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Policy on Policies


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. 


PolicyA policy is a statement of management philosophy and direction which changes infrequently and is established to provide guidance and assistance to the University community in the conduct of University affairs.
Policy Working Group (PWG)
A working group appointed by the Policy Owner who are identified in the proposed policy development process and based on the impacted stakeholders. 
Policy OwnerThe appropriate university administrative or academic department or responsible authority that covers the subject matter of the policy.
Policy ProgramOversees the development, review, approval, and archival processes for policies and procedures.
University- Policy Advisory Committee (UPAC)
Committee authorized by the President to oversee the Policy Program. Reviews proposed policies, substantive policy modifications and policy challenges, makes recommendation to the President's Cabinet for review and approval, as applicable.
Policy SponsorThe Policy Sponsor is the senior officer of the administrative or academic unit that will be the Policy Owner of a proposed policy submitted to the Policy Program for development, review and/or recommendation to the President's Cabinet for review. 
ProcedureStates the established or standard practice way of handling situations covered by policy.  A procedure generally consists of guidelines or a series of interrelated steps taken to help implement policy. Often a procedure includes who will perform, what will be performed, and the when / where of performance, if applicable.  Procedures typically are changed or updated more frequently than policies and do not require review by the UPAC.
StakeholdersStakeholders are university community members who are affected by the university policy being developed.
Subject Matter Experts (SME)
Subject Matter Experts (SME) are faculty or staff with a particular expertise in the pending policy subject matter.  SME are selected by the Policy Working Group to participate in PWG policy drafting and/or post-drafting group sessions to identify key concerns.

Types of Policies

Academic PolicyPolicies which directly affect the pedagogical and research work of the university.
Administrative PolicyNon-Academic Policies governing the operations of the university and its employees. 
Board PolicyThose policies that require Board approval or policies that have been approved by the Board.
Legacy PolicyPolicies developed before the initial effective date of the Policy on Policies.
Student PolicyStudent policies are policies which directly affect student lives at the university and are not an Academic Policy or Administrative Policy.
Unit PolicyApplies only to a specific unit, campus location or that is an internal operational policy for a specific division or administrative or academic department.  Such local policies do not require review by UPAC. However, all unit policies must be submitted to UPAC to make sure the policy does not impact other units.
University PolicyApplies broadly to more than one division of the university.  May have institution-wide application.  


Policy Program

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:

Academics Policies that relate to teaching/scholarship, and advocacy
AthleticsPolices applicable to the Division of University Athletics
Business & Finance OperationsPolicies related to accounting, budgeting, procurement, travel, and other financial functions
Enterprise Risk ManagementPolicies related to activities under university risk management administration
Ethics, Integrity, and CompliancePolicies concerning appropriate conduct, and/or compliance with university policies and procedures
Facilities, Equipment, and PropertyPolicies concerning use and care of university property and those promoting development and growth without significant deterioration of the environment or depletion of natural resources
Gift PoliciesPolicies related to giving and receipt of gifts to and from the university
GovernancePolicies that provide the framework for administration to implement and comply with the intent of the Board of Regents, for the Board of Regents to manage its own operations, or Senior Leadership administration
Human Resources
And Labor Relations
Policies, rules, and related procedures and information impacting working relationships within the university for all employee groups
Information Technology and SecurityPolicies that cover systems, access, data, and related issues
LegalPolicies concerning laws and regulations, not otherwise categorized
Marketing and CommunicationsPolicies that govern marketing and communications
Public Safety Policies concerning security and safety of faculty, staff, students, and guests
Research and Sponsored ProjectsPolicies that govern Sponsored Programs and related research
Student LifePolicies applicable to the Division of Student Life
Title IXPolicies related to matters regarding gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and related issues.​

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.

k.     Compliance

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]. 

Contact Information

For questions or additional information contact

Related Information


University Links


Policy Web site



Forms and Procedures

Related Links


Related links, external to the university, that support the policy, including state and federal websites
Policy on Policies Procedures

About This Policy
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