Authority and Delegations

Authority to act for the University of Michigan derives from the general power given to the Regents and the President by the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and the university’s implementing statutes.  The Board of Regents has delegated executive powers and administrative authority to senior officers, through its Bylaws and Regent Actions. In turn, certain powers are sub-delegated to flow down through the university’s organizational structure.

Delegations empower personnel to act autonomously so that the business of the university can be done efficiently and effectively; but those who hold delegations have a responsibility to act with care, control, and diligence in the exercise of their delegated authority.

Authority to bind the university in business transactions with outside entities, including all forms of purchasing and outside expenditure, is delegated from the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer through Standard Practice Guide (SPG) 601.24, as compiled in Table 1: Delegations of Authority for Business Transactions with External Organizations.

For more information, see the FAQs on Authority and Delegation, which are maintained by the Office of the General Counsel.  The FAQs include guidance on:

  • Good practices for delegation, including a sample delegation form;
  • The difference between having legal authority to bind the university and permission to exercise that authority;
  • The difference between having power to make internal process decisions and having authority to bind the university to outside obligations; and
  • Who to talk to with questions about delegations of authority.