The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama directs that only certain designated persons on each campus of the System are authorized to sign contracts and other documents on the System’s behalf. All contracts of The University of Alabama are technically in the name of the Board of Trustees because the University is not a separate legal entity capable of entering into contracts in its own name.
Therefore, all University contracts must be signed only by those persons authorized by Board of Trustees resolution to do so. Those persons are limited in number and include:
- Dr. Stuart R. Bell, President
- Matthew Fajack, Vice President for Financial Affairs and Treasurer
- Dr. Kevin Whitaker, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
- Dr. John C. Higginbotham, Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development
- Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Administration
- Julie Shelton, Associate Vice President for Finance
- Cynthia Hope, Assistant Vice President for Research, Director Office for Sponsored Programs
- Kevin Stevens, Director, Office of Procurement Services
- Dr. Adam Tate, Director of Budgets
Deans, directors, department chairs and persons in similar positions, and their staffs, DO NOT have authority to sign contracts on behalf of The University. A University employee without actual signature authority who nevertheless signs a contract obligating the University can be held personally liable for obligations incurred under the terms of the contract, including the payment of money.
In addition, a person who has been directed not to sign contracts but who continues to do so may be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. Signature authority is limited for reasons related to financial accounting, control of funds, and thorough and consistent review of contract terms.
Please note, contracts associated with areas internal to the University such as Crimson Catering, Bryant Conference Center, University Club, Gorgas House Museum, the Zone and others do not require an authorized signature and may be signed by the department chair or dean. This is the only exception in which departments can sign.
Contracts that are originated by senior administrators are subject to an internal, campus counter-signature process. The second signature should be from someone of sufficient authority, typically of equal or greater authority. For contracts originated by the President, the counter-signature would come from the Chancellor.