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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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Types of Contracts


  • University-level and Department-level MOUs declare an intent to explore opportunities to collaborate in areas that would be mutually beneficial to each institution. MOUs may lead to more specific activities and goals, which could then be expressed in the form of an MOA.
  • University-level MOUs typically will be generic provide a strategic advantage to Ohio State as umbrella agreements for concrete and specific activities of importance.
  • College or Center/Institute/School-level MOAs are specific agreements that can stand alone or be dependent upon a university-level MOA, as appropriate.
  • Student Exchange Programs involve Study Abroad and International Students and Scholars in collaboration with academic units at Ohio State as well as the international partner institution.
  • Collaborative degree programs are specific coordinated curricula involving corresponding units at the partner institutions.

Generic MOUs vs. Specific (or substantive) MOAs

  • University-level umbrella MOUs presuppose the existence of specific activities in academic units that motivate the broader involvement with an international partner.
  • Specific MOAs require a plan for activities and their implementation and, as appropriate, commitment of resources.
  • MOAs and SEAS involve complex plans of collaboration and interaction; they will be reviewed and approved by the International Partnerships subcommittee of the International Affairs Committeee.
  • In addition to carrying the mandatory approval by the Senior Vice President for Business and Finance, specific MOAs are signed by the Dean of the college(s) concerned.
  • All MOUs require a broad concept statement explaining the purpose of the partnership and its expected outcomes. The statement is an integral portion of the MOU. It will be used for internal documentation of intent as well as for an assessment of outcomes.
  • All MOAs are accompanied bya statement of purpose detailing the involvement of any unit within the signature domain (college) and specific aspects not covered in the MOA text. As an integral portion of the MOA, the statement should contain (beyond what is stated in the MOA text itself) an explaination of motivating factors relating to the initiation of the agreement, plans for activity from both the cooperating and responsible parties, a listing of resources as appropriate, names of contact persons, as well as plans for follow-up and reporting activities. It will be used for internal documentation of intent as well as for an assessment of outcomes.
  • SEAs contain the same information in the text of the document. They need to be accompanied by an acknowledgement of the Ohio State academic unit's obligation to fulfill its part in balancing the exchange activities.


  • Signatories are at level of Dean (to cover department, school, center, institute, program).
  • Any participating unit below the college level requires signature by the dean/director of the applicable reporting-line unit.
  • Where appropriate, the Executive Dean signs for multiple college-level involvements.
  • The Provost and/or the President will sign MOAs only where specifically indicated by the nature of the planned activities and/or for representational purposes.

Process Flow


Steps         Deposit
MOU > OIA > Legal > OIA > B&F   > OIA
MOA specific (college) > OIA > Legal > OIA > B & F   > OIA
MOU generic (university) > OIA > Legal > OIA > B & F (> Prov./Pres.) > OIA
MOA specific (university) > OIA > Legal > OIA > B & F (> Prov./Pres.) > OIA

SEA specific (college, OIA)

> OIA > Legal > OIA > B & F  


Necessary Components for Specific MOAs

  • Intellectual property clause
  • Export control clause (as appropriate)
  • Clauses exempting the contract from arbitration and placing it under Ohio law
  • Clause requiring renewal by renegotiation (no automatic continuation)
  • Start date and duration of agreement

Collaborative Degree Programs

  • For all collaborative degree programs, please contact International Affairs early on for guidance and connection with the appropraite oversight body (Graduate School, Undergraduate Education).