University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Board of Regents Governance

Standing Orders

Chapter 1

Delegation of Authority

1.  Authority of the Board

Under state law the Board of Regents has full control of the University and its property of various kinds. Any authority delegated by the Board shall always be subject to the ultimate authority of the Board. In retaining the ultimate authority over the University with which it is charged by law to exercise within constitutional and statutory limitations, the Board shall exercise the right of periodic review of any and all aspects of government of the University, the right to intervene and modify any rule, regulation, or executive order formulated by the President or the faculty, the right to amend or rescind any existing rule, regulation, or executive order, and the right to enact such rules, regulations, and orders as it deems proper for the government of the University.

2.  Government of the University

For the purpose of effecting the government of the University under and by the Board of Regents, the President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents in formulating, prescribing and issuing rules, regulations, and executive orders not inconsistent with the Bylaws, Standing Orders, Regent Policies, and other orders of the Board and applicable state law for the immediate government of the University. In carrying out these duties, the President or the President's designee shall consult the University faculty and may delegate in whole or in part the responsibility for formulating such rules, regulations, and executive orders to said faculty. It is not intended that such consultation or delegation shall remove from the President or the President's designee the authority and the responsibility vested in the President by the Board of Regents for such decisions, among others, as those concerning the utilization of available resources, organizational structure, and administrative personnel.

The channel of authority from the Board of Regents to the faculty, staff, and other officers and employees of the University shall be through the President of the University. All faculty, staff, and other officers and employees of the University shall, through appropriate channels, be responsible to the President of the University and through the President to the Board of Regents.

3.  Faculty, Classified Staff, and Professional Personnel

The President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents regarding all personnel and employment matters concerning academic personnel, classified staff, and professional personnel except the following: new appointments of the Provost, deans, chancellors, department chairs, directors of academic units, campus deans, associate deans, divisional deans, and vice chancellors; new appointments to the rank of professor, associate professor, and assistant professor (including with tenure, without tenure, research, and clinical dental pathway); new appointments of full-time lecturers, senior lecturers, artist in residence, senior artist in residence, and professor of practice; new appointments of visiting faculty in professorial ranks; appointments to endowed chairs, professorships, and deanships; policy changes in retirement, insurance, and other fringe benefit provisions; and initial collective bargaining agreements with representatives of newly certified bargaining units.

4.  Grant and Contract Awards

The President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents regarding all matters concerning grants and contracts for research, development, service, and training.

5.  Student Body

The President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents in the management of the student body and other matters incident thereto, including athletics, except the following: the establishment of written standards of student conduct and formal hearing procedures for student discipline.

6.  Execution of Instruments, Business Affairs, and Operations

  A. The Board of Regents is the University's governing board. The following instruments require the Board's approval:

    1) The naming of University buildings or outdoor areas in recognition of individuals or organizations.

    2) The appointment of external auditors; investment policy; and investment consultant(s).

    3) The use of University facilities by individuals or organizations for non-University events that would significantly affect normal campus activities or the surrounding community.

    4) Any instrument, prior to its execution, that the President or any Regent deems appropriate for regental consideration.

    5) The execution of any instruments where the anticipated cost or value to the University exceeds $15 million, including but not limited to instruments relating to real property (with the exception of the Metropolitan Tract), capital project budgets, single increases to approved capital project budgets when the increase is greater than 10 percent of the approved project budget, and acquisitions of goods and services. However, when the cost or value to the University exceeds $5 million and is less than $15 million, the President or the President's designee may approve and execute the instruments and report all such actions to the Board of Regents no less often than quarterly. When the ultimate aggregate cost to the University is not known in advance for instruments relating to the acquisition of goods or services on a continuing or intermittent basis (e.g. rental, service, or supply contracts where the use is likely to be isolated or likely to be used by a single unit such as a school, college, non-Seattle campus, or department), the amounts set forth in this paragraph shall be calculated on a per month basis calculated on the basis of a twelve-month period, based on historic usage if appropriate.

  B. The President, as chief executive officer of the University, or the President's designee, is authorized to act for the Board of Regents regarding the execution and administration of instruments and the general business and financial affairs of the University which occur in the usual course of business within the following limits.

The President or designee is authorized to execute the following regardless of cost or value, without reporting them to the Board unless otherwise specified below:

    1) The procurement of utility services, including easements;

    2) Subcontracts for collaborative research entered into in furtherance of sponsored research programs;

    3) The procurement of goods and services made by participating in contracts entered into by group purchasing organizations, including organizations for nonprofit cooperative hospitals, and those awarded by agencies of the state of Washington;

    4) The procurement of equipment and furnishings that are included in capital project budgets that have been authorized by the Board of Regents;

    5) The procurement of goods and services for sponsored research programs when the source of the goods or services is directed by the sponsor, or the sponsor retains title to the goods acquired, and contracts which include as a primary purpose or secondary effect of approved sponsored projects the acquisition or renovation of equipment or vessels;

    6) Contracted pricing agreements executed for campus-wide use, by which there is no commitment to buy, by which there is no exclusive use extended to a single vendor, and by which individual items such as consumable office or lab supplies are commodities well below the direct-buy limit and where prior approval thresholds are unlikely to be realized or isolated to a specific unit;

    7) The settlement of claims or lawsuits brought against the University;

    8) The procurement of property or casualty insurance, self-insurance, or any combination thereof;

    9) Management of the University’s enterprise risk management (ERM) program, with a schedule of regular reporting to the Board of Regents to be determined annually;

    10) The exercise of all membership rights as Sole Member in Portage Bay Insurance;

    11) Leases of real property and modifications thereto of up to 20 years when the University is the landlord, and leases, capital improvements and other management actions in the usual course of business on the Metropolitan Tract, provided lease terms do not exceed 20 years and capital expenditures are funded from portfolio revenue;

    12) Deferred gift assets;

    13) Real property acquired through gift or devise;

    14) Actions necessary to protect the University's interests and operations in response to an emergency situation;

    15) Actions and execution of documents necessary to establish legal entities, controlled by the University, through which the University can conduct itself in foreign countries;

    16) The selection of depositories;

    17) Purchases of information technology services, when the initial contract and funding plan have been approved by the Board of Regents, provided that these purchases are included in the quarterly report of actions taken under delegated authority; and

    18) The execution of all time-critical instruments and business affairs requiring action between scheduled Board of Regents meetings, provided, that the President of the University or the President's designee secures approval of the chair or vice chair of the appropriate standing committee and submits a report of any actions taken pursuant to this delegation to the Board of Regents at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

  The President is authorized to execute all other transactions up to a value or cost of $15 million, subject to reporting requirements as described above.

7.  Commencement of Legal Action

The President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents regarding all legal action necessary to protect the interests of the University: provided, that no litigation shall be instituted against a public entity or official or in exercise of the power of eminent domain without consultation with the Chair of the Board of Regents or, in the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair of the Board of Regents.

8.  Gift Evaluation and Acceptance

The Board of Regents of the University of Washington authorizes the President, or the President's designee, to accept all current and deferred gifts to the University, including gifts to establish quasi-endowed or permanently endowed funds.

  A. Not included in this delegation are the following:

    1) Gifts to the University of Washington Foundation, which shall continue to be accepted by the University of Washington Foundation in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement for Services between the University and the Foundation dated October 18, 1988 (as may be amended from time to time);

    2) Gifts that create obligations on the part of the University for expenditures or costs for which there is no established funding source;

    3) A gift requiring naming of a permanent University building; and

    4) Any other gift that the University President, the University Advancement Office, or any regent deems appropriate for regental consideration.

  B. Concurrence Required in Certain Gift Transactions

    1) The following types of gifts shall be accepted only upon the recommendation of the University Advancement Office:

      a) Current gifts of non-traditional investment assets, charitable lead trusts where the University is to act as trustee, bargain sale gifts of property, and partial interest gifts.

      b) Deferred gifts, if the University is to act as trustee or custodian of the deferred gift.

    2) Gifts of real estate, interests in real estate, or gifts of debt instruments secured by real estate shall be accepted only with the concurrence of the Real Estate Office, the University Advancement Office, and, in legal matters pertaining to the evaluation and administration of gift real property, the Office of the Attorney General, or a Special Assistant Attorney General appointed thereby. The Real Estate Office shall determine in each such case whether a hazardous waste inquiry or other due diligence is required, and the scope and extent of such inquiry. The Real Estate Office, in consultation with the University Advancement Office, shall establish further policies and procedures regarding evaluation of gifts of real estate, as may be necessary or desirable from time to time.

    3) Gift credit for discounted purchases shall be awarded only upon the recommendation of the dean or director of the recipient unit and the University Advancement Office, and the concurrence of the University President or the President's designee.

    4) Any gift with unusual terms or conditions affecting an academic program shall be accepted only with the concurrence of the Provost, or the Provost's designee, to the proposed terms or conditions.

  C. Use of Legal Counsel

The University President shall, when appropriate, engage the Attorney General, or a Special Assistant Attorney General appointed thereby, in legal matters pertaining to the University Advancement Program. The University Advancement Office shall assist the University President in evaluating technical considerations regarding gift acceptance, and shall advise the Treasury staff of potential fiduciary concerns affecting the administration of charitable trusts and life income gifts.

All written agreements substantially shall follow the format of the specimen gift agreements approved by the Office of the Attorney General. Because the University does not provide legal advice to prospective donors, all prospective donors shall be urged to seek their own legal counsel in matters relating to their gift planning, taxes, and estate planning.

  D. Negotiation of Planned Gifts

The University Advancement Office is authorized to negotiate with prospective donors regarding the terms of lead trusts, partial interest gifts, bargain sale gifts, gifts of non-traditional investment assets, and deferred gifts benefiting the University, following program guidelines and prototype agreements approved by the Office of the Attorney General. Where appropriate, they shall consult with the Real Estate Office in negotiating such gifts.

9.  Disposition of Gifts

The proceeds of any gift, devise, bequest, or contribution received by the University shall be administered in accordance with the intention of the donor and any directions of the Board of Regents in accepting the gift. The President of the University or the President's designee is authorized to act for the Board of Regents regarding:

  A. The disposition of gifts; and

  B. The expenditure of the accumulated and current income of the Walker-Ames Fund in accordance with the terms of the resolution and memorandum of agreement adopted by the Board on August 29, 1931: provided, that a plan for such expenditures has been first approved by the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Board.

The Board authorizes the application of an institutional gift assessment upon receipt to current-use gifts to provide sustainable funding for University Advancement and other institutional priorities that advance the University’s mission. Proceeds shall be at the disposal of the President and the Provost. All changes to the thresholds at which the assessment is levied and beyond which it is not levied, as well as the rate of the assessment, must be approved by the Board.

BR, September 17, 1971; June 23, 1972; January 9, 1981; July 11, 1985; February 5, 1992; March 20, 1992; January 21, 2000; September 17, 2004; March 19, 2009; July 21, 2011; October 20, 2011; November 14, 2013 [Effective January 1, 2014]; RC, September 1, 2015; RC, October 1, 2015; February 9, 2017; July 11, 2019; February 11, 2021.

For additional delegations of authority, see:

  • Board of Regents Governance, Bylaws, Article V, "Officers of the University"
  • Board of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 6, "Authority for Washington Administrative Code Rule Making"
  • Executive Order No. 1, "The Office of the President"
  • Executive Order No. 4, "The Provost"
  • Executive Order No. 6, "The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), UW Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Washington"
  • Executive Order No. 7, "The Vice President for Minority Affairs"
  • Executive Order No. 9, "The Vice President for Human Resources"
  • Executive Order No. 11, "The Vice President for External Affairs"
  • Executive Order No. 12, "The Deans"
  • Executive Order No. 14, "Chancellor, UW Bothell and UW Tacoma
  • Executive Order No. 18, "The University Ombud"
  • Executive Order No. 62, "The Vice President for University Advancement"
  • Executive Order No. 63, "The Vice President for UW Information Technology and Chief Information Officer"
  • Administrative Orders: Delegations of Authority