FAQs

Am I authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University?

The University’s Board of Trustees has authorized the President, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, Senior. Vice President for Administration, Chief Investment Officer, Treasurer, Secretary of the Corporation and their delegates to sign contracts on behalf of the University. Some of these Officers have delegated signature authority to others in the form of a written memorandum to their respective delegates. A person to whom such a memorandum has not been issued is not authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University. A list of delegations can be found here.

What are the hours for the Office of General Counsel?

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Attorneys are available and on-call for emergencies, after-hours and holidays by contacting the Office of Security at 216.368.3333.

How does one obtain legal advice?

By contacting the Office of General Counsel at 216.368.4286. Your question will be given to the attorney best suited to handle your request.

What do you do if an individual outside the University requests a background check of a current or former student or employee?

For students, if an individual outside the University requests a background check a written release must be obtained from the student. The individuals requesting this information will need to identify themselves. You should maintain a copy of the student's written release, a record of who made the request and their contact information, and a copy of the information or documents you provided to them. If your department has questions about a release or what to produce, please contact our office at 216.368.4286.

For employees, a department should comply with the Human Resources Policy on References as set out in the HR Policies & Procedures. Supervisors may only provide dates of employment and title without an employee's written release, and may provide information, per the References policy, with a written release.

What should I do if I receive a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legal document that requires the University by law to produce documents related to a current lawsuit or other legal matter. These are time sensitive. Therefore, if you receive a subpoena related to the University or your office or work in any way, it is important that the Office of General Counsel receives the subpoena right away. It is preferable that we receive the subpoena within a day of your receipt. That way we can respond appropriately and in a timely fashion. The subpoena, including the envelope in which it was mailed, must be hand delivered to the Office of General Counsel, Adelbert Hall, 3rd floor, Room 311. The Office of General Counsel will then review the subpoena and respond. The Office will follow up with you regarding any documents they may need produced. Please do not respond to a subpoena directly or speak to the attorneys or parties involved in the matter. Refer any issue directly to the Office of General Counsel.

What should I do if I receive a court document?

Immediately call the Office of General Counsel at 216.368.4286. Our office will refer you to the appropriate attorney to speak with. Please hand-deliver the original document to the Office of General Counsel which is located in Adelbert Hall, 3rd floor, Room 311. Timely action is necessary as there may be significant deadlines that begin to run as soon as you receive the court document.

I have a fully signed copy of a contract that was reviewed by the Office of General Counsel. Should I return that to your office?

It is the responsibility of the school or business unit to maintain the original, signed contract. Please send (via e-mail) a copy of the fully executed contract to the Office of General Counsel, to the attention of the attorney who reviewed it.

I need a copy of the University's Form 990. How do I get it?

The IRS Form 990 is an annual return for organizations exempt from income tax. In compliance with IRS regulations, the University will provide the Form 990 upon email request. If your office is submitting a grant application which requires the IRS Form 990, or you receive an inquiry from an outside agency requesting the University's 990, please contact Dot Martin in the Office of General Counsel. Please indicate the intended purpose and identify the requesting organization. We can, then, send the correct form to you electronically.

What do I do if I receive a written or oral request for records or information from an attorney outside the University?

You should refer the request to the Office of General Counsel at 216.368.4286 for records or information related to the University or your office or work that comes from any attorney outside the University. The Office of General Counsel will review the request, determine whether the individual is authorized to obtain the documentation or information, and respond appropriately. Please do not respond directly to a request from any attorney outside the University regarding any University-related matter.