Contract Policy 

The College has developed a formalized Contract Policy that outlines who is an authorized signor and the activities required to obtain contracts.


Contract Document Template and Process 

Timing for contract review and approval

  • Please allow adequate time in your planning process for contract review and approval.  While unforeseen circumstances always exist, please plan to have your contract documents submitted for review no later than two weeks prior to the date of the event or commencement of contract services.


Step 1 

Determine Classification of Vendor

Before preparing a contract, determine if the vendor supplying the service is classified (per IRS standards) as an employee or a vendor.  To correctly classify individuals, review and complete the Independent Contractor Checklist.

  • If the service being provided is deemed to be an employee, please contact Human Resources.

  • If the service being provided is deemed to be an Independent Contractor, then proceed as follows:

Step 2

Definitions and Templates 

For faster processing, we recommend using the F&M College templates.  However, if the vendor supplies a contract, F&M will accept it, but modifications will likely need to be made.  **All templates may be updated from time to time, therefore we recommend that you do not store a template in your personal files for frequent use.

  • Short-term engagements are defined as:  presence on campus is 3 or less consecutive or non-consecutive days out of the year.  Below is a list of templates that can be used for specific events defined as short-term engagements:

Guest Lecturer Standard contract for a guest lecturer providing services to Franklin & Marshall Colllege Guest Lecturer Template
Guest Speaker Standard contract for guest speakers presenting at Franklin & Marshall College Guest Speaker Template
Guest Artist Standard contract for guest artist providing services to Franklin & Marshall College Guest Artist Template
Training Facilitator Standard contract for a trainer  presenting at Franklin & Marshall College  Trainer Template
Performers Including musicians and singers (single performers or part of ensemble) Performer Template
Outside Vendors for Student Orgs Including vendors providing services for short-term engagements such as special event contractors, entertainers, balloon artists, etc. Outside Vendor template
College Facility Rentals  

Contact Kendel Lyn Jackson 

Director of Conference and Events

Food/Catering-Related Agreements The College’s agreement with Sodexo does allow food to be brought onto campus but does not allow an outside vendor to provide labor to support an event such as catering the event or setting up/tearing down food and related food service equipment.

Barry  Bosley


  • Long Term Engagements are defined as:  presence on campus is more than 3 consecutive or non-consecutive days out of the year.  Please use the Independent Contractor Agreement.
  • Protection of minors:  If the outside party is expected to have any unsupervised contact with F&M students or minors, it is imperative that the F&M department or office engaging the outside party confirms that either (a) the outside party has successfully completed a criminal background check within the last six months (please use the attached Background Certification Form) (b) a College employee will be present to supervise at all times as per the scope of work defined in the contract.
  • W-9 Form:   The IRS requires that the College have a completed W-9 form on file for each vendor where payments have been issued.  This form also allows the Business Office to establish the vendor in the accounts payable system and assists in faster payment processing.  College Policy requires that we update our system every 3 years with a new W-9 form.  If you are unsure if your vendor has a current W-9 form on file, please contact the Business Office for confirmation.  ***Please note that this form may include someone’s social security number on it.  Therefore special care needs to be taken when transmitting and managing this confidential and sensitive information.
    • If the vendor is a non-US Citizen, please contact Human Resources for assistance in completing the correct form.

Step 3

Approval Process

  • Download and complete the appropriate F&M approved contract templates as defined above OR use vendor supplied contract
  • If applicable, download the Background Certification Form
  • If applicable, download the W-9 Form
  • Forward these documents to the vendor for their review, approval, and signatures
  • Once the vendor has completed the required information and returns it to you, forward the packet via PDF format to  If appropriate, please copy your supervisor or group leader on the email.
  • Please use the name of vendor in the “subject line” of email.

The Contracts Review Group will examine the documents submitted and will respond with questions as needed.  Once the review has been completed, an official college signor will sign the contract and return it to the requestor via email.

Step 4

Payment Initiation

  • It is College procedure, and good business practice, that full payment for goods and services will only be made once the good has been delivered or the service has been received.  Deposits are acceptable and should be outlined in the terms of the contract.  In order to initiate a deposit or payment to the vendor, a Disbursement Form  will need to be completed and forwarded (along with the signed contract) to the Business Office for payment processing.  The Business Office will not make payment to a vendor without proper signatures on the contract.
  1.  Preferred Vendors:
  • There are vendors in the community that engage with various departments across campus and do a significant volume of business with the F&M community.  Therefore, the College is working on identifying these vendors to establish them as a “Preferred Vendor”.  Using a preferred vendor would eliminate the need for each department to navigate the contract process noted above.  Departments would conduct business with preferred vendors by using the PO process.  If you identify a vendor that would fit this profile, please email the vendor contact information to  A list of preferred vendors will be forthcoming.

If you have questions or encounter an unusual contract situation, please send as much information as possible via email to and also complete and send the Independent Contractor Checklist for review and further instructions.


Contact Information 

Maintained by:  Finance and Administration, Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Finance Last Reviewed:   August 31, 2019