International Agreements Process
International Agreements are necessary to establish formal partnerships with university partners outside of the United States and to describe specific programs or activities with these partners. Agreements provide details on the partnerships over a specific timeframe (generally five years) and offer the terms of renewing collaborations between the institutions. The Institute for Global Studies is the unit on campus responsible for drafting and vetting all institutional agreements.
Types of Agreements
The University of Delaware maintains a two-tiered system for global partnerships:
A General Agreement is signed by the University of Delaware Provost and the Provost's counterpart at the partner institution. This University-wide document creates formal linkages between the partnering institutions and provides a broad framework for collaborative activities. General Agreements must be signed before Supplemental Agreements can be initiated.
Please Note: General Agreements do not commit any UD resources to the partnership. Instead, those details must be clearly identified and described in Supplemental Agreements.
A Supplemental Agreement is signed and entered into by the relevant campus unit(s). Supplemental Agreements detail specific collaborative activities, including the commitment of resources and acceptance of obligations by the partner units. These agreements are flexible in commitment, although they will be vetted to assure there is no violation of university policy.
Additional Supplemental Agreements may be signed as new partnership opportunities emerge or if additional departments become interested in collaborating with an established partner institution. Once a General Agreement is signed, any and all colleges and academic units are able to negotiate Supplemental Agreements specific to their proposed activities. Supplemental Agreements are normally signed by the provost, college dean, and department chair/school director.
When unusual circumstances prevent the use of the University of Delaware's template, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be signed. In all cases, IGS must be contacted before the agreement is signed to review and ensure compliance with University policies.
In all cases, the University of Delaware requires certain information to be included in agreements it signs. These include, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- Purpose of the Agreement;
- Academic Freedom;
- Compliance With Laws;
- Named Program Coordinators;
- Timeframe Agreement is in Force and Valid;
- Settlement of Disputes;
- Terms of Amending the Agreement; and
Before starting the partnership process, it is important that the UD community assess the merits of the partnership and its benefit to UD. Some questions to consider include:
1. How would agreements with this international partner positively affect the University of Delaware (research opportunities, student engagement, reputational impact, etc.)?
2. How does this partnership strengthen the home academic unit and how does it benefit the college?
3. Does this partnership build on UD's existing relationships?
4. Would the partnership negatively affect other UD institutional relationships?
5. Who within the College and academic unit are the partnership’s supporters/champions? What level of “buy-in” does the partnership have from faculty and staff?
6. How many faculty/staff members from the academic unit/college will be involved in the partnership, and what level of commitment is needed to maintain the partnership?
7. What are the costs involved in the proposed activities and do the activities have financial support available?
8. What are the anticipated outcomes of the partnership and what is the measurement for success?
9. What is the sustainability of the partnership? Can it continue past the initial term?
10. What other colleges/academic units on campus would also benefit from this partnership?
In order to be valid, all international agreements require appropriate approval and authorization and must be routed through IGS prior to being shared with a proposed partner. The following steps provide a guideline for the agreement process:
- Step 1: Exploration
- Step 2: Proposal
- Step 3: Review
- Step 4: UD General Agreement
- Step 5: UD Supplemental Agreements
Using the above questions as a guideline, consider the key reasons for forming a partnership and how success would be defined (e.g., what are the anticipated outputs and outcomes).
After committing to a partnership, UD faculty and staff who wish to propose an agreement should first complete the General Agreement Proposal Form.
In addition to the form, applications must include the following uploads:
1. A Letter of Support from the relevant UD Dean; and
2. A Letter of Support from the corresponding Department Chairs or Director.
Please Note: It is essential that proposed activities are discussed with unit administrators in advance to ensure that there will be resources available to support the partnership.
Once submitted, proposals will be reviewed by IGS to ensure compliance with University of Delaware guidelines. This process takes approximately 1 to 4 weeks.
If the proposal is approved, IGS will generate the UD General Agreement and share the document with the anticipated partner. If the partner approves the draft, IGS will obtain signatures from UD’s Provost, forward copies of the agreement to the partner institution, and house finalized copies of the agreement. If the proposed partner would like to make amendments to the agreement, IGS will consult with relevant UD offices (UD office of General Counsel, etc.) for review and approval. Depending on the partner’s review/amendments, this process generally takes approximately 4 weeks.
Once a formal partnership is established, any and all UD colleges/academic units can develop Supplemental Agreements with the partner to detail specific programs and/or activities. While UD faculty/staff are not required to submit a separate Supplemental Agreement Proposal Form, IGS will draft the Supplemental Agreement in consultation with the corresponding units and senior administration at UD for relevant reviews/approvals. Once approved, IGS will forward the draft agreement to the partner for their internal review/approval. IGS will then obtain signatures from relevant UD personnel, forward copies to the partner institution for signatures, and once finalized, house UD’s copies of the Supplemental Agreement.
The timeframe for Supplemental Agreements varies depending on the program/activity and number of Agreement changes requested by the partnering Institution. While completed agreements can range from 4 weeks to several months, please keep in mind that a Supplemental Agreement must be finalized within the corresponding General Agreement’s initial term.
Please note: If no Supplemental Agreements are created during this initial term, the partnership will be terminated.
Host a Visiting Delegation
The Institute for Global Studies provides guidance and support to members of the University community who wish to host an international delegation.