Step by Step Process

To see a flowchart overview of the process click HERE.

Step 1: Determine if you need a new agreement and if so, what kind of agreement is appropriate.

Ask your VC or Provost level administrative assistant to check the database to see if UAF already has an existing agreement with the entity in question.

  • If there is NOT an existing agreement, move on to Step 2.
  • If there IS an agreement:
    • Determine whether the proposed new activities fall under the existing agreement. If it does, make sure the existing agreement is still valid and not expired. If so, you're done!
    • If the proposed activities fall under the existing agreement, but it has expired go to Step 2 to find the necessary documents to amend or renew.
    • If the proposed activity does not fall under the existing agreement, move to Step 2.

Step 2: Determine who you need to work with to create an agreement or to have an agreement originating from the external entity approved.

If your situation involves any of the following, please contact the office indicated for more assistance.

Agreement topic Office or Department to Contact Contact Information
Renting, leasing or loaning UAF facilities, land, or equipment Facilities Services


International exchange students Office of International Programs and Initiatives


Transfer credits, admissions, degree awards Office of Admissions and Registrar


Any agreement involving money coming into UAF or obligating UAF to spend money Office of Grants and Contracts Administration


Non-disclosure agreements Office of Intellectual Property and Commercialization



Determine what type of agreement you need.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a document describing a bilateral agreement between parties. An MOU expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is a more formal than a verbal or “hand-shake” agreement but generally lacks the binding power of a contract. MOUs do not require any party to commit funds or other resources. The MOU does not create duties or legally enforceable liabilities or obligations for any party nor does it establish a standard of care attributable to the activities associated with the subject of the agreement. MOUs should contain the following provisions:

  • a listing of the parties involved;
  • a purpose;
  • terms and conditions;
  • appropriate bilateral signatures;
  • duration of the agreement; and
  • any special provisions as applicable.

 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA): An MOA is a document written between parties to cooperatively work together on an agreed upon project or meet an agreed upon objective. The purpose of an MOA is to have a written formal understanding of the agreement between parties. An MOA details the obligations and commitments of the parties and allocates and minimizes each party's risks. It can also be referred to as a contract and is legally binding. MOAs must contain, but are not limited to:

  • a listing of the parties involved;
  • a purpose/statement of work;
  • terms and conditions;
  • appropriate bilateral signatures;
  • duration of agreement; and
  • any payment terms or special provisions as applicable.

Gather the information needed for the appropriate type of agreement. Click HERE for a checklist of information needed for an MOU. Click HERE for a checklist of information needed for an MOA.

Step 3: Refer to the guidelines from this site to create a draft of your agreement. Note: the more you deviate from the approved sections, the longer it will take for your agreement to be approved. Most agreements, especially MOAs that commit the University must be reviewed by the appropriate office (see home page). Agreements with external academic or research entities require additional review and standard language approved by the UA Office of the General Counsel prior to signature; an evaluation by Risk Management may also occur.                                                                                                                                                    

The following items MUST be contained in all agreements:

  • Receiving campus (Fairbanks or rural campus)
  • Type of agreement (MOA or MOU)
  • Start date of agreement
  • Termination date of agreement (this could also be the renewal date if automatic renewals are included)
  • UAF unit/school
  • External entity/agency (the other, non-UAF, party to the agreement)

The following items maybe included depending on the subject of the agreement:

  • Country
  • UAF activity location (Where is the activity happening, e.g., Fairbanks campus, another Alaska community, Peru?)
  • Modification date (for documents that are amending an existing agreement)
  • UAF master agreement (yes if this is a global agreement that may spawn sub-agreements)

Approval process:

  • If you are in an academic unit, once you get a draft agreement, you need approval from your department head and then from your dean. Once the dean has approved the agreement, it will go to the Provost's Office. The Provost and the Chancellor will sign the agreement once they have reviewed it.
  • If you are in a research institute, once you get a draft agreement, you need approval from your institute director. Once he/she has approved it, it will go the Vice Chancellor for Research's (VCR) Office. The VCR and Chancellor will sign the agreement once they have reviewed it.
  • If you are in another type of office, once you get a draft agreement, you need approval from your director. Once your director has approved it, approval will continue up the ladder to the Vice Chancellor responsible for your unit. The Vice Chancellor and Chancellor will sign it once they have reviewed it.

This process takes time so plan accordingly. If you are creating the agreement, you should share the draft agreement with the other entity before sending it to the Provost/VC level for signatures. If the agreement was initiated by the external entity then use your discretion as to whether substantial enough changes have been made that it needs to be reviewed again by the other entity before it is sent for signatures. The Provost/VC level will send the agreement to General Council if required.

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