Educational Agreements

Columbia University has a long history of successful and mutually beneficial collaborations with a wide range of domestic and global partners. This website was launched to facilitate the work of faculty and staff throughout the University to construct agreements that satisfy regulatory requirements from federal, state, and accrediting bodies, as well as to follow best practices and ensure the quality of our educational programs. It is the result of a collaborative effort among several offices, including Student Financial Services (SFS)/Compliance, the Office of General Counsel (OGC), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP). It is meant to provide the Columbia community with best practices in the development of educational agreements. Below, the process for developing and codifying agreements is described step-by-step. Timelines and preliminary drafts are also provided.

Educational Agreement Process

1. Please contact your school's dean for education/academic affairs prior to submitting a new educational agreement to the Provost's Office. The school's dean's office must sign off on any proposed educational agreement.

2. We have launched an online tool called DARCI (Database for Agreements, Renewals, Centers and Institutes) for processing academic agreements.

       a. Check with your school's education dean to see if your school is using DARCI, and who in the dean's office can access it for you. Please work with that individual to submit your proposed agreement with accompanying basic information via DARCI.

       b. If your school is not using DARCI, please complete the Cover Sheet for a New Educational Agreement. This form summarizes basic information about the general agreement and rationale as to why the university should enter into this agreement. Click here to download the form. Only Columbia University faculty and staff should use this form for internal proposals at the school or department level.

3. Submit the agreement via DARCI, or via email (to with the cover sheet. All documents must be submitted as Word documents that allow for editing. PDFs will not be accepted.

4. The agreement will typically need to be reviewed and approved by 3-4 offices:

  • Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs (OVPAP)
  • Office of General Counsel (OGC)
  • Student Financial Services (SFS)/Compliance Office
  • CUMC Dean's Office (if the agreement is from one of the CUMC schools)

Depending on the location of the proposed agreement, Risk Management (or other University offices) may also be consulted and asked to review.

5. The agreement review and approval process can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 36 weeks. Please note that the review process begins when both the agreement and accompanying basic information (collected via DARCI or cover sheet) are received via DARCI or email.

  • OVPAP preliminary draft: 6-12 weeks
  • Non-Columbia University agreement: 8-36 weeks

6. Schools are encouraged to use one of the University's preliminary drafts to help expedite the approval process.

7. Agreement Translation/Verification - The Provost cannot sign documents in any language other than English without the agreement being verified by a translation service or approval from OGC.

  • OVPAP will work with the translation service on behalf of the school. Please note that if a translation is needed this can lengthen the review and approval process time, even when OVPAP preliminary drafts are used.
  • Schools submitting agreements for approval that require translation are responsible for the costs incurred as of July 1, 2016.
  • Schools will be asked to provide a chartstring to cover the costs of the translation.

8. Signatures on agreements - There is a process that schools should follow to obtain signatures on agreements. OVPAP will provide this information to the school once the agreement has been approved. This information will be clearly described in a cover memo from OVPAP.

Educational Agreement Preliminary Drafts

Please contact for available preliminary draft agreements.

Access a description of agreement types.



(This site launched June 1, 2015)