Frequently Asked Questions
- How does the e-MOU system work?
The e-MOU system has two parts for each agreement. In Part I (Notification of Intent), the originator completes a web-based form that outlines the basic premise of the arrangement, and submits it for provisional approval by the relevant dean or director and the Provost or his designee. If approved, relevant administrative offices are notified and the originator is provided with templates and contact information for administrators who can serve as resources during the second part of the process. In Part II (Agreement Development), the originator works with the partner(s) to craft an agreement, which is then reviewed by key administrators and offices, revised as needed, signed, and copies filed for tracking and renewal. Click here for a visual step-by-step guide to the process.
- Who is authorized to sign academic agreements?
MOUs and agreements may be signed only by individuals expressly given signature authority in writing by the Office of University Counsel. Unauthorized individuals who sign agreements on behalf of the university may be held personally liable. All academic agreements must be created at the university level and require the signature of the Provost (and sometimes also the signature of the Senior Vice President). To ensure that proposed agreements meet federal, state, and accreditation regulations, and are crafted appropriately for the university’s administrative practices, agreements are also reviewed by key administrative offices.
- What templates are available? Must they be used?
The university currently has templates for general agreements, student and faculty exchange agreements, and dual degree agreements. The templates were developed to facilitate speedy review and processing of agreements. If a template does not address the specific needs of a particular arrangement, it may be adapted as needed, but please be sure to do so with the Track Changes feature turned on so that it is easy for reviewers to see what has been altered. The university is required by state law to include certain provisions in its agreements and if a different agreement format is used, it is likely to require a more lengthy formal review and revision process because University Counsel will have to reconstruct and reinsert the required language. If you do not see a template that suits your needs, please contact your agreement administrator at the address listed below.
- Does this process apply to contract programs?
Yes, in part. For contract programs that bear academic credit, originators will be asked to complete at least a Notification of Intent form to help with recordkeeping. Contract programs for most colleges must be handled through the Office of Continuing and Professional Education, which has an established system for developing agreements.
- Should the international MOU/agreement be translated to the partner’s primary language?
George Mason University does not require a foreign language version but if the agreement is translated, a clause should be inserted indicated that the English version will prevail in case of discrepancies. It is the responsibility of the initiating unit/faculty to provide translations of the draft and final agreement if required by the partner institution.
- Who keeps the signed original agreement?
There should be at least two original documents signed; one belongs to the partner institution and one is kept by George Mason University in the appropriate division of the Office of the Provost.
- Where do I go for help?
Contact your agreement administrator. Your agreement administrator will help guide you through the process, can answer any questions you may have, and will work with you to resolve any difficulties you may experience.
Ms. Richena Purnell-Sayle
Office of Global Strategy
Dr. Claudia Rector
Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost