Financial and Business

Designation of Agents to Assure Liability Protection

Section: Financial & Business Policies
Policy Name: Designation of Agents to Assure Liability Protection
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of the Vice President For Finance and Deputy Treasurer
Origination Date: July 15, 1975
Revisions: September 26, 1990; July 1, 2005
Legacy Policy Number:  3-03
  1. PURPOSETo establish procedures for extending liability protection to agents of the University who are participating in hazardous projects.
  2. POLICYPersons, who are not regular University employees, are sometimes authorized to act on behalf of the University, to use University facilities, or to work with University personnel or students on projects which further normal University objectives and involve a recognizable hazard. It is important that the agency relationship with these persons be formalized to assure that the protection afforded by the University’s liability insurance is extended to them.

    This would assure liability protection for the agent while acting within the scope of his authorization, as well as for others who may suffer from negligence on his part.

    To accomplish this, the Department Chairperson or Administrative Unit Director should issue a written designation as agent of the University to include: name(s) of person(s) so designated; name(s) of supervising University employee(s); the purpose, limitations, and duration of the designation; and the facilities which may be used. A copy of each such authorization should be sent to the Dean or appropriate administrative officer and to the Director of Public Safety if unsupervised presence in University facilities outside of normal working hours is involved.

    Since a designation as agent involves the acceptance of responsibility for his actions by the University, it should be extended only where the benefits to be gained justify the risk. Casual visitors, independent contractors, those attending innocuous meetings, etc. should not be designated as agents, since the University does not assume responsibility for their actions. Also, if no recognizable hazard is involved, no purpose will usually be served by formalizing the agency relationship.