Missouri State University

Consultants Agreements

What is my role as Department Head?

At times, a department requires the resources of an independent contractor on a short term basis.  As Department Head, it is your responsibility to ensure that an appropriate consultant is identified and that the agreement with the consultant is reasonable and well-defined, and properly approved.

Who may approve a consulting agreement?

Please note that only the Dean may approve a consulting agreement.  Once you have identified the consultant and have a draft agreement crafted, the Dean must approve.

What are the requirements in contracting with a consultant?

  • It is prudent to have a simple contractual agreement executed with the individual providing the services.  See the procurement services Consulting Agreement Template.   
  • The University must ensure that the federal employment laws are complied with regarding agreements with individuals who provide professional services, and the nature of the service does not constitute an employer-employee relationship. 
  • In order to pay the consultant for services rendered, you must complete the Consulting & Professional Services Worksheet that is to be submitted as support for all payments to individual professional service providers.  Invoices will not be paid without this form.

What are examples of independent contractors versus employees of the University? 

  • You would like to hire another department’s faculty member to assist in the creation of a workshop for your department.
    Answer:  Employee - must be paid through Payroll of University.) 
  • You are holding the contractor liable for damages if he terminates the project. 
    Answer:  Independent Contractor.  Exception is research participants, who may terminate their work prior to completion of the contract. 
  • You would like to pay the contractor by the hour.
    Answer:  University Employee 
  • You would like to hire an independent contractor for a six month period only, to devote her full work day (8 to 5) to your department’s project.
    Answer:  University Employee

See the Consulting & Professional worksheet for more information.

What policies and resources are available?

See Op8.05 Delegation of Contracting Authority Memorandum wherein the College Deans are provided authority to execute agreements up to $25,000. 

On a practical basis – What should I do?

Be aware of any proposed contractor arrangements within the department and review these in advance to determine if they meet the criteria within the Consulting & Professional Services Worksheet.  No payments can proceed to a contractor if any answers to the questions are “yes.”

In cases where the worksheet indicates this is not an independent contractor, the individual needs to be hired on a temporary/other basis.

What if I have questions?

Contact Procurement Services: MikeWills@missouristate.edu