Policies & Guidelines

Your guide to IU’s agreement policy and the application process

Agreements for partnerships and cross-border activities must follow university policy. IU faculty and staff seeking approval for international activities pursued under a formal agreement must submit an online application.

Partnerships versus offshore activities

IU’s policy on agreements makes an important distinction between partnerships or affiliations and offshore or cross-border activities.

Policy violations

Policy violations are serious matters. The Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, working in coordination with IU General Counsel, may prohibit academic programs and offices from continuing international activities that have not been approved.

IU’s partnership priorities

IU focuses on partnerships with international institutions ranked at the highest levels nationally, regionally, or internationally. In general, IU favors a smaller number of quality international agreements that have substantial levels of activity. IU occasionally partners with less highly ranked institutions and organizations outside higher education if they have special expertise or capacity of specific value.

Required agreement components

When possible, IU faculty and staff are encouraged to use agreement templates as a starting point. If a partner or foreign entity prefers to use its template, IU faculty and staff should compare the provided template with the appropriate IU template to confirm that the required components listed here are included in the agreement:

  • The parties involved, including contact information for the faculty or staff responsible for communications and notices
  • The date when the agreement will go into affect (i.e., the effective start date)
  • Duration of the agreement (up to a maximum of five years)
  • Equal opportunity statement if the activity involves faculty, students, or staff
  • Length of time required to notify the other party about termination of the agreement, typically no more than six months
  • Statement that the agreement may be renewed or amended
  • Permission for the partners to use their respective logos and names to promote the agreement
  • Preferred means of resolving a dispute

Agreement duration

All agreements are limited to a maximum of five years. Agreements may be renewed by submitting and receiving positive consideration on an application for renewal. Agreements of indefinite duration are not permitted.

Application options

There are three application options:

  • Application for a new agreement
  • Application to renew an existing agreement
  • Simplified application for preapproved and low-risk activities

IU faculty and staff should discuss the proposed agreement with their unit’s designated international administrator before starting the application. Applications for new and renewed agreements require applicants to upload a statement of support from the designated international administrator and a draft of the agreement(s) at the time of submission.

Agreements that include taking IU students abroad (e.g., exchange programs or study abroad programs) must be approved by both the Offshore Programs and International Affiliations Committee and the Overseas Study Advisory Committee (OSAC). A separate proposal must be submitted to the Office of Overseas Study for OSAC review and approval.

The simplified application may be completed for some low-risk activities that have been discussed directly with the international partnerships staff. Permission must be granted to file this application.

Application review and approval

After an application is submitted, the review and approval process will begin:

  1. The international partnerships staff will review the application and all uploaded documents carefully. They will notify applicants if any revisions are necessary.
  2. The provost at IU Bloomington, associate vice chancellor at IUPUI, or chancellor at a regional campus will review the application and notify the international partnerships staff if they approve it to move forward for committee review.
  3. The Offshore Programs and International Affiliations Committee and the vice president for international affairs (VPIA) will then review the application.
  4. If the committee and VPIA approve, IU General Counsel will review the draft agreement. Applicants will be notified about any recommended changes to the agreement. Once the agreement terms are finalized, the international partnerships staff will secure the required signature(s).
  5. The agreement will be sent to the president for approval.
  6. The approved documents will be sent back to the applicant. The applicant is responsible for securing all remaining signatures.
  7. A scanned copy of the fully signed documents (including, if applicable, the version in the partner’s language) should be sent electronically to partner@iu.edu. The applicant should keep the signed original copies on file in their unit.
  8. Agreements that include taking IU students abroad for any duration of time must be submitted via a separate proposal to the Office of Overseas Study and must receive approval from the Overseas Study Advisory Committee.

Compliance with export control

Effective August 2018, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs will do a visual compliance check with the U.S. Department of Commerce on all foreign entities and individuals that are mentioned in an agreement. If any entity or individual appears as a restricted party, the proposed activity may be subject to export control laws and regulations.

Required signatories on agreements

The president and university treasurer are authorized signatories on agreements for partnerships and cross-border activities. Office of the Vice President for International Affairs staff will secure the signature of either the president or the university treasurer once the agreement terms have been finalized and approved by IU General Counsel.

The vice president for international affairs also signs all agreements for partnerships and cross-border activities. Deans and other representatives of IU academic programs or offices may sign agreements as they deem appropriate.

Contract and grant activities

For contract and grant activities, signature authority resides with the associate vice president for research administration, including when the granting agency or subcontract agreement is with a foreign entity. Such activities require a separate online application to the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs only when they involve delivery of IU academic programs abroad (either onsite or via distance) or the establishment of an IU legal presence abroad.

Establishing an IU legal presence may involve any of the following:

  • Registration as a legal entity in the foreign country
  • Payment of taxes to a foreign government
  • Opening of project bank accounts abroad
  • Hiring of direct employees or independent contractors in the foreign country for a period greater than 90 days
  • Long-term lease or purchase of housing or a vehicle in the foreign country

Because of the significant risks that some projects may pose to IU, units that are interested in pursuing external funding for international projects should contact international partnerships staff before proceeding with a proposal.

Inactive agreements

Agreements will be considered inactive if there are no activities by either institution for two or more years. A lack of activity for two or more years can affect the chances for a successful renewal. The Office of the Vice President for International Affairs reserves the right to remove inactive agreements from the registry.