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CWUP 2-10-180 Electronic Signatures

(1) General

This policy authorizes the use of electronic signatures by university community members and applies to all uses of electronic signatures for university business, teaching, research, and service operations.

(2) Definitions

(A) For the purposes of this policy, the below terms are defined as follows:

1. Click-Through Agreement: An online contract which requires a user to indicate acceptance by clicking an “OK,” “I Agree,” or other similar button.

2. Digital Signature: An electronic signature that is a transformation of a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person having the initial message and the signer’s public key can accurately determine:

(a) whether the transformation was created using the private key that corresponds to the signer’s public key; and

(b) whether the initial message has been altered since the transformation was made.

3. Electronic Signature: An electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. Electronic signatures include but are not limited to digital signatures and click-through agreements.

(3)  The university’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Contracts, Procurement, and Payment Services will make joint determinations, after conducting a risk assessment, as to the following:

(a) which submitted standard forms will be approved to be electronically signed,

(b) the type and level of authentication and any other security precautions required for electronically signing each approved form, and

(c) the system or process that may be utilized for electronically signing each approved form.

The university’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Contracts, Procurement, and Payment Services will also be authorized to jointly make blanket determinations concerning electronic signature approval for specific categories of documents.

(4) The Director of Contracts, Procurement, and Payment Services will determine on a case-by-case basis whether individual contracts may be signed electronically.  Electronically-signed contracts and amendments are subject to all contract review and approval requirements set forth in CWUR 3-10-612 and CWUP 2-10-040.

(5) The contracting authority provisions of CWUP 2-10-170 apply equally to contracts signed with handwritten signatures and contracts signed electronically. 

(6) Electronically-signed public records must be retained in accordance with the applicable state approved retention schedule.

[04/17/2019; Responsibility: BFA; Authority: BAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 04/17/2019; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]

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