Electronic Approval Processes and Signatures at NC State

Internal Approvals

  • NC State maintains various administrative processes or internal forms that require approval, such as:
    • departmental or supervisor approval, e.g., travel reimbursement
    • employee signature, e.g., request form
    • student consent for internal control purposes, e.g., release of educational records.
  • If a department adopts processes that maintain appropriate documentation of approvals, then those approvals may be obtained by electronic or digital means.

Acceptable approval processes

  • Approval process incorporated within MyPack portal.
  • Authenticated Google form with an NC State email address.
  • PDF form with an electronic block (certificate) or graphic signature added in any block and
    • Shared within NC State’s G Drive or
    • Sent to or from an NC State email address.
      NOTE: Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to incorporate a signature into a PDF. Other PDF tools have similar functionality.
  • Typewritten name or graphic image of a signature verified by an electronic signature application such as:
  • (Least desirable and not accessible) Scanned image of a signed document.

Unacceptable approval processes

  • Document originating from an email address other than the signer’s or approver’s NC State email address.
  • Text message.
  • Social media communication.
  • Any other unauthenticated method of communication.

For questions about appropriate digital approval methods, consult with your unit’s Business Office.

Signatures on University Contracts or Agreements

  •  A limited number of NC State employees have been delegated authority by the Chancellor to sign contracts on behalf of the university or a department (NC State Regulation 01.20.02 – Delegation of Authority to Sign Contracts).
  • Such employees may sign the contracts with electronic signatures, provided that both of these conditions are met:
    • All parties to the agreement consent to using electronic signatures.
    • No law or regulation specifically requires a wet ink signature; e.g., notarized documents, eviction notices, certain environmental reports.
      For details, refer to Procurement and Business Services’ Contract Review.
  • To authenticate electronic signatures, parties should use a secure application designed to meet the legal requirements for electronic signatures, e.g., DocuSign, Adobe Sign.
  • This guidance does not expand the authority of any NC State employee to sign NC State or departmental contracts, letters of intent, MOUs, or other agreements requiring an NC State signature.


  • For questions about signing NC State contracts, contact the Office of General Counsel.
  • For questions about using electronic signature tools, contact the NC State Help Desk via the IT Service Portal.