Affiliation Agreement Approval Process

1) Policy
2) Procedures
3) Forms
4) FAQ

1) Policy

Tufts University, its schools, departments, and units frequently enter into memoranda of understanding and other signed agreements with both domestic and international partners. A list of current, active agreements is available to members of the Tufts community on a UTLN protected website. For more information about active and lapsed agreements, please contact MOU@tufts.edu.

The policy for the approval of memoranda of understanding, affiliations, and other agreements is in place to make faculty, staff, and students’ interactions with others, both locally and around the world, easier. The Office of the Provost approves and tracks affiliations and memoranda of understanding to:

  • Ensure agreements advance the institutional mission of the university and enhance Tufts’ standing in the academic community
  • Protect Tufts’ reputation as a research university of the highest regard
  • Identify institutional and geographical overlap
  • Keep an accurate record of Tufts global and domestic presences
  • Track agreement end dates and ensuring renewals are processed appropriately

All agreements of Tufts University and its units with universities, non-profit organizations, or other entities, both international and domestic, must go through an internal review process prior to signing to ensure compliance with university policies and confirm institutional approval and support.

If you have any questions during this process, please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). You are encouraged to reach out to the Office of the Provost at any time.

Agreements meeting any one of the following criteria must be submitted for approval:

  • Affiliation agreements and memoranda of understanding with institutions outside of the United States.
  • Agreements that involve student, scholar, or faculty exchange.
  • Agreements with for-profit educational institutions.
  • Agreements with institutions outside of higher education.
  • University-wide or school-wide agreements that extend beyond the individual faculty member.
  • Agreements involving new joint degrees, certificates, or continuing education programs.
  • Scalable agreements to exchange information pertaining to developments in teaching, student development and research at each institution.

Which agreements do not need to be approved via this process?

If you do not know which approval process applies, please contact MOU@tufts.edu.

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2) Procedures

Step 1: Drafting of the agreement

  • Agreements may be drafted by Tufts or partner institutions. Neither party should sign an agreement before it has been approved by the Office of the Provost.
  • Each agreement must include the language in Sections III–VIII of the Sample Cooperation Agreement (or similar language accomplishing the same goals).
  • Any financial obligations must be detailed and attached as an Excel spreadsheet.
  • All agreements must include an effective date and end date or agreement duration.
  • If you have questions while drafting an affiliation agreement, contact MOU@tufts.edu.

Step 2: Submission of the agreement for approval

  • The Affiliation Agreements Routing Form must be completed and submitted with the draft agreement. The Routing Form must be signed by the following individuals before it is submitted for approval:
    • Tufts primary contact / project director
    • Department chair or designee
    • Dean (or director for HNRCA) (signature approval by the school dean or unit director indicates that the dean or unit director endorses and approves of the agreement and any resulting financial or administrative obligations)
    • The Office of Research Administration (ORA) (if the agreement involves research collaboration)
    • The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) (if the agreement involves undergraduate student exchange)
  • Agreements, related attachments, and the signed Routing Form must be emailed to MOU@tufts.edu for approval.

Step 3: Revision and final approval

  • Following the receipt of the agreement, related attachments, and the Routing Form, materials will be reviewed by the Office of University Counsel, the Office of the Provost, and any other necessary administrative offices.
  • You will be contacted regarding any necessary changes to the agreement. (Substantial changes may require additional approval of the department chair, dean, director, ORA, and OUE.)
  • Once the agreement has been approved, the Routing Form will be returned to you, with signatures from the Office of University Counsel and the Office of the Provost.
  • If required, the agreement will be returned with a signature from the Office of the Provost.

Step 4: Final execution of the agreement

  • The final approved agreement must be signed by both a Tufts designee and a designee from the partner institution.
  • In accordance with Tufts’ Signatory Authority Policy, the Tufts designee may be a dean, vice provost, or provost.
  • A copy of the fully-executed agreement must be submitted to MOU@tufts.edu and the school dean or unit director.

Step 5: Sub agreements, end of agreement, or agreement renewal

  • Unless otherwise specified, all sub-agreements must be submitted for approval, even if an umbrella agreement exists with the same institution.
  • All agreements must include an end date or project duration. In general, agreements are approved for a period of up to five years. The Office of the Provost will notify the primary contact and school dean / unit director at least 90 days before the expiry of an agreement. All agreements subject to renewal must be re-submitted for approval at the end-date specified in the agreement. Otherwise, the agreement will no longer be in effect.

Please note:

  • Failure to adhere to proper form routing procedures could result in delays in agreement processing.
  • Agreements or activities involving international visitors to Tufts may require special consideration due the United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requirements. Please contact MOU@tufts.edu for more information.
  • Agreements in foreign languages must include an officially-translated, English version, which includes the text “English version controls.” The Trustees of Tufts College and any affiliates are bound by the English-version of agreements only.

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3) Forms

The following documents are available for download:

Affiliation Agreements Routing Form (v. 2. 16) (Microsoft Word format)

Sample Cooperation Agreement (Microsoft Word format)

For more information, please contact MOU@tufts.edu, or the Office of the Provost directly at 617-627-3310.

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4) Frequently Asked Questions

Does my agreement need to be approved by the Office of the Provost?

Your agreement needs to be approved if it involves:

  • An institution or institutions located outside of the United States.
  • The exchange of people (faculty, scholars, staff, or students).
  • Any organization that is a:
    • For-profit university
    • Public or private research institution
    • Non-profit organization outside of higher education
  • A university-, school-, or department-level commitment, rather than a commitment by an individual faculty member. This includes:
    • Open-ended agreements for lectures, conferences, etc.
    • The creation of any consortium or cooperative in which Tufts University is a member
    • Agreements to host meetings, joint conferences, etc. on a monthly or yearly basis
  • A new joint degree, certificate, or continuing education program.
  • A scalable agreement to exchange information pertaining to developments in teaching, student development, and research. This includes:
    • Agreements to build internship programs
    • Agreements related to joint applications for research funding
    • Agreements to accept students to attend Tufts University

Your agreement does not need to be approved it if involves:

If you still do not know if your agreement needs to be approved, please email MOU@tufts.edu.

Why do I need to do this?

This approval process ensures coordination and compliance across Tufts’ schools, units, and departments. Specifically, it is designed to:

  • Ensure agreements advance the institutional mission of the university and enhance Tufts’ standing in the academic community
  • Protect Tufts’ reputation as a research university of the highest regard
  • Identify institutional and geographical overlap
  • Keep an accurate record of Tufts global presence
  • Track agreement end dates and ensuring renewals are processed appropriately

My agreement does not involve any payments. Does it still need to be approved?

There are many instances in which an agreement that does not involve payments must be approved by the Office of the Provost. This includes, for example, agreements for faculty, scholar, staff, or student exchange, university-level agreements to host regularly occurring joint conferences or events, and agreements with any for-profit institution of higher education.

How long does the approval process take?

Generally, it takes the Office of the Provost up to two weeks to approve an agreement, once the completed draft and signed Routing Form have been received. Agreements requiring substantial edits may take additional time.

Will you accept a scanned copy of the agreement and routing form?

Yes. Please send a high quality scan with legible text and signatures.

I have questions about an agreement, and I would like to talk to someone on the phone. Who can I call?

Please reach out to Celia Campbell at 617-627-3313 or Celia.Campbell@Tufts.edu.

For more information, please contact MOU@tufts.edu, or the Office of the Provost directly at 617-627-3310.
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