Frequently Asked Questions

What is a University "policy"?

What distinguishes "policy" from "procedure"?

Who approves policies?

What is the Policy Library?

What is the policy "review and revision process"?

How can I get archived policy material?

What is an "original source"?

Can I propose a new policy, or a change to a current policy?

What is the Policy Advisory Council?

What happened to the Oregon Administrative Rules?

Who issues the numbers for a policy?

Who do I contact if I have a question about a policy or the Policy Library?

 


What is a University "policy"?

The UO defines a “policy” as a statement that:  (1) has broad application or impact throughout the University community, (2) must be implemented to ensure compliance with state or federal law, (3) is necessary to enhance the University’s mission, to ensure institutional consistency and operational efficiency, or to mitigate institutional risks; or (4) is otherwise designated by the Board or the President as a University Policy subject to the Policy-Making Process authorized in the Policy on University Policies. A policy establishes rights, requirements or responsibilities. Excluded from this definition are things such as, but not limited to, implementation guides, operating guidelines, internal procedures, and similar management controls and tools.

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What distinguishes "policy" from "procedure"?

A policy is a formal statement of commitment to a broad requirement or priority of the university. Policies provide the operational framework of the university and should be clearly written in broad terms readily intelligible to a diverse audience of faculty, staff, and students. Policies cannot be written to take precise account of all possible situations so its provisions need to be general enough to be applied to unanticipated circumstances. A policy should not include background details on the policy or procedural steps.

Procedures are the operational processes required to implement university policy. They serves as a set of instructions or specifies a series of actions or operations which must be executed in order to comply with the responsibilities outlined in policy. A policy describes “what” the institution does; procedures articulate “how” a policy is implemented.  Procedures are prone to more frequent change than policies and should be regularly monitored and maintained. 

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Who approves policies?

The Board of Trustees has ultimate authority for the policies of the University.  However, through the Policy on the Retention and Delegation of Authority (UO Policy I.01.01), the Board has delegated this authority to the President for most policies.  

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What is the Policy Library?

The Policy Library is a website (policies.uoregon.edu) which houses the University’s policy statements in an organized, consolidated and searchable tool.  The Policy Library allows you to sort by policy number (numerically) or title (alphabetically) and to search for keywords in case you do not know the number or title. The Policy Library also serves as a tool for following the work of the Policy Advisory Council, monitoring policies under development, and submitting public comment on policy proposals.   

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What is the policy "review and revision process"?

You may have heard about an effort at the UO to review all of its policies.  The UO inherited hundreds of policies from the State during the 2014 transition to independent governance.  Part of the transition involves consolidating these policies into the master UO Policy Library.  At the same time, the University is reviewing each and every policy to ensure it is applicable, up-to-date, and in line with priorities.  The President has targeted June 30, 2017 as the completion date for this project. 

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How can I get archived policy material?

Please email uopolicy@uoregon.edu with any requests for policy documents or archives.

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What is an "original source"?

When the UO inherited policies from the State during the governance transition in 2014, those policies came from various sources, including: Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR), Oregon University System (OUS) Board policies and OUS Internal Management Directives (IMDs).  As these policies are reviewed and – if necessary – revised or repealed, they will be renumbered according to a new UO policy naming convention.  Until the review and revision process is complete, inherited policies will retain their original source number so that individuals who are familiar with the former naming conventions can more easily find what they are looking for.

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Can I propose a new policy, or a change to a current policy?

Members of the University of Oregon community (e.g. faculty, students, staff, the Senate) may propose changes to current policies or new policies.  To do so, please download the Policy Concept Form and follow the instructions.

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What is the Policy Advisory Council?

The Policy Advisory Council (PAC) is a cross-functional group of faculty, students, and staff, who advise the President on university-wide policy development, review, and revision. The PAC has primary responsibility for promoting a consultative policy development process and establishing related timelines.  Members of the PAC are appointed by the President with the exception of one designated position reserved for the University Senate President to ensure good communication with that body.

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What happened to the Oregon Administrative Rules?

The University of Oregon operated under Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) Chapter 580 and Chapter 571 prior to the change to institutional governance.  On July 1, 2014, when the institutional Board of Trustees assumed governing responsibilities, those OARs became UO Policies by operation of law.  Those policies have now been incorporated into the Policy Library.  Each individual OAR dealt with a particular item, but many OARs were related to the same policy matter.  In such instances, those OARs were consolidated into one policy.  (See Parking Regulations” as an example.)  The current policy number in effect while the policies are all under review includes the OAR chapter (571 or 580), division and, when applicable, the section number.  You may search by policy number, title/subject, or use the Crosswalk.

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Who issues the numbers for a policy?

The University Secretary issues policy numbers in consultation with the responsible office.  Policy numbers are assigned based on an organized taxonomy that outlines volumes and chapters for categories of policies.

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Who do I contact if I have a question about a policy or the Policy Library?

For questions about a specific policy, you should contact the office listed on the policy’s web page.  For questions about policies generally or about the Policy Library, please contact the Office of the University Secretary at 541-346-3166 or uopolicies@uoregon.edu.

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