Policy Statements: Development and Management

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Last Updated: 
12/15/2011
Effective Date: 
01/20/2010

Responsible University Office And Contact Person

Policy Number: 
01.00.02
Preamble: 

Through Oregon Revised Statutes and OUS Internal Management Directives, the University President is charged with the authority and the responsibility to issue, revise and rescind institutional policies. Recognizing that the best approach to policy-making is one that is consultative and involves the input of those affected by a policy, the President of the University agrees that the process set forth in this Policy Statement will be the standard procedure for institutional policy-making.

Reason for Policy: 

The purpose of this policy is to promote University-wide consistency, clarity and understanding of the formulation, approval and promulgation of University of Oregon Policy Statements.

Definitions: 

Academic Policy: A policy which addresses curriculum academic standards, academic standards of admission, academic freedom, tenure and promotion, major changes to academic programs, grading standards, student life which relates to the educational process, or other matters of an academic nature. Please see Section 7.2 of the University Constitution.

Guideline: Any document that aims to streamline particular processes according to a set routine. Guidelines are not to be included in the body of a Policy Statement but a link should be provided.

Minor Revision: See Policy Statement Revisions.

Policy: A high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures of an organization with intentions to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters. Policies are characterized by indicating "what" needs to be done rather than how to do it. Such statements have the force of establishing rights, requirements and responsibilities. Policies are stated in broad terms.

Policy Library: Official repository for University of Oregon Policy Statements and online access portal to Unit Policies and Procedures [http://policies.uoregon.edu].

Policy Owner: Individual selected by the Responsible Office to develop, review, edit, and maintain the policy. In the development of a policy, the owner may call upon the assistance of a formalized committee. The Policy Owner will also be the point of contact in regards to interpretation of the policy, and questions or feedback.

Policy Statement Revision: A Policy Statement revision is substantive. An example would include requirements or limitations. See "Policy Revision and Update Guidelines" for more information.

Policy Statement: Set of basic principles or rules formulated and enforced by the University of Oregon to direct effective management and operation of the institution. They must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Seeks to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards;
  • Has broad application or impact throughout the University; or
  • Promotes consistency, operational efficiency, enhancement of the University's mission and/or mitigates significant institutional risk.

Policy Statement Update: Any Policy Statement change that is minor and does not have any effect on the scope or objectives of the Policy Statement. A minor revision will be considered an update to the Policy Statement and referred to as a Policy Statement Update. Examples would be clarifying terms, adding a link, adding procedural aides, correcting spelling or punctuation. See "Policy Revision and Update Guidelines" for more information.

Procedure: A step-by-step sequence of activities or course of action (with definite start and end points) that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a task or to implement established policies. Procedures are not to be included in the body of a Policy Statement but a link should be provided. Procedures contain the specific details required to implement a Policy Statement; whereas, Policy Statements are stated in broader terms.

Responsible Office: While University of Oregon Policy Statement development work may be initiated by any member of the University community, the Responsible Office is generally the office that is the subject matter expert and is responsible for assisting in policy interpretation, operational administration of the policies, and is responsible for the high-level oversight of Policy Statements that fall within their area of responsibility. The Responsible Office will have the responsibility and authority to approve procedures, forms, and user guides. The Responsible Office may include faculty or administrative groups or committees.

Substantive Policy Statement Revision: Considerable and significant changes to a Policy Statement which affects the policy's established rules, principles, or intent. See "Policy Revision and Update Guidelines" for more information.

Policy Statement: 

In addition to state and federal constitutional provisions and statutes, and the regulations, internal management directives and policies of the State Board of Higher Education and the Oregon University System, the institution is managed in part through University of Oregon Policy Statements. This Policy Statement outlines the protocol for evaluating, formulating, approving, issuing and maintaining University of Oregon Policy Statements.

University of Oregon Policy Statement and Unit Policies

Policy Statements are policies that affect the entire University. A document that pertains only to the operation of a specific unit within the University (college, school, department, office, etc.) is a Unit Policy. A Unit Policy does not affect the University of Oregon as a whole, but only those within the organization. Many actions taken at the University affect people or programs in other units, but if the primary focus of a policy is on a unit, the policy is a Unit Policy. Policy Statements, because they create University-level policies, must be approved by the President. Unit policies need not be approved by the President.

Policy Statement Development and Approval

University of Oregon Policy Statement development work may be initiated by any unit of the University. The Responsible Office may conduct the work itself or engage others from around the University to evaluate, formulate and revise the work. The Responsible Office should appoint a Policy Owner who will be responsible for coordinating the policy's development. The Responsible Office shall follow the policy development and approval process and policy format that is outlined in this Policy Statement. A non-binding graphic representation of this process may be found in the UO Policy Statement Development Process Flow Chart (see Procedures section).

Policy Concept Approval

Prior to the creation of a Policy Statement, a policy concept form must be submitted to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost for review and approval. Once the policy concept has been approved, the Policy Library (PL) Program Manager will notify the Responsible Office and the Senate Executive Committee that policy development may begin. The PL Program Manager will notify other relevant personnel that the policy is being developed and will post concept information in the Policy Library.

Development of the Policy Statement

Following approval of the policy concept, the Responsible Office will draft the Policy Statement using the Policy Statement Development Form found in the Policy Library. The content and format of a Policy Statement should follow the Policy Library's guidelines, "Writing Policy Statements for the University of Oregon Policy Library." If there is an informational website for the policy being developed, then the Responsible Office shall furnish the link to the PL Program Manager. If there is no website, the PL Program Manager will list the policy owner's email address on the Log for New or Updated Policies for the purpose of public comments or inquiries.

Policy Review and Approval

The completed Policy Statement Development Form shall be submitted for review and approval to the relevant Dean or Vice President/Provost for the Responsible Office. Once it has been approved by the relevant Dean or Vice President/Provost, it shall be submitted to the PL Program Manager who will review it for compliance, clarity, and structure. The PL Program Manager will then submit the Policy Statement Development Form to General Counsel for legal review. Once General Counsel's review is completed, the Policy Statement Development Form will be posted in the Policy Library and made available for public review and comment for a period of thirty days. When the public posting has closed and the Responsible Officer has made any necessary edits, the final draft of the Policy Statement Development Form will be submitted to the Senior Vice President and Provost for review.

If the Senior Vice President and Provost endorses the Policy Statement, then it will be submitted to the Senate Executive Committee who will decide whether a full-Senate review is necessary. If the Senate Executive Committee determines that full-Senate review is not necessary, the PL Program Manager will send the Policy Statement to the President for approval. If a full-Senate review is necessary, the Policy Statement will be placed on the agenda of the next Senate meeting. However, if the Senate is adjourned for the summer, the Policy Statement may be placed in the Policy Library on an interim basis and will be scheduled for review when the Senate reconvenes in the fall. The total policy review period for the Senate, including Executive Committee review, will be for 30 days. If additional time is needed, the Senate President will make a request to the Senior Vice President and Provost.

If the Senate approves the Policy Statement, the PL Program Manager will send it to the President for approval. The President shall act within 60 days. If the President determines that approval is not in the best interests of the University, the President shall come to the Senate to suggest withdrawal or amendment of the Policy Statement. If the President and the Senate fail to create a mutually satisfactory Policy Statement, the President or the Senate President shall call an Assembly and the Assembly will vote on the Policy Statement. The President can either veto or adopt the decision of the Assembly.

If the Senate votes not to approve a Policy Statement that the President determines to be in the best interests of the University, and the President and Senate fail to create a mutually satisfactory Policy Statement, then the President or the Senate President shall call an Assembly and the Assembly will vote on the Policy Statement. The President can either veto or adopt the decision of the Assembly.

Approvals may be submitted to the PL Program Manager by email notification from the approving party.

When the President approves a Policy Statement, the Policy Statement shall be posted on the Policy Library website verbatim as signed by the President.

Emergency Policies

If the University needs to comply immediately with federal, state or local law, or in the case of an immediate emergency, the President has the authority to issue a temporary, emergency policy or temporarily suspend an existing policy without following the procedures described in this Policy Statement. Each action of this type shall if possible be taken only after consultation with the Senate Executive Committee, shall have a duration of no more than six months, and shall be non-renewable and non-extendable. If the President wishes to make the action permanent, the President shall follow the process in this Policy Statement. If the process cannot be completed within six months, the President can take further emergency action.

Policy Library

The Policy Library will provide a central location and reference point for University of Oregon policies and procedures along with other relevant information. In addition to posting Policy Statements, it will provide links to Unit Policies, Technical Policy Statements, and procedures as appropriate. University units are responsible for providing Unit Policy links to the Policy Library. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will be responsible for the control and maintenance of the Policy Library.

Policy Statement Distribution

Notice concerning University of Oregon Policy Statements that have been reviewed, approved, and published will be conducted by the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost. Upon Presidential approval, communication regarding the Policy Statement will be made to Deans, Directors, Department Heads, Senate President, Senate Vice President, Senate Executive Committee, Senate Executive Coordinator, OA Council Chair, SIEU President, ASUO President, ASUO Senate President, Academic Council Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee Chair and other relevant personnel. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will also be responsible for sending any communications regarding new or revised University of Oregon Policy Statements to relevant persons. The Responsible Office shall identify the "relevant persons" who should receive notice. When requested, the Responsible Office shall assist the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost with communication of policy information.

Official Version

The official version of a Policy Statement is the one posted in the Policy Library. All other versions are unofficial and may not be relied upon. A Policy Statement is effective on the day that it is posted in the Policy Library, which should occur immediately after approval by the President or designee. Policy Statements are interpreted so as to comply with applicable law.

Policy Statement Maintenance

The Responsible Office or its designated Policy Owner is charged with keeping the Policy Statement up-to-date. The Responsible Office or Policy Owner should perform periodic reviews to ensure the policy complies and reflects current laws, regulations, and practices. A policy review shall be performed at least every five years. The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost will help ensure that Responsible Offices review and update policies as needed and will publish updates in the online Policy Library. Any Policy Statement changes must be reviewed and approved by the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate according to the procedures specified in this document. A policy review schedule will be maintained in the Policy Library. If the PL Program Manager makes a simple technical correction such as in formatting, grammar or spelling, he or she will notify the Senate Executive Coordinator of the change.

Policy Statement Revisions

The Responsible Office may at any time submit changes to a Policy Statement by following the revision or update procedures outlined in this Policy Statement. A non-binding graphic representation of the policy revision process may be found in the UO Policy Statement Revision Process Flow Chart (see Procedure section).

Revisions shall be categorized as two types: substantive or minor. Substantive revisions must follow the same approval process as outlined for initial policy issuance, including the involvement of the Senate Executive Committee. With substantive revisions, the Responsible Office shall complete a new Policy Statement Concept Form and submit it to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost. Once approved, the Responsible Office shall follow the same process as for a new policy.

Minor revisions shall be referred to as Policy Statement Updates and must be submitted on a Policy Statement Update Form for Minor Revisions. Policy Statement Updates must be approved by the Responsible Office's Vice President or Senior Vice Provost prior to submission to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost. Minor revisions must follow the same approval process as outlined for initial policy issuance, including the involvement of the Senate Executive Committee. For more information regarding revisions, refer to Policy Revision and Update Guidelines and the UO Policy Statement Revision Process Flow Chart located in the Policy Library. (See Procedures section)

Policy Statement Repeal

If the Responsible Office finds reason to repeal an existing Policy Statement, the Responsible Office or Policy Owner must submit a request in writing along with the reasons for the repeal to the PL Program Manager. Email requests are acceptable. The PL Manager presents the request and reasons for repeal to both the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Senate Executive Committee for review and discussion.

Unit Policies and Procedures

Any unit within the University such as a school, college, institution, or department may issue, without following the process provided in this Policy Statement, policies or procedures that relate to matters of interest predominantly within that particular unit as long as those policies do not conflict with University of Oregon Policy Statements and are consistent with applicable law. These policies or procedures are to be referred to as Unit Policies or Unit Procedures. Units are encouraged to use the standard University of Oregon Policy Statement format to support standardization of form and appearance in policy development. If the Responsible Office wants to list additional Unit Policies that relate to a Policy Statement, they may do so as long as the additional policies do not contradict or negate the current Policy Statement and the Unit Policy refers to the Policy Statement contained in the Policy Library.

 

Exclusions and Special Situations: 

 University of Oregon Policy Statements may not cover all administrative matters at the university. The intention of the University is to eventually have all Policy Statements housed within the Policy Library. However, in the transition phase, some statements may be located with other sources such as the Office of Academic Affairs Business Affairs Office, and Human Resources.

Some administrative information may not be formalized into Policy Statements and will be contained in handbooks, catalogs, etc. such as the Student Handbook.

Who is Governed by this Policy: 

All staff, faculty, and students at the University, or anyone working on behalf of the University, who play a role in the evaluation, formulation, revision, approval, issuance or maintenance of University Policy Statements.

Who Should Know This Policy: 

All persons involved in University Policy development.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

See Policy Statement Resources: FAQ

Reviewed and Approved By: 
Richard W. Lariviere, President
Date: 
12/15/2011
Issued by: 
Senior Vice President and Provost
Date: 
12/15/2011
Revision History: 
1/20/2010  Approved by the Executive Leadership Team
11/5/2010 Revised for clarification of process and definitions. <original document>
12/28/2010 Approval process revised <original document>
12/15/2011 Revised to include Senate in review process.
12/15/2011 Approved by University of Oregon Senate President, Robert Kyr
12/15/2011 Approved by University of Oregon President, Richard Lariviere <original document>