Howard University Office of the General Counsel

Basic Contracting Process



Click on the Link Below to Read the New Process in Effect as of August 15, 2019

  Contract Compliance Memorandum


The Routing and Review Process

Effective April 22, 2014, please submit all contracts and contract renewals to the Office of Procurement and Contracting (OPC)

Office of Procurement & Contracting

2041 Georgia Avenue, NW, Suite 2042

Washington, DC 20060

 All submissions to OPC should include a copy of the Contract Review Checklist.  Courtesy copies of contracts should be sent to the officer with signature authority that presides over your department. OPC will analyze and approve the contracts, and then will forward them to the Office of the General Counsel for legal sufficiency review.

All contracts must have a requisition number at the time they are submitted to the Office of Procurement and Contracting.

OGC will only accept agreements directly from the following departments.  OGC will notify each department to specify which agreements should be submitted directly to OGC and not to OPC.       

Research Administrative Services (All Externally Funded Programs)     

Office of Research Regulatory Compliance (Material Transfer Agreements Only)

WHUR-FM (All WHUR Agreements)       

WHUT-TV (All WHUT Agreements)

Office of Real Estate (Purchase, Sale, or Lease of Real Property Only)       

Office of the Provost (Academic Affiliation Agreements and International Affairs Agreements Only)     

Office of the Chief Financial Officer (Finance Agreements Only)      

Office of Development and Alumni Relations (Gifting Agreements Only)

Office of Human Resources (Employment Agreements Only)

Department of Athletics (Game Scheduling Agreements Only)

Howard University Hospital Agreements (including GME related contracts and physician contracts) will continue to be processed according to a separate set of procedures.   

Please note that the Office of the General Counsel is the only entity at the University that can contract for legal services representing the University.   The Intellectual Property Committee, as advised by the Office of the General Counsel, is the only entity at the University that can approve Agreements involving the sale, licensing, or use of University intellectual property (with the exception of certain University trademarks managed by Auxiliary Enterprises and the Office of the Secretary).

Attention Sponsored Program Principal Investigators: all research-related or other sponsored programs contracts must be sent to the Office of Research Administration.

Documents and Templates

Below you will find links to useful legal documents and contract templates.  Please note that the use of contract templates by your department will greatly increase the speed in which such contracts are reviewed for legal sufficiency.

What Is a Contract? 

The Howard University Office of General Counsel reviews the University's contracts and other legally binding documents for legal issues. A contract is essentially any document that legally binds the University do or not do something, usually in relation to a specific transaction, or set of transactions. There is no dollar limit in determining whether something is a contract. In fact, many contracts do not involve an exchange of any dollars whatsoever.

There is a widely held misconception that if something is entitled a "memorandum of understanding" (MOU) or a "letter of Intent" (LOI) that it is automatically not a contract. Again, that is not necessarily the case. Many MOUs and LOIs have binding provisions that actually make them contracts. When in doubt, submit your possible contract to the appropriate party for the Routing and Review Process (see above).

Proper Use of Purchase Orders (P.O.s)

Purchase orders should be accompanied by formal written contracts. Exceptions to this rule can be made for routine purchases of off-the-shelf products and materials (although larger, long term sourcing of these types of materials may also benefit from contracts at times). Purchase orders should never be used to take the place of formal contracts, where a contract is otherwise required. Purchase orders should only contain descriptions of the purchased items and information sufficient to identify payment obligations, and should never contain extraneous legal language such as contract terms and conditions.




General Use Contract Templates 



Cleared for Research Administration Use Only:
Additional Templates

The Office of the General Counsel has additional templates and waivers for various department specific scenarios.  These include:

- Endowed Chair Agreements
- AIA Agreements for Construction Projects
- Howard University Homecoming Event Agreements
- WHUR and WHUT Employment Agreements
- Howard University Choir Scheduling Agreements
- Howard University Home Game Scheduling Agreements
- Executive Search Agreements
- Research Collaboration and Development Agreements
- Intellectual Property License Agreements
- Special Employment Agreements
- International and Domestic Affiliation Agreements

If you have a specific scenario such as the one listed above, please contact the Office of the General Counsel at (202) 806-2650.



Howard University
Office of the General Counsel
2400 Sixth St., NW, Suite 321
Washington, D.C. 20059,
c/o John Gloster