Guidance for International Agreements

The University of Miami enters international agreements to establish formal partnerships with collaborators outside of the United States. UM’s agreements provide the frameworks for international partnership and activities over a specific timeframe and offer the terms for renewing collaborations.  The Office of the Hemispheric and Global Affairs is responsible for drafting and vetting all international agreements and supports the signing of agreements by UM’s leadership.

Types of International Agreements

Collaboration Agreements

Collaboration Agreements create formal linkages between the partnering institutions and provide a broad framework for collaborative activities. Collaboration Agreements do not commit UM resources to the partnership, as those details must be clearly identified and described in Specific Agreements. A Collaboration Agreement is signed by a University of Miami officer with the appropriate permissions according to the University’s signature authority policy  and a counterpart at the partner entity.

 Specific Agreements

Specific Agreements provide detailed information on the scope of international collaborative activities, including the commitment of resources and acceptance of obligations by the partner units where applicable. These agreements are flexible in commitment and their terms are vetted to assure compliance with University policy.

Additional Specific Agreements may be signed as new partnership opportunities emerge or if additional units become interested in collaborating with an established partner institution. Specific Agreements are signed by a University of Miami officer with the appropriate permissions according to the University’s signature authority policy  and a counterpart at the partner entity.

Student Exchange Agreements

A Student Exchange Agreement establishes the terms and conditions for the exchange of students between the University of Miami and institutions of higher education abroad. This agreement includes the academic levels to be included in the exchange program, fields or disciplines of exchange, period, implementation of exchange, responsibilities of the home and host universities, responsibilities of the students and designated administrative officials at the partner universities.

Required Information

In all cases, the University of Miami requires certain information to be included in the agreements it signs. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Purpose of the Agreement;
  • Responsibilities;
  • Compliance with Laws;
  • Named Program Coordinators;
  • Timeframe Agreement is in Force and Valid;
  • Terms of Amending the Agreement; and
  •  

Getting Started

Before starting the process to establish an international agreement, it is important that the University of Miami community assess the merits of the partnership and its benefit to UM. Some questions to consider include:

  1. How would agreements with this international partner positively affect the University of Miami (research opportunities, student engagement, complementary substantive areas of focus, geographic balance, reputational impact, etc.)?
  2. How does this partnership strengthen the home academic unit and how does it benefit the school/ college/institute/center/administrative unit?
  3. Does this partnership build on UM's existing relationships?
  4. What are the costs involved in the proposed activities and do the activities have financial support available?
  5. What are the anticipated outcomes of the partnership and what is the measurement for success?
  6. What is the sustainability of the partnership?
  7. What other school/ college/institute/center/administrative unit on campus would also benefit from this partnership?

Agreements Process

In order to be valid, all international agreements require appropriate approval and authorization and must be routed through The Office of the Hemispheric and Global Affairs prior to being shared with a proposed partner. When receiving agreements from an international partner, the agreement will be routed through the Office of Hemispheric and Global Affairs for approvals from legal counsel and University leadership.

Step 1. Exploration

Using the above questions as a guideline, consider the key reasons for forming a partnership and how success would be defined (e.g., what are the anticipated outputs and outcomes).

Step 2. Proposal

University of Miami faculty or staff who wish to propose an international agreement should first reach out to the Office of the Hemispheric and Global Affairs to begin the approval process and have the support from the Dean or corresponding Director.

It is essential that proposed international activities are discussed with unit administrators in advance to ensure that there will be resources available to support the partnership.

Step 3. Review

Once submitted, proposed agreements will be reviewed by the Office of the Hemispheric and Global Affairs and other relevant units to ensure compliance with University of Miami guidelines.

Step 4. Agreement (Draft, Negotiation and Signature)

The Office of the Hemispheric and Global Affairs will work closely with the proposing University of Miami faculty or staff in drafting the agreement, supporting the negotiation and obtaining the signature of the parties for execution of the agreement.