Licenses, whether they are for hardware, software, data or information of any kind usually involve two parties, the licensor and the licensee. If Brown University is either, read on.
Note that Brown must be involved if the license pertains to any Brown equipment, facilities or employees (while they are working).
Who Can Sign?
Only a handful of University administrators may do that.
In most cases, a member of the technical staff will review the agreement to ensure that it is reasonable, the CS Dept can comply with it, and the people involved are aware of any restrictions it places on them. It is then sent to Dean Wunderlich at the Graduate School, who actually signs it. This process may take as long as a week or more.
Commercial Software Licensing
Occasionally someone has a commercial interest in software developed at Brown. The University's copyright prohibits commercial distribution of Brown software, and the University usually collects a fee to waive that provision.
Note that Brown has a generous policy of sharing commercial proceeds with authors, even when the works licensed are wholly owned by the University.