The purpose of the university's Policy Program is to make certain that through uniform rules, procedures, and guidelines the university (i) complies with applicable laws, (ii) adopts operational efficiencies and best ethical practices, and (iii) promotes mission-centered values and objectives. The Program will make sure that the policies of the university are well developed, easy to understand, consistent with current policies and readily accessible to all constituencies.
This policy addresses the process for developing, issuing, and maintaining all university-wide policies and describes the relationship between policies and their related procedures. All policies developed under this policy shall be applied university-wide unless specified otherwise. This policy applies to all university academic or administrative departments, faculty, staff, and students on all campuses. This policy does not address the development of policies that are specific, and whose impact is limited, to individual administrative or academic units, and does not dictate the process for development of policies solely owned by faculty.
The Office of Compliance & Ethics will coordinate the Policy Program processes. The Program provides guidance to the Policy Owners, Policy Sponsors, and Policy Stakeholders.
a. Policy Development
The Policy Program will develop, implement, and oversee appropriate procedures for this Policy on Policies, using the terms and concepts of this document. The university will follow these procedures in developing, issuing, and maintaining all university-wide policies. The Policy Program oversight process and procedures will ensure that policies do not conflict or override other active policies nor violate current university contract terms. Any unresolved potential policy conflicts will be submitted to the UPAC for final resolution.
b. University Policy Advisory Committee
The UPAC will consist of five voting members and two ex-officio members. The Chief Operational Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Provost, the Vice President for Student Life, and the Academic Council Chair will each appoint a designee from their area of responsibility to serve on the UPAC. The two standing ex-officio members will be the Chief Compliance Officer, or designee, and General Counsel, or designee. If there is a tie on any policy approval decision, the tie-breaking vote will be cast by the Chief Compliance Officer. The make-up of the UPAC is structured to obtain a broad scope of campus operations while maintaining an efficient and effective committee size for policy review and approval. Each voting member will serve a staggered two-year term, with the opportunity for a reappointment at the discretion of the appointing senior manager/council chair.
c. Policy vs Procedures
Procedures are step-by-step descriptions of the tasks required to support and carry out, and are subject to, organizational policies. Procedures might also document a course of action accomplished in a defined order, ensuring the consistent and repetitive approach to accomplish control activities to implement policies and maintain policy compliance.
Policies will be clearly distinguished from related procedures according to the definitions above. Procedures will not be included in a policy document but rather a “stand-alone" document(s) maintained by a department or unit subject to the approved policy. Stand-alone procedures do not require the same approval processes as policies, but it is recommended that when Policies are updated/modified, the Policy Owner should make sure there are no corresponding updates needed to the procedures. Procedures may be changed or updated more frequently than policies. Procedures often include who will perform, what will be performed, the when for the performance and the where, when applicable.
d. Unit Policies and Procedures
Matters pertaining only to the internal procedures of a specific campus, administrative or academic unit, or office are not considered within the scope of this policy provided any associated impacts are also contained within the unit. Academic and administrative units (including campuses, schools, and departments) may develop local policies, whether a corresponding university policy exists as long as associated impacts are constrained with the specific unit.
A school, college, or administrative or academic operating unit may issue policies or procedures that relate to, and impact, matters of interest only to that school, college or unit and/or that set forth procedures by which the unit will act to carry out the university policies. These shall be referred to generally as “unit policies and procedures."
Unit policies and procedures must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate dean or university officer prior to adoption. Units are required to use the standard policy template to ensure uniformity of form and appearance for policies and procedures throughout the institution. Unit policies and procedures shall be published and maintained on the policy website with a link to the webpage of the issuing unit.
e. Relationship of University Policies to Unit Policies
Campuses, administrative or academic departments or offices may not develop policies that conflict or override other active policies or violate current university contract terms. Unit policies must be compliant with any applicable university policy. In the event a conflict exists or develops between a university-wide Policy and a Unit Policy, the university-wide Policy will prevail.
The Policy Program will assist the campuses in assuring alignment with the specifications above.
f. Implementation of a Policy
The related communication and implementing procedures will be included in the policy development process.
Policy Owner will coordinate the implementation of the policy and corresponding communication plans and training as applicable. The Policy Owner will direct the development and administration of procedures, communications and training related to the policy, and timely revisions. The Policy Owner will work with the Policy Working Group to finalize procedures and the implementation timeline for a given policy. The Policy Owner will have the ultimate responsibility for approving and implementing any necessary metrics for measuring and monitoring compliance of an approved policy.
g. Interim Policy
UPAC may forego the review period and approve a policy via an expedited process when a university policy must be established in a time period too short to permit the completion of the process delineated in this policy. Special situations where this is likely may include a change in federal or state law, a significant and immediate financial opportunity, or material institutional risk.
An interim policy may remain in force for up to 18 months from the date of issuance.
h. Location of Policies
To maintain an organized system of change control, and to ensure consistency throughout the university, individual departmental websites should not contain separate copies or versions of university policies or applicable procedures. Instead, departmental websites that reference university policies and procedures must use hyperlinks to the documents on the official University Policies web page. This does not preclude departments from maintaining internal departmental policies and procedures on their websites, provided the internal departmental policies and procedures are not identified as official university policies and procedures, do not conflict with official university policies, and the Policy Program is provided notice of new and/or modified changes and corresponding links.
To ensure university policies are readily accessible, the university will maintain an official University Policies web page with the most current approved version of all university policies, with links to applicable procedures. The documents on the University Policies web page will constitute the official electronic repository for university-wide policies for the university.
i. Structure and Organization of University Policies
The University Policies website will list university policies by name and category and will provide links to related procedures. Policies will be assigned to one or more of the following categories:
j. Decommissioning and Archiving
Previous versions of university policies will be retained by the Policy Program for future reference but will not be posted on the Policy Website. With recommendation of UPAC and approval of the Cabinet, a responsible Policy Owner may decommission a policy when it is no longer applicable, where it has been changed into guidelines or procedures, or where it would be more effective to integrate it into another policy.
Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for knowing, understanding, and complying with policies that relate to their position, employment, or enrollment at the university. Policy Owners are responsible for following the policy development and implementation process established by this policy, communicating their policies effectively, reviewing and updating their policies regularly, and monitoring their policies for compliance and effectiveness.
Employees failing to abide by this policy will result in disciplinary action in accordance with the Disciplinary Action Policy for Compliance Misconduct [link].
For questions or additional information contact Policies@pacific.edu
Disciplinary Action Policy for Compliance Misconduct
Policy on Policies Procedures