The University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison) supports the international engagement of our faculty, staff and students, whose diverse research, teaching, learning, and service activities extend beyond the boundaries of our campus to influence people’s lives around the world. Recognizing that international collaborators often require an agreement to formalize a partnership before collaborations can proceed, the International Division is ready to work closely with faculty and staff to develop and fully execute international agreements.
Any UW–Madison faculty or staff may initiate an international agreement. Foreign partners and UW–Madison students must find a UW–Madison faculty or staff member who is willing to engage in or support an international collaboration; requests coming directly from another institution will not advance.
Only a few people on campus have authority to sign international agreements on behalf of UW–Madison. Primary delegated signatory authority is held by the Vice Provost and Dean, International Division. Depending on circumstances, the Chancellor, the Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Business Services and Controller will sign. Other school or college leadership often sign in support.
The International Division is responsible for ensuring international agreements generate mutual benefit, set realistic expectations, manage risks, adhere to campus, state, and federal policies, and are signed by someone with authority to sign on behalf of UW–Madison.
To review our current partners and active agreements, take a look at the Wisconsin Directory of Global Engagement (WiDGE).
About International Agreements
International agreements facilitated by the International Division involve at least one entity such as a university, organization, company or government outside the U.S. and are typically non-monetary. Agreements and contracts with non-U.S. entities that involve funding are the primary responsibility of Research and Sponsored Programs and Business Services, but the International Division helps facilitate as necessary. If you need an agreement supporting international collaboration, but are not sure which type of international agreement you need, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common international agreement types include:
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – A document expressing shared interests and intent to explore future collaboration toward a common goal.
- Implementation Agreement – An agreement detailing resource commitments, contact people, and relevant terms (e.g. intellectual property) for a known activity.
- Collaborative Academic Agreement – An agreement regarding academic programs (e.g. Dual Degrees or 3+1+1 programs).
- Exchange Agreement – An agreement facilitating bilateral student mobility for academic credit.
- International Affiliation Agreement – An agreement enabling students to have learning experiences at non-US clinical facilities, e.g. clinical health rotations for medical or pharmacy students.
- Internship Agreement – An agreement enabling UW–Madison students to have work experiences abroad or for UW-Madison faculty and staff to host interns on campus.
Common agreement terms include:
- Purpose of collaboration
- Formal, legal names of partnering entities
- Responsibilities of each party
- Date of signatures
- Duration (date the agreement will be in effect and expire) UW–Madison does not sign auto-renewing or indefinite international agreements.
- Termination (conditions under which a party may end the agreement early)
- Modification (conditions under which a party may modify the original terms of the agreement)
Developing an International Agreement
In general, faculty and staff who need an international agreement must fulfill the following:
- Inform and receive endorsement from Department Chair and School/College Dean.
- Complete an International Agreement Proposal Form via the Wisconsin Directory of Global Engagement (WiDGE) Faculty & Staff Portal.
- Serve as primary contact with partners, including:
- Sharing UW–Madison-approved draft international agreement with foreign partner once the International Relations Manager has provided it;
- Communicating partner feedback to the International Relations Manager until all parties approve a final version of the international agreement; and
- Seeking partner’s authorized signature(s).
- Ensure that UW–Madison receives a fully executed version for campus files.
The process for developing an agreement varies because each international agreement tends to be unique, but it typically includes initiating, drafting, seeking review/approval, facilitating signatures, and recording international agreements.