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Business Development Services - UIC

Business Development Services Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this information is to provide guidance to departments regarding the University of Illinois at Chicago's revenue agreement process.  The questions were selected based on consistent inquiries received.


Q. Who has authority to sign a contract?
A. Only the System Comptroller, or his approved delegates, has the authority to sign agreements/contracts for the system. A fully executed agreement, signed by both parties, is required before the services are performed. OBDS will take the responsibility for ensuring the System Comptroller or approved delegate's signature is affixed. For any pre-approved templated contracts (with no changes) less than $5,000.00 in value, the unit head is authorized to sign the Comptroller's name as long as the unit head also signs his/her name next to the Comptroller's name.

Q. What if I have a revenue generating idea, who would I talk to?
A. Call OBDS at (312) 996-3830 or email your idea to

Q. Are all the signature fields on the CARF necessary?
A. Yes. All signature levels including the Vice President Health Affairs/Vice Chancellor/Chancellor signatures are required on ALL revenue generating activity and no funds agreements. These signatures indicate approval for the proposed contract activity subject to university review and due diligence. A college or unit may present a letter to OBDS from their Vice President of Health Affairs/Vice Chancellor/Chancellor delegating their authority to sign the CARF to a representative of the college or unit. Designees cannot delegate further without the written consent of the Vice President Health Affairs/Vice Chancellor/Chancellor. For educational affiliation agreements and student placement agreements, signatures of the faculty member (preceptor), unit head and Dean of the College are required.

Q. Who is the Office of Business Development Services (OBDS) customer?
OBDS provides service to all UIC departments and units.  Note that OBDS does not furnish personal services to individual faculty members, staff or students.

Q. What is the difference between the services provided by OBDS and other contracting units of the university (OBFS-Purchasing, Office of Research Services and Office of Technology Management)?
A. OBDS assists university customers with revenue generating business opportunities (monies coming in) and educational affiliation agreements and student placement agreements (no funds). In contrast OBFS-Purchasing works with university departments to obtain commodities, equipment, and professional/general services (monies being paid out), as well as, ensure compliance to the Higher Education Procurements Rules, the Illinois Procurement Code, and other applicable state and federal regulations. The Office of Research Services handles sponsored research and federal flow-thru funding agreements. The Office of Technology Management helps companies license UIC technologies and assists UIC faculty and staff with negotiating agreements and licensing of UIC intellectual property.

Q. What do I submit to  get a contract started?
Submit hard copies of a completed CARF and RGIW (only required if OBDS develops the revenue generating agreement and when using a Client's contract document) and the relevant supporting documentation through university mail, mail service or drop-off at OBDS. For patient/clinical care agreements, a completed Fair Market Value (FMV) Analysis Tool is also required [OBDS will provide this Excel spreadsheet tool upon request]. One (1) hard-copy original of the CARF is required for each contract processing request.

Q. Can I submit forms electronically?
  Currently, a hardcopy of completed CARF must be submitted to OBDS (809 S. Marshfield, Chicago, IL. 60612 - Mail code MC078). The RGIW is available in a portable document format (pdf) and can be submitted electronically to

Q. How do I know that my CARF has been received?
When your CARF is received at OBDS, you will receive an email verifying its receipt. The email will contain the contract coordinator's name and the assigned contract number. If the CARF is missing information or required attachments (i.e. RGIW), you will be contacted to provide the necessary information before it is considered "received" at OBDS.

Q. What are Standard Agreements?
A. Standard Agreements are contract templates that were reviewed, developed and approved to legal form by University Counsel, the Office of Risk Management and OBDS. These templates may be used by departments and colleges without additional approval from University Counsel, unless changes are made by either the unit or the client. Standard agreements are available through the OBFS web site under Forms.

Q. How are non-standard agreements processed?
A. A non-standard agreement is either the other party's contract document or a custom-drafted contract tailored to a very specific scope of service and terms that do not follow typical system contract formats. Requests are submitted to OBDS by completing an CARF and the RGIW.

Q. How long will it take to process an agreement in OBDS?
A. The processing time to develop and approve an agreement depends on many factors. Are we working with the other party's contract? Are the scope of services, deliverables, and compensation structure well defined? Is the agreement for patient care/clinical services? Are the Intellectual Property Rights an issue? Is the CARF completed in its entirety with all required approval signatures? The answers to these questions are factors, among others, that have a significant impact on processing time. Our message is simple; involve our office early and often so that we can identify potential issues as early as possible. During FY10, OBDS processed on average, 79% of agreements within 14 days and during FY11 with the inclusion of additional types of contracts other than revenue, 77% of agreements were processed within 14 days. OBDS works actively to reduce processing time. However, unique and complex agreements require longer processing times which are determined by the specific facts related to the agreement.

 Q. Are automatic renewals allowed in our agreements?
Automatic renewals are allowed on a very limited case-to-case basis, and not recommended because they restrict our leverage to negotiate, adjust compensation up or down, or update provisions affected by federal; state or system policies, to name a few. Automatic renewals are limited to certain types of agreements such as managed care contracts.

Q. What is required to have a renewal amendment processed?
A. Submit to OBDS, one hard-copy of a CARF with all the required signatures including the original contract number with the 'Amendment' box checked, the new start and end date information, and the "Brief Description of Services" field indicating what changes are required. If more space is required, attach a memo including any and all changes to the scope of services, compensation or any other contract provision that should to be revised or incorporated with the renewal.

Q. Does OBDS process non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and/or confidentiality agreements (CAs)?
Yes, but limited to discussions with a client that may potentially lead to a revenue generating activity. For NDAs and CAs that involve a vendor or contractor and may involve an expenditure, please contact OBFS Purchasing. For NDAs and CAs that have a bearing on research activities, please contact the Office of Research Services.

Q. Does OBDS assist units/department in the selection of operators for outsourced revenue-generating activities?
The system occasionally contracts with independent operators of outsourced revenue activities (i.e. food service). The selection process follows system requests for information (RFI) or requests for proposals (RFP) depending on the contemplated revenue activity. OBDS will work with units/departments through an RFI or RFP process. The selected solicitation method is posted on the Illinois Public Higher Education Procurement Bulletin for at least 15 calendar days. OBDS provides assistance and guidance throughout the selection process up to a final award and contract in the best interests of the system.

Last Updated: July 17, 2018

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