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University Contracting

Collaborative Purchasing:

Suzanne Williamson is the attorney liaison to the University Purchasing Directors and Contract Specialists for Construction. If you require approval for a collaborative purchasing opportunity, you should contact Ms. Williamson at or 717-720-4070. Prior to any approval, you must obtain background proving that the entity is a public procurement unit, a copy of the advertisement, a copy of the bid/proposal and a copy of the contract.

Status of a Contract:

If you need the approval status of a submitted contract, click on this link and click the "+" sign beside your University.  If you are unable to locate your contract, you may contact Jocie Winterborne at 717-720-4030.

Procurement-Goods & Services

The procuring of goods, services and construction by PASSHE is dictated by Act 188 of 1982 and the Commonwealth Procurement Code (also known as the Procurement Code or Act 57). The purpose of the Procurement Code is to ensure that purchases made by PASSHE and other Commonwealth agencies are in accordance with a best business practice that is achieved by securing contracts that are awarded to the lowest, responsible bidder. Although exceptions do exist for sole source and emergency procurements, strict compliance to the Procurement Code by having an open competitive process is a necessity. The "links" in this section will assist you with meeting the Procurement Code's obligations in contract preparation. (To see which documents require legal approval, click here.)

Agreements for services can also be between Commonwealth Agencies which are not contracts but Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). Within PASSHE, arrangements for services can also exist which are memorialized in Letters of Understandings (LOU). Although MOUs and LOUs are not contracts, they still require specific language, form and legal approvals.

Should you have any questions on contracting and procurement, you should contact your University Legal Counsel who can instruct you in order to achieve a document that will meet the necessary approvals as to form and legality.

Academic Agreements

Academic agreements can take various forms. Affiliation agreements document the relationship between a university and a placement site that is hosting a student for purposes of an internship, externship, student teaching or any other academic experience. Affiliation agreements are as varied as the potential sites: hospitals, classrooms, state and federal agencies, clinics and professional firms. What is the same for every situation is that a student should not be placed until an agreement is in place. Articulation Agreements memorialize agreements between two academic institutions generally pertaining to degree programs.

To facilitate the drafting of these agreements, a handbook is available for your use. Templates are also availble that can be readily adapted for almost any placement scenario.

Grant Contracts

Grants are contracts. Any document that contains promises of performance that are accepted in exchange for consideration, whether it be monetary or not, is a contract. Every time a grant application is filed, the University is promising to perform certain obligations in exchange for the payment of grant monies. Upon receipt of the award letter, acceptance of that promise occurs. The critical step throughout this process is to ensure that whatever instrument is deemed the “contract” memorializes the relationship in accordance with all of the laws of the Commonwealth.

To assist you with the grant contract process, the Office of University Legal Counsel has developed a manual that broadly touches upon basic legal issues that could impact the grant contracting process.

In that grants are contracts, the most fundamental concept to remember is that the grant agreement requires the review and signature of university legal counsel.