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Legal Matters

Signing of Contracts; Service of Legal Papers

The handling of all legal matters arising from or pertaining to the operations of the University is the responsibility of the General Counsel of the University.

Administrators and faculty members should not sign contracts, leases, or other agreements without proper written authorization, as well as required legal and financial reviews, and should not reply to communications received from attorneys concerning University business, whether telephone messages, faxes, e-mail or letters. Responses to such communications must be prepared in consultation between the Office of the General Counsel and the faculty member or administrator concerned. Similarly, under no circumstances should anyone not an officer of the University accept service of legal papers, such as subpoenas, citations, court summonses, or violation notices. Anyone who wishes to serve such papers on the University should be referred to the Office of the General Counsel, which will accept them officially on behalf of the University.

Refusal by a faculty member or administrator to accept service is not illegal; it is in fact the
proper procedure and in the best interests of the University. If a process server refuses to be
cooperative and insists upon leaving the papers, immediately call the Office of the General
Counsel, and ask for instructions.

The Office of the General Counsel is responsible only for official University business and is not
staffed to provide personal legal assistance except in the special instances described in “Selected Policies Concerning the Protection of Rights and Other Matters” under the heading of “Legal Protection for Faculty Members”. In exceptional cases, however, the office will, upon request suggest legal organizations or other counsel to University personnel in need of such assistance.

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