Hotel/Restaurant/Caterer Contract and Agreement Review Process
The purpose of event contracts and the review process is to protect you, your department, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and Northwestern University from liability. No event should be held without an authorized contract signed by the Feinberg School of Medicine's Vice Dean for Finance and Administration.
- Every hotel booking, restaurant, venue, and caterer must have a signed contract/agreement and related documents as required.
- A contract will not be endorsed until it has passed through the review process below (contracts and agreements cannot be endorsed at a departmental level).
- Liability is of heightened concern when the event includes alcohol, whether it is on or off campus. NU does not carry Alcohol Liability Insurance because we are not in the business of serving alcohol.
- The vendor must provide Alcohol Liability coverage or no alcohol can be served. Importantly, if your department is providing alcohol in any manner, even a casual gathering, you are required to hire a licensed bartender.
- Departments are strongly encouraged to utilize NU Preferred Vendors whenever possible. NU Preferred Vendors have a Certificate of Insurance (COI) on file which helps to streamline the process for you.
Document Review Process
STEP 1: The FSM sponsoring department obtains agreement/contract (any document which has a signature line requiring FSM endorsement) from the hotel/restaurant/caterer/venue.
STEP 2: Submit the package of documents to the Office of Finance and Administration via the Contracts for Hotels, Venues, Catering, and Restaurants online form or email to FinanceandAdministration@northwestern.edu as soon as possible, or at a minimum of at least 2 weeks in advance of the deadline to authorize the agreement. The package of documents includes the agreement and, when applicable:
- Expense Policy Exception Form
- NU Events Rider - not required if using a NU Preferred Vendor
- Certificate of Insurance (COI) - not required if using a NU Preferred Vendor
- Event flyer or invitation
STEP 3: The Office of Finance and Administration will review the documents and alert the requesting department to any issues. Once all documents are in order, the final set of documents will be given to the Vice Dean of Finance and Administration for final review and signature. Any remaining issues are brought to the attention of the requesting department.
STEP 4: The requesting unit provides final signed documents to the vendor.
Note: It is important to include all other documents (COI, NU Events Rider) in all correspondence with the vendor.
Northwestern University may provide donations to charitable organizations only as outlined in the Charitable Donations By the University policy. Donations made at the direction of the President, Provost, or Executive Vice President or donations to attend or gain recognition at fundraising events require the Request Form to Provide Donations to or Fundraise for a Registered Not-for-Profit Charitable Organizations to be completed and approved by the requesting unit, school, and university. Donations to for-profit businesses or organizations, foreign organizations, and political activities are not permitted. To obtain school approval, the review process is similar to that of contracts.
Requests to make charitable donations should be submitted to the Office of Finance and Administration via the Charitable Donation online form. The package of documents should include the following:
The request will be reviewed by the Office of Finance and Administration and, if approved, signed by the Vice Dean of Finance and Administration. The request form to provide donations will be returned to the requesting unit for routing to the Office of the Vice President of Finance Operations and Treasurer for university approval. For approved charitable donations, please remember to charge the tax-deductible amount to account code 78654.
When paying the vendor the following documentation must be uploaded to the Requisition or Payment Request to ensure timely processing:
- Approved documentation (contract, NU Event Rider, etc.)
- Event flyer or invitation
- Guest list
- Approved Expense Policy Exception (if required)
- For approved charitable donations, please remember to charge the tax-deductible amount to account code 78654.