Procedures

PROCEDURES FOR DEVELOPING ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIPS

MIAMI UNIVERSITY

Purpose

To advance one of the three foundation goals of the Miami 2020 Plan to “cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships and  applied and service-oriented projects that strengthen our local, state, national, and world communities,” Miami faculty, programs, and departments are seeking new partnerships with other universities, colleges, schools, and other educational institutions. 

The Academic Partnerships Committee is the body charged with coordinating Miami’s academic institutional partnerships to better ensure their long-term success.

An academic institutional partnership has the following characteristics:

  • Involves a collaboration that can reasonably be expected to have mutual (though not necessarily identical) benefits
  • Contributes to the development of both institutional and individual capacities at both institutions
  • Respects the sovereignty and autonomy of both institutions
  • Involves exchange of academic credit, student inflow, and billing.

 As a result, we do not include in our purview service-learning partnerships, individual research projects, community outreach, research grants, field placements, internships, and other projects of limited duration, such as study abroad programs, although they may be called “partnerships” and are clearly valuable.

Academic Institutional Partnerships typically involve a formal agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which expresses mutual agreement to collaborate in areas that would be beneficial to each institution. MoUs may lead to more specific activities and goals, which could then be expressed in the form of a “detailed agreement” which articulates the terms of a more specific activity involving credit exchange, student in-flow, and billing.  Detailed agreements can take the form of transfer/articulation agreements, international exchange agreements, dual enrollment agreements, joint degree agreements, clinical placements, and joint research project agreements.

Standards

Any new academic partnership will include an intent to collaborate and/or a detailed plan of action for the proposed activities and the commitment of adequate human or financial resources to reach or surpass the goals envisioned. All business conditions will follow standard practice with acceptable levels of risk. 

The Office of Enrollment Management is the contact office that will coordinate the process leading to the approval and signing of any academic institutional partnership agreement relating to undergraduate level activities. 

The Dean of the Graduate School is charged with overseeing the process leading to final approval and signing of any academic partnership agreement for graduate level activities. 

The Office of Global Initiatives is the contact office for information on international partnership activities

The Office of Community Engagement and Service for information on Service-Learning activities.

The Miami Partnerships Office (housed in the College of Education, Health, and Society) is the contact for non-academic partnerships with organizations, agencies, and schools including partnerships focused on community outreach/collaboration (e.e., the Miami-Talawanda Partnership), collaborative grants, applied research projects, and internships, student teaching, and field placements within the College of Education, Health, and Society.

The Office of Career Services is the contact office for information related to internships outside of the College of Education, Health, and Society.

The Academic Partnerships Committee is charged with coordinating the processes of all types of academic institutional agreements to ensure their success.

Detailed Instructions

1. Initiation of Academic Partnership

Direct contact between Miami University faculty or units (e.g., departments, programs, offices) and faculty members or units of an international or domestic institution may lead to a proposed collaboration that involves credit exchange, student in-flow and billing. The collaboration should be mutually beneficial and support the strategic objectives of Miami and its international or domestic partner. It is essential to involve all concerned academic and administrative units, as well as the Graduate School, Office of Enrollment Management, or Office of Global Initiatives, early on in the process to assure a well-defined concept for the proposed agreement as well as proper identification of resources and other obligations that may be necessary.

2. Contact the Appropriate Office

Early in the process, the Miami member(s) sponsoring a proposed MoU should contact the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management (for partnerships involving undergraduate education), the Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship/Dean of the Graduate School (for domestic or international partnerships involving graduate studies), and/or the Assistant Provost of Global Initiatives (for additional information about international partnerships). The initial consultation will include assessment of institutional interest and appropriate procedures.  This webpage should also be thoroughly reviewed.

3. Standard Template for MoUs

A template and sample MoUs are available for use and adaptation within the variable fields:

The template and samples have been approved by the General Counsel, and their use will facilitate the timely development and signing of an MoU. According to standard requirements for Miami University contracts, the MoU is subject to Ohio law and cannot contain any provisions subjecting Miami to binding arbitration.

All MoUs contain a start and suggested termination date. The agreement will include provisions for renewal requiring review and/or renegotiation of the terms by both parties. The Academic Partnerships Committee will be responsible for keeping the signatory units at Miami University informed about upcoming termination and renewal dates sufficiently ahead of time to permit successful continuation and/or renegotiation of the agreement.  All agreements must contain a clause permitting the negotiated alteration or abrogation of the agreement before its termination date by either party.

4. Final Review of MoUs following the Standard Templates

(Applies to review/signature process for agreements adhering to templates only)

At minimum, MoUs for academic institutional partnerships must be reviewed by:

a)      Relevant Department Chair or Program Director.

b)      Relevant Academic Dean(s)

c)      Associate Vice President of Enrollment mangement (for undergraduate MoUs); Assistant Provost for Office of Global Initiatives (for international MoUs); Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship/Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate level and research oriented MoUs); OR Director of the Office of Community Engagement &Service (for Service-Learning MoUs)

 d)    Adacemic Partnerships Committee

e)    General Counsel

e)    President or Provost

When submitting an MoU for review and signatures, you should attach a cover sheet to the front of the document.

If there is external funding involved with any agreement/partnership, the Office for the Advancement of Research & Scholarship (OARS) should be involved at the beginning and should sign the agreements. Depending on the nature of the partnership, the Academic Partnerships Committee may invite other appropriate parties to review the MoU.

If any aspect of the agreement requires revision, the process is reverted to the level where the issue can be addressed.

All agreements are written in English. Where an international partner wishes the agreement to be available in another language, the Office of Global Initiatives will receive the two equivalent language versions for the final approval process and seek independent certification of the accuracy of the translation (typically from a faculty member on site).  If a qualified person is not available internally, external verification will be sought. Special care will be taken to avoid conflict of interests. 

Signatures from the partner institution(s) may be added to the document before or after the Miami signatures are applied.

All agreements are to be executed in two or more original copies, one for each partner, of which one will be archived by the Offices of the Provost  and the General Counsel as well as entered into its database of international and domestic agreements. The text of the agreement will be made available in electronic format.

Miami University will maintain a searchable database containing all active and recently terminated agreements including links to the full text of the document. Original versions of MoUs and detailed agreements will be maintained in the Office of the Provost.

5. Development of Articulation or Other Detailed Agreements

The MoU (discussed above) is designed to articulate the general goals and terms of the partnership between the two institutions.  Specific descriptions or “detailed agreements” of the joint projects or articulation agreements between two departments should be created in separate documents and appended to the MoU.  The detailed agreements should be aligned with the terms of the MoU, and there is no limit to the number of detailed agreements that may be created.

Individuals developing specific articulation or other agreements with an institution should first check to see whether an MoU already exists and refer to that document when creating the detailed agreement document.   Proposers are also encouraged to refer to the checklist and samples below when developing the detailed agreement:

6. Review and Approval of Detailed Agreements

At minimum, articulation and other detailed agreements must be reviewed by:

a)      Relevant Department Chair or Program Director.

b)      Relevant Academic Dean(s)

c)      Associate Vice President of Enrollment Mangement for domestic and international undergraduate detailed agreements; Assistant Provost for Office of Global Initiatives for international detailed agreements; Associate Provost for Research & Scholarship/Dean of the Graduate School for domestic and international graduate or research detailed agreements; or the Director of the Office of Community Engagement &Service for Service-Learning agreements.

 d)    Adacemic Partnerships Committee

e)    General Counsel

e)    Provost

When submitting a detailed agreement for review and signatures, you should attach a cover sheet to the front of the document.  If there is external funding involved with any agreement/partnership, the Office for the Advancement of Research & Scholarship (OARS) should be involved at the beginning and should sign the agreements. Depending on the nature of the detailed agreement, the Academic Institutional Partnerships Committee may invite other appropriate parties to review the MoU.

Depending on the nature of the detailed agreement, the Academic Institutional Partnerships Committee may invite other appropriate parties to review the MoU.

If any aspect of the agreement requires revision, the process is reverted to the level where the issue can be addressed.

All agreements are written in English. Where an international partner wishes the agreement to be available in another language, the Office of Global Initiatives will receive the two equivalent language versions for the final approval process and seek independent certification of the accuracy of the translation (typically from a faculty member on site).  If a qualified person is not available internally, external verification will be sought. Special care will be taken to avoid conflict of interests. 

Signatures from the partner institution(s) may be added to the document before or after the Miami signatures are applied.

All agreements are to be executed in two or more original copies, one for each partner, of which one will be archived by the Office of the Provost as well as entered into its database of international and domestic agreements. The text of the agreement will be made available in electronic format.

Miami University will maintain a searchable database containing all active and recently expired detailed agreements including links to the full text of the document.  The original versions of all detailed agreements will be maintained in the Offices of the Provost and the General Cousel.