Service-Level Agreement Checklist and Examples

What you need to know

Skeptical of system-wide support models, campus-level faculty and staff worry that shared service centers will place system priorities and projects over local campus and unit needs. Meanwhile, system leaders see faculty and academic staff as unreasonable in their expectations for local control and unwilling to see that shared services can improve service quality.

How to use these tools

Service level agreements (SLAs) articulate the services and performance expectations required from both the shared services provider and the customer. SLAs are especially important for system-wide shared services as staff perform functions for multiple campuses. Therefore, the working relationship between the shared services center, the system, and the constituent campuses must be well defined and the expectations clear.

SLAs are typically developed in conjunction with the creation of KPIs, which play an important role in SLA design. Since SLAs represent mutual accountability between the shared service center and customer units, representatives of both should be included in SLA development planning. Planning teams often include:

  • System leadership
  • Shared services director and functional area leaders
  • Implementation team members
  • Deans and unit head representatives
  • Decentralized administrative staff

Related resources

The University Systems Forum developed a checklist of essential and optional elements to include in your SLAs as well as links to higher education SLA examples.

Service-level agreement component checklist

SLA examples for IT, payroll, procurement, HR, and finance:


Texas State University - San Marcos

Columbia University


University of North Texas System


State of Utah


Johns Hopkins University


University of California, Riverside

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