The UW System is a legal entity whose character and operational authority emanates from Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin Statutes. As a result, in many legal respects, the UW System is like a corporation in that it can act only through its duly authorized officers and agents. The Board of Regents authorizes, by name, those individuals who may legally obligate the University through contracts and agreements. Please see the Board of Regents policy on signature authority.
It is critical that documents binding the university are properly signed by an individual with authority. A document that is signed outside of proper signature authority may not be legally binding. Further, an employee who signs an agreement without authority to do so could be personally liable for any damages incurred as a result, as the individual has acted outside the scope of his/her authority. Anyone who is unsure as to his or her authority should review the document below and, if still unsure, consult with one of the attorneys in the Office of Legal Affairs, before signing any agreement or other document on behalf of UWM.