Contract Management

Contract Management is a department within Procurement Services that oversees the review and execution of all contracts, including independent contractor agreements, and other financial documents requiring a college official’s signature.

Departments that need a document reviewed for signature should complete the contract approval form and email it, as well as the proposed contract and any accompanying documents, to Please allow up to two weeks for completion, depending on the complexity and risk associated with the submitted contract.

Procurement Services will engage General Counsel, Information Technology Services, Marketing & Communicatrions, Risk Management, Human Resources, the Budget Office and other relevant departments as part of the review process for appropriate approvals. When ready, the appropriate authority will sign contracts and return via email.

Note that, per RISD's bylaws, the president and the SVP/treasurer have authorization to delegate authority to legally bind the institution. Please refer to the contract signature delegation matrix to identify the appropriate authority to sign/execute legal agreements on RISD’s behalf. RISD is not obligated to honor business-related documents signed by any unauthorized employee.

Contract Management process and forms

Procurement Services is responsible for reviewing and approving contracts for the purchase of goods and services prior to execution by the appropriate authority. All proposed agreements are reviewed for terms and conditions, insurance requirements, the scope of work, the suggested vendor and pricing. As necessary, this process also engages other departments with specific potential concerns, including General Counsel, Information Technology Services, the Media Group, Risk Management, Human Resources, the Budget Office and others.

The department seeking to enter into a contract with a supplier must complete the official contract approval form. Send it and attached documents to The lead time for contract review is two weeks. Departments should plan appropriately for the review.

The business owner sending the proposed agreement for review has the primary responsibility to ensure that the below items are accurately depicted and meet RISD’s needs. This is particularly important as the business owner will manage contracts directly after execution. All contracts must:

    • clearly, accurately and sufficiently reflect all negotiated terms.
    • align with the institution’s programmatic and strategic mission.
    • not generate any institutional conflicts of interest.
    • not have negative, long-term consequences.
    • not include a provision for assumption of sales tax by the institution.
    • understand that the use of RISD’s name, logo or other marks by the contracting authority are subject to the express approval of RISD.
    • acknowledge that legal liability and assumption of risk provisions are favorable to RISD.
    • indicate that the contracting authority will secure and maintain sufficient insurance.
    • guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to meet the obligations of the contract, if applicable.
    • be reviewed and approved by Procurement Services if applicable per Procurement procedures.
  • Upon receipt of the proposed agreement for the purchase of goods and/or services, Procurement will conduct a business review of the terms of the proposed agreement in accordance with its policies and procedures.

    Upon completion of the applicable Procurement business review, the General Counsel’s office will conduct a legal review of all non-template agreements prior to any execution on behalf of RISD by an authorized signatory, unless a contract is in a previously approved, standard template form.

    Approved, unaltered contract templates represent RISD’s legal review. Therefore, additional legal review by General Counsel is unnecessary for unaltered templates. The applicable signatory may sign an unaltered template after Procurement completes the business review.

    Following completion of applicable reviews, proposed contracts must be executed by the designated signatories detailed in the contract signature delegation matrix. Contracts signed without appropriate review and/or authorized signatures do not bind the institution.

    For more information, consult RISD’s official policy document for delegation of authority for executing and approving contracts.