Proposing Cooperative Agreements

Although much collaboration can flourish in the absence of any institutional agreement, sometimes it can be beneficial or even necessary to formalize an institutional relationship with a cooperative agreement. As indicators of an institutional commitment to a relationship, these agreements help bring parties to the table or gather funding. Cooperative agreements can also limit the exposure of the partners and resolve misunderstandings before they become problematic. More complex agreements serve to define relevant program structures, funding responsibilities, and the respective rights and liabilities of the partners.

All international cooperative agreements at UGA are subject to the review and approval of the respective department and college, International Education, and Legal Affairs. In order to initiate institutional review of a proposed ICA, a faculty member should submit a Proposal for an International Cooperative Agreement. Although this proposal is automatically forwarded to the faculty member's home department head and dean, it is recommended that faculty members first discuss proposals with their home units to gauge support for the collaboration.

International Partnerships staff use this proposal to vet the partnership and assess the institutional benefit to UGA. In evaluating the partnership, we will consider the following questions:

    - What are the expected outcomes of the proposed relationship?

    - What planning, communication or collaboration has already occurred?

    - What are the benefits to UGA's different stakeholders?

    - How would the partnership support UGA's mission or enhance areas of priority at UGA?

    - Is the faculty member, department and/or college committed to a sustained partnership?

    - What is the potential for expanding the partnership beyond its original scope?

    - How would the partnership complement existing international collaboration at UGA?

    - What are the financial implications of the proposed partnership?

    - How would a formal agreement enhance the partnership?

If a proposal is approved, the International Partnerships Coordinator will consult with the proposing faculty member on reaching out to the potential partner to negotiate a cooperative agreement. UGA's standard agreement is drafted to include a variety cooperative activities. Certain types of collaboration, such as student or faculty exchange agreements or research agreements, may require additional contracts which are often drafted as addenda to the main cooperative agreement and provide further detail regarding the specifics of the collaborative project or exchange.

If the partner has not already proposed an agreement, International Partnerships generally will offer its standard ICA and consider any requests for changes made by the partner. If the partner institution has already proposed an agreement, International Partnerships will review the agreement and request any necessary modifications to the partner. This process will continue until the parties reach mutually acceptable terms, with all agreements also reviewed by Legal Affairs.

When the partners are comfortable with the agreement, it will be signed in duplicate at both institutions. 

If you have any questions about international cooperative agreements, contact the International Partnerships Coordinator (706)542-0452.