Principles of Delegation of Authority and Protocol

What is a "Formal Delegation of Authority"?

Authority for making decisions at the University is communicated through various means. The Board of Regents is granted ". . . full powers of organization and government . . ." of the University by the Constitution of the State of California, Article IX Section 9. The Regents have delegated certain authorities to the President and to other University of California Officers in the Standing Orders and Bylaws. The President promulgates formal written statements granting broad or limited authority for specified matters.

A formal delegation of authority should include the following statements: the source of the authority; a description of the authority that is being delegated; any limitations imposed, including restrictions on redelegation; and a reference to existing delegations that will be modified (amended or superseded) by the action.

Principles Regarding Delegation of Authority and Redelegation of Authority

  • Authority for matters that require specific approval of the Board of Regents may not be redelegated.
  • Authority is delegated to a position title, not to an individual. Delegations of authority should be addressed accordingly. It is not necessary to issue a new delegation when individual position incumbents change, unless the duties of the position also change. Likewise, it is not necessary to issue a delegation for routine office management and/or administrative responsibilities.
  • By longstanding custom, delegations of authority "flow down" through the chain of command. The President delegates authority to a direct report, who then (if allowed) may redelegate that authority to a direct report, and so on. The same principle applies for delegations and redelegations within a campus.
  • If further redelegation is not permitted or if the redelegation carries limitations, the delegation or redelegation should so state. If a written delegation does not contain a statement disallowing or limiting redelegation, the presumption is that the authority may be redelegated, except where redelegation would violate one of the Principles.
  • Delegation or redelegation is prohibited if the position to receive the delegation holds an inherent conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict, or if a conflict or the appearance of a conflict develops or occurs. If a conflict of interest arises once a delegation or redelegation is in place, the individual in the position or the person to whom that individual reports must determine how to manage the conflict of interest. The delegation or redelegation should be withdrawn if there is an ongoing conflict or the perception of a conflict.
  • Redelegated authority must be granted and exercised consistent with the terms and conditions of the original delegation and with applicable laws, regulations, and University policies.

Protocol for Issuing Delegations of Authority and Redelegations of Authority

The office with functional responsibility over the matter being delegated is responsible for working with the Universitywide Policy Office to draft a delegation for the President's consideration. The draft delegation must be accompanied by a cover sheet documenting appropriate approvals within the Division. The Universitywide Policy Office will coordinate required approval by the Office of General Counsel. The Policy Office prepares the official issuance for transmittal to the President for signature, and publishes the approved version. The Universitywide Policy Office also manages and is the office of record for redelegations of authority within the Office of the President.

Campus Management of Delegations and Redelegations of Authority

Each Chancellor has designated a unit with responsibility for managing campus delegations and redelegations of authority. That unit transmits required copies of campus redelegations of Presidential authority to the Universitywide Policy Office, which routes copies to cognizant Office of the President units, including the Office of the General Counsel.