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Partnership Process

Creating New International Partnerships

General Information

The Agreement Proposal process is internal to Santa Clara University and must be documented by the Global Engagement Office (GEO). Please copy Wade Peng ( on all written and electronic correspondence with the partner institution regarding the implementation of the agreement.

Before considering an international partnership, consider the following questions:

  • How does the potential partnership reflect our institutional mission statement, core values, and long-term goals?
  • How does the partnership align with our institution’s internationalization plan?
  • Does the partnership fill any gaps in our institution’s existing programs?
  • Does the proposed partner institution have the necessary faculty and staff capacity to launch and sustain the partnership?
  • Are there any issues that might limit the partnership (e.g., DOS travel warnings or health threats?)
  • How strong is the proposed partner institution’s commitment to the partnership?
  • How sustainable is the partnership?
  • What is the potential for expanding the proposed partnership to engage multiple institutional units?
  • What are the plans for periodically accessing the partnership?


I. GENERAL: SCU Staff and Faculty may enter into agreements with international institutions to further SCU’s mission and to facilitate international cooperation. There are two types of agreements: an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is a general agreement that lays the groundwork for future collaborative activity and an AOC (Agreement of Commitment) details one or more specific exchange activities and normally includes the commitment of university An AOC can only be pursued if an MOU has already been established.   

Examples of AOC Types:

  1. Administration of joint research projects
  2. Administration of student exchange programs
  3. Administration of faculty exchange programs

II. DEFINITIONS: International agreements are those institutional affiliations between Santa Clara University and partner institutions that involve the use of the University's name and may include any or all of the following:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): A general agreement that establishes a broad context for institutional cooperation. Because an MOU does not spell out specific commitments, programs will not be implemented without a Agreement of Cooperation (AOC)
  2. Agreement of Commitment (AOC): An agreement that spells out the specific arrangements for a program of exchange between one or more units of the University and another institution.  An MOU must be in place before an AOC can be made.
  3. Reciprocal Exchange (AOC): An AOC where both institutions reciprocally exchange students, staff, or faculty.  No payments will be made between the partners due to the equivalent exchange.  
  4. Sponsored Visitor (AOC): An AOC where the partner institution fully funds its students, staff, or faculty to attend SCU.
  5. Amendment: An agreement that alters or expands an MOU/AOC
  6. Renewal/Termination: MOU/AOC may be renewed or terminated following consultation and agreement between both institutions.  If termination is required both sides must be notified at least 6 months prior to the expiration of the MOU/AOC.   
  7. Agreement Coordinator: The representative from the SCU unit who is responsible for administering and implementing the agreement.  Once an MOU or AOC is initiated facilitation will be the Agreement Coordinator’s responsibility. 

III. PROCEDURES: Once a proposed MOU/AOC is drafted, it is submitted to General Counsel.  An MOU/AOC shall be considered in effect once two copies of the agreement document has been approved by General Counsel and signed by both institutions. Each institution will keep a copy.  The steps for MOU’s and AOC’s are as follows:


  • Establish interest for an agreement between SCU and an outside institution
  • Fill out and submit an “Agreement Proposal” as well as an MOU template to GEO
  • After GEO has approved of the proposal, a draft MOU will be approved by legal counsel in bothinstitutions before being submitted to the presidents of SCU and the partner institution
  • Both presidents will sign two copies of the MOU. Each institution will retain one physical copy for record keeping.


  • Establish interest for an agreement between SCU and the partner institution. An existing MOU must already be in place.
  • Designate one program coordinator from each institution who will be responsible for filing drafting/implementing the AOC
  • Secure necessary approvals (funding, student/faculty exchange, staffing, registration) from department directors/deans
  • Once GEO has approved of the proposal, a draft AOC will be approved by legal counsel in bothinstitutions
  • Directors/Deans as well as the program coordinators from both institutions will each sign two copies of the AOC. Each institution will retain one physical copy for record keeping.

IV. DISTRIBUTION AND ARCHIVES: GEO is responsible for distributing the copies of the authorized forms once they have been signed and for maintaining a record of all agreements.

V. ADMINISTRATION: The agreement shall be administered by the Agreement Coordinators.  GEO is not responsible for the administration or implementation of agreements. However, please note that all undergraduate non-degree students must be administered by GEO.

VI. LIMITATIONS: The duration of agreements will be limited to a cycle of no more than three years.  During the final year of a cycle, each agreement may be reviewed for renewal upon the recommendation of the Agreement Coordinator and the partner institution. The decision to renew or terminate should be decided at least six months in advance from the date of expiration. GEO will monitor the status of agreements.  If the assigned program coordinators leave their positions for any reason, a new program coordinator must be assigned and a new MOU/AOC must be signed by the end of the current three year cycle or face termination. 

Form templates for MOU's and AOC's

MOU Template

AOC Template

AOC Template (Scholars)