Service Agreements

What is a Service Agreement?

A Service Agreement is a legally binding arrangement between two parties (Client and Servicer) as to a course of action. The use of a Service Agreement in lieu of a Grant or Contract (subaward or subcontract) agreement depends on the source of originating funds from the Client (Federal, State, Local, other) and type of action provided by the Servicer (teaching, evaluating, or project design, conduct or reporting).

Who Supports Service Agreements?

The MSUE Service Agreement Staff (SAS) will support you through the process of completing the documents. Please contact the SAS by emailing as soon as you discover you may need an agreement. Make sure your subject line says “Service Agreement.”

What is a Service Rate?

Service rates are what we charge for Extension programs. This includes hard costs such as salary and fringe, and variable costs like space rental, supplies, travel, program licenses, etc. Some important points to remember are below:

  • MSU Extension has established uniform service rates based on hard costs and investment in time
  • Smith Lever now falls under federal uniform guidance regulations
  • We must standardize what and when we charge in working with all clients and stakeholders
  • We have been working with the university financial analysis group to establish standard rates for more than a year
  • Uniform guidance requires statewide consistency
  • Uniform rates are important from a regulatory standpoint, but it still allow us flexibility to choose what customers pay and which programs we subsidize

What information does the Service Agreement team need for creating a Service Agreement?

There are several piece of information that are important. See this PDF of sample questions you will be expected to answer so that we can create your service agreement. 

What is the Process for Service Agreements?

The below process is carried out by the field staff (or Educators), and the Service Agreement Staff (SAS) in the MSUE Business office. 

  1. Identify program and contact the Service Agreement Staff (SAS) at  (Educator responsibility)
  2. Complete questions provided by staff & provided additional information as requested. (Educator responsibility)
  3. Service Agreement Staff will work with the Educator to create the budget and finalize the scope of work. The final PDFs are sent to the Institute Director (ID) for approval.
  4. The SAS team secures ID approval (or other needed approvals) and returns the partially executed agreement to the Educator.
  5. The Educator secures the signatures of the client and returns the executed agreement to the SAS team. 
  6. Service Staff logs approved agreement and opens the DN account.

<Program is Executed>

  1. Educator notifies Service Agreement Staff of program completion. (Educator responsibility)
  2. The SAS team generates the invoices and sends to the client, unless an invoice was needed in advance to be handed to the client. In that situation, the Educator needs to inform the SAS team of this prior to the program. 

An elaborated model of the current service agreement proposal process is also below, and in this downloadable PPT




Who can sign Service Agreements?

Institute Directors (IDs) have had delegated signature authority granted to them to sign agreements that use the MSU Service Agreement template approved by the General Counsel and are <$5,000. Dr. Dwyer has delegated signature authority granted to him to co-sign agreements that use the MSU Service Agreement template approved by the General Counsel and are <$10,000.

Any agreement exceeding $10,000 must be signed off by CGA, and this adds to the timeline for approvals.

Any organization that uses their own template (and does not use our service agreement template) requires the contract to be reviewed and approved by General Counsel and then sent to CGA for their approval. This adds to the timeline for approvals.

What billing rates are used in Service Agreements?

MSU Extension billing rates for external customers and internal department can be found on the Billing Rates link here.

What should I do with MOUs, MOAs (except county), and Partner Contracts or Agreements?

Please send them to Ann Smith with a copy to  Questions should be directed to Ann Smith at 517-884-7277.

What should I do with space, facilities, fairground or transportation contracts?

Please upload them to the events system at Questions should be sent to or you can call the events team at  517-353-3175.



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