Signature Authority

Non-Ink Signatures & Electronic Affirmation

Delegation of authority represents the legal power to act in the name of the U-M Regents or to bind the university to an obligation or promise. Delegations of authority are detailed in SPG 601.24. For those university employees with delegated authority; when signing on behalf of the university they must always use their title as contained in Table 1 of SPG 601.24, and always sign their own name in ink, except when using an approved electronic affirmation and non-ink signing procedure. 

Approved Affirmation and Non-Ink Signing Procedures

Unless otherwise prohibited by applicable law, ink signatures or seals that have been scanned into PDF formats (with the copies maintained in appropriate records, including digital storage options) or sent through traditional facsimile methods are accepted and approved by Procurement Services for all signature uses at the University of Michigan.  The use of other electronic signatures is permitted only if such signatures are permitted by applicable law and are obtained through the (1) university’s approved electronic signature software application (currently Sign Now), (2) use of the DocuSign software application when the document being signed originates outside the university, or (3) use of other software applications when the document being signed originates outside the university and the document can be downloaded, including signatures, in order for the university to maintain a copy for its records.

Other than the affirmation and non-ink signing procedures specifically set forth above, no other means of electronic signature are allowed without prior written approval from Procurement Services.


Signature Authority Tables/Authority to Contract

Delegation of authority represents the legal power to act in the name of the Regents of the University of Michigan or to bind the University of Michigan to an obligation or promise. The university is not bound by and does not recognize as binding any promise or obligation made by an unauthorized person.

SPG 601.24 on Delegation of Authority to Bind the University to External Agreements on Business and Financial Matters: 

  1. Standardizes the signature and authority delegation process
  2. Defines the explicit and implied expectations the university assumes the signer (or binding individual) has fulfilled
  3. Makes publicly, and easily available, a means to determine who has the authority to obligate the university for a particular transaction or promise to an external organization.

The SPG does not apply to internal university signatures, approvals, or processes (e.g., timesheets, journal entries, purchase order requests, etc.,).

University personnel with general questions concerning the scope of authority may contact the Office of the General Counsel for advice or may direct specific operational questions to their immediate supervisor. Suppliers may contact Procurement Services with any questions.