Board of Regent Approval Process

Page Updated: September 22, 2022

Agreements Over $5,000,000

Agreement Processing:

Regent Policy Document (RPD) 13-1 requires that grants from and contracts with private, profit-making organizations with a value of more than $5 million require approval by the UW-Madison Chancellor and the UW System President prior to signing the grant or contract. In certain circumstances, either the UW-Madison Chancellor or the UW System President may require additional approvals, including that of the Board of Regents, prior to signing the grant or contract. Grants from and contracts with private, profit-making organizations with a value greater than $10 million require formal approval by the Board of Regents prior to signing the grant or contract. Incoming and outgoing subagreements passing through federal funding are exempt from these approval requirements.

To meet the requirements of RPD 13-1, RSP will work with campus to assess the value or estimated value of the agreement. This is done primarily through the completion of the VCFA Contract Submission Approval Sheet. To streamline the process of document completion and signatures, a DocuSign Form has been created for the VCFA Contract Submission Approval Sheet. This streamlined form is located here: VCFA DocuSign Form. Once there, RSP staff will work with the department to identify the names and email addresses of the individuals who will need to review and sign. These include:

  • The Department Administrator or Dean’s Office Representative
  • The PI
  • The College/School Chief Administrator
  • The Associate Dean of Research (or delegate)
Once the value of the agreement is determined and agreement negotiations are complete, RSP will send the needed documentation for any approval required per the approval chart below. Cumulative totals of Task/Work Orders under Master Agreements will be centrally tracked by RSP in conjunction with department.

Agreement Type Value RSP Submits Agreement Approval to:
Master Agreement Estimated value < $5,000,000 RSP Signs
Estimated total value >= $5,000,000 and < $10,000,000 Requires approval of Chancellor and UW System President.
Estimated total value >= $10,000,000 Requires Board of Regent Approval.
Task/Work Order under Existing Master Agreement (not yet approved by Board of Regents or Chancellor/UW System President) Adjusts Total Value of Master Agreement < $5,000,000 RSP Signs
Adjusts Total Value of Master Agreement to >= $5,000,000 and < $10,000,000 Requires approval of Chancellor and UW System President.
Total Value of Master Agreement now >= $10,000,000 Requires Board of Regent Approval.
Stand-Alone Agreements and Amendments/Mods therof Agreement value < $5,000,000 RSP Signs
Agreement value >= $5,000,000 and < $10,000,000 Requires approval of Chancellor and UW System President.
Agreement value >= $10,000,000 Requires Board of Regent Approval.

In order to ensure that research projects proceed without disruption, it is important to be mindful timelines for the above approvals. Grants or contracts that require Chancellor or President approval should be fully negotiated and ready for signature at least two (2) weeks before the anticipated project start date. Grants and contracts requiring Regents approval should be fully negotiated and ready for signature at least six (6) weeks before the anticipated project start date. Special attention should be given to ensure that extensions or amendments to existing agreements that will cause the cumulative value of the grants or contracts to exceed the $5m or $10m thresholds are fully negotiated and ready for signature well in advance so there is no interference with on-going projects.