4. Leases which would permit a facility that would be privately owned or operated to be constructed on state-owned land require approval of the Board of Regents and the State Building Commission under s. 13.48(12), Wis. Stats.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The delegation of signature authority and other responsibilities set forth above allows considerable operational efficiency, but requires appropriate oversight and on-going diligence to ensure that the interests of the University are best served through the approaches implemented. 

In addition to oversight by the Office of the President, compliance with this policy and sound business practices will be assessed through periodic review by the UW System Office of Operations Review and Audit. 

Related RPDs and Applicable Laws

Regent Policy Document 13-1, General Contract Signature Authority, Approval, and Reporting Requirements
Section 13.48, Wis. Stats., Long-range public building program
Section 16.84(5), Wis. Stats., Real estate and physical plant management; protection of persons
Section 36.11(1), Wis. Stats., Protection of People; Custody and Management of Property
Section 36.11(55), Wis. Stats., Review of System Contracts with Research Companies
Section 946.13, Wis. Stats., Private interest in public contract prohibited

History: RPD 13-2 renumbered and created by Res. 10015 (2/10/2012), replaces:  (1) RPD 13-1 (formerly 72-2) created by Res. 91 (2/11/1972); (2) RPD 13-3 (formerly 93-1) created by Res. 8875 (6/10/2004) which amended Res. 8074 (2/10/2000), which rescinded Res. 7844 (2/5/1999), which rescinded Res. 7548 (9/5/1997), which rescinded 6314 (2/5/1993), which rescinded 6042 and RPD 92-2 (3/6/1992), which rescinded Res. 5945 and RPD 91-10 (11/8/1991), which rescinded Res. 2791 (4/8/1983) and RPD 83-2, which rescinded Res. 965 (3/7/1975) and RPD 75-2, which rescinded Res. 92 and RPD 72-2(a) (2/11/1972); (3) RPD 13-4 (formerly 96-5) created by Res. 8876 (6/10/2004) which amended Res. 7308 (10/11/1996); and (4) RPD 19-13 (formerly 94-3) created by Res. 6633 (3/11/1994).


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The Regent Policy Documents were adopted and are maintained pursuant to the policy-making authority vested in the Board of Regents by Wis. Stats. § 36. The Regent Policy Documents manifest significant policies approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This document is a ready reference for those charged with carrying out these policies. Unless noted otherwise, associated documents and reports may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, ph 608-262-2324. http://www.uwsa.edu/bor/policies/