Approval Authority Policy Revised

UB Seal on Crosby Hall.

Published September 13, 2019

The Approval Authority Policy, approved and signed by President Tripathi, is available in the University Policy Library



Only authorized individuals have the authority to obligate the University at Buffalo to receive or spend funds, provide or receive services, or otherwise commit its resources. Given the highly decentralized environment at UB, approvers play a critical role in ensuring that only appropriate activities occur. Those with approval authority are expected to exercise sound judgment in evaluating reasonableness of transactions in consideration of the scrutiny that is applied to our stewardship as a public university.

Transactions requesting payment to an individual, or that benefit an individual with approval authority, require approval by the next higher level of authority. No approver may authorize a payment to oneself or benefitting oneself, including but not limited to, personnel transactions, employee expenditure reimbursements, procurement card transactions, and travel or entertainment expenditures. This practice promotes accountability and helps to ensure the appropriate use of the university’s resources. 

This policy provides guidance on the delegation and assignment of authority to approve transactions; identifies the circumstances under which approvals are required by the president, provost, and vice-presidents; and requires that transactions requesting payment to an individual with approval authority be approved by the next higher level of authority.

Policy Revisions

Significant revisions to the Approval Authority Policy include:

  • Adding requirements for dual signature authority
  • Strengthening the requirements for delegation of authority
  • Requiring documentation of delegations in writing via the Delegation of Approval Authority Form
  • Adding responsibilities for the delegator
  • Adding purchasing approval requirements
  • Adding approval requirements for UB-funded construction projects


This policy applies to all university accounts and funding entities including all State, Research Foundation, and University at Buffalo Foundation (UBF) accounts.


Questions can be directed to the following individuals:

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President Human Resources
Jennifer Pesany
Assistant Vice President Financial Management
Tonga Pham
Associate Vice President for University Facilities
Daniel Vivian
Assistant Vice President Procurement Services