Office of the President

Creation and Issuance of University Policies

Before they can be implemented, all policies that are considered institutional in nature must go through an official review and approval process in the following order:
Policy Advisory Group
Governance Groups
President’s Cabinet
Trustees of the University (if appropriate)
President of the University
Policies must also be reviewed with those individuals who will be responsible for the policies’ enforcement and with representatives of the stakeholders who must comply with the policies before they can be approved.
All institutional policies must be housed on the University’s online policy manual, which is the University’s official source for policies and related information and which is maintained by the Office of the President.
All institutional policies must follow the official policy template and should periodically be reviewed and updated as needed.
Utica University policies do not supersede collective bargaining agreements with University employees and, therefore, must not conflict with or undermine such agreements. Contracts with vendors must not contradict or undermine University policies, and subcontractors must comply with all University policies as applicable.
Exception to Policy: Individual departments may set policies that do not widely affect members of the Utica University community. Provided that these policies meet the appropriate criteria (see Definitions, below), they are not subject to the policy and procedures outlined in this document. However, every effort must be made to ensure that individuals who are affected by or accountable to departmental policies are made aware of those policies on a continuing basis. In addition, departmental policies must not supersede, conflict with, or undermine institutional policies.
This policy applies to all members of the Utica University community, as well as visitors, vendors, and other guests of the University.
This policy is intended to ensure that Utica University’s institutional policies:
  • Articulate behaviors designed to meet the University’s standards for integrity, efficiency, and accountability
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, local, and other relevant laws and regulations
  • Reduce risk for the institution
  • Are written clearly and presented in a consistent format
  • Are readily available to all who must comply with or enforce them
  • Are reviewed on a timely basis and kept up-to-date with regard to relevant laws, new technologies, and changing circumstances
  • Support the mission of the University
This policy is also intended to ensure that there is transparency in the process of developing and reviewing institutional policies.
Departmental Policy: A policy that governs the behavior of employees within that office and/or that affects only a few who use that department’s services.
Institutional Policy: A policy that meets all of the following criteria and must, therefore, be created, reviewed, and promulgated according to the requirements of this policy:
  • It has broad application throughout the University.
  • It helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiencies, enhances the University’s mission, and/or reduces institutional risks.
  • It mandates actions or constraints, contains specific procedures for compliance, and articulates desired outcomes.
  • Failure to comply with the policy has the potential to harm the University or disrupt its operations.
  • The subject matter requires approval by the President of the University and, if applicable, the University’s Board of Trustees.
Institutional Policy Proposal: The Institutional Policy Proposal form is used to seek advice and permission in moving forward with a new institutional policy.
Legacy Policy: Policies that were created before the Policy Advisory Group was established. All legacy policies will eventually be reviewed by the Policy Advisory Group, but until they are, legacy policies are included in the online policy manual and designated with the letter “L.”
Policy: An explanation of what an individual must or must not do.
Policy Advisory Group: The committee appointed by the President of the University that has responsibility for reviewing policy proposals and drafts before policies are distributed for wider University review. Membership includes representation from the Offices of the President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Financial Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs, Human Resources, and Integrated Information Technology Services. Attempts should also be made to include at least one student representative. The Policy Advisory Group is charged with ensuring that institutional policies are clearly written, that they do not violate or undermine other University policies or any laws, that they do not put the institution or its members at risk, and that proper review processes are followed. The Policy Advisory Group does not write, approve, enforce, or provide training regarding policies.
Policy Template: The Policy Template is the standard document for creating new policies. Includes the University’s logo, the responsible office, and the following sections: Policy, Scope, Reason for Policy, Definitions (if needed), Procedure, Responsibility, Enforcement, Resources/Questions, Appendices (if needed), the signature of the President of the University, and the effective and promulgation dates. Also notes subsequent revision dates.
Policy Volume: The broad area into which a policy falls. Institutional policies are organized into seven volumes: Governance/Legal, Academic/Research, Facilities, Financial Management, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Student Services.
Procedure: A list of specific steps, preferably listed in chronological order, one must follow to comply with a policy.
Promulgation: The distribution of policies to members of the University community. When new and revised policies have been finalized and approved, the Office of the President sends a global e-mail with a link to the online policy manual, where new and recently revised policies are highlighted.
Reason for Policy: A statement that recognizes the legitimate interests of all parties, describes the issue the policy will address, and, if applicable, cites any legal or regulatory reasons for the policy.
Resources: Where else to go for more information (people, publications, other policies).
Responsibility: The major responsibilities of any person or organization responsible for implementing the policy. This may include faculty, staff, students, and/or persons outside the University.
Responsible Office: Generally, the office that develops and administers the policy and procedures. The responsible office will also be accountable for providing training in implementing and/or adhering to the policy, and for updating the policy.
Scope: A description of all individuals and/or groups to whom the policy applies.
Stakeholders: Persons or groups having a share or an interest in a particular activity or set of activities covered by the policy.
Working Draft Policy: Policies that have been put into place before going through the formal review process. Includes policies that go into effect during the summer and policies that must be put into place rapidly because of legal or other considerations. Working draft policies are included in the online policy manual and are designated with the letter “W.”
Creating a New Policy
Proposing a New Policy
The need for new institutional policies may arise anywhere, but each new policy must be brought forward by the vice president responsible for the department submitting the policy for approval.
The vice president will designate a responsible office, which is identified in the header of the written policy document and also in the Responsibility section of the policy. The responsible office will generally be the office that develops and administers the policy and its related procedures. That office will also be responsible for timely updating of the document, and also for any training required to implement the policy.
Under the direction of the vice president, an individual from the responsible office who wishes to propose any new policy must complete an Institutional Policy Proposal. The vice president will assign the appropriate policy volume (see Policy Volume, above) and submit the Institutional Policy Proposal to the Policy Advisory Group for initial review. The vice president then brings the proposed policy to the President’s Cabinet. Any recommendations or comments from the President’s Cabinet are to be incorporated into the drafting of the full policy. Alternatively, the President’s Cabinet may decide that the proposed policy is not needed, that it should be incorporated into an existing policy, or that it is a departmental rather than an institutional policy.
Drafting a New Policy
The office initiating the policy is responsible for drafting it, and must complete all sections of the Policy Template. The responsible office may wish to consult with stakeholders during or shortly after the drafting process.
The responsible office then submits the draft policy to the Policy Advisory Group in an electronic format. From that point on, the Policy Advisory Group has sole authority to edit the policy draft, and will label subsequent drafts by revision date. The Policy Advisory Group will also ensure that the policy conforms to the University’s style. For more information about the University’s style, see the Utica University Style Guide

Reviewing a New Policy
Once a new policy has been submitted to the Policy Advisory Group for review, an iterative process involving the Policy Advisory Group, the responsible office, and the stakeholders begins. Typically, the Policy Advisory Group will invite a representative from the responsible office to a meeting to present the draft policy. The Policy Advisory Group will provide feedback regarding the policy, and will edit the document accordingly. This phase of review may take several weeks.
When the Policy Advisory Group is satisfied with the draft policy, it will request that the responsible office present the draft to the stakeholders identified on the Policy Proposal. This may, in turn, initiate a series of revisions. However, at all times, the Policy Advisory Group is responsible for editing the document per requests from the responsible party.
At some point during this process, the Policy Advisory Group may, at its discretion, request that the University’s attorney review the draft policy.
Once the Policy Advisory Group, the responsible office, and the stakeholders are all satisfied with the draft policy, the Policy Advisory Group submits the draft to the University’s governance groups (Faculty Senate, Student Senate, Administrative Staff Advisory Council, and Secretarial Clerical Technical Advisory Council) for review. The Policy Advisory Group will specify a date by which feedback must be provided. The Policy Advisory Group must provide a minimum of two weeks for this governance group review to occur.
Feedback from the governance groups may result in a continuance of the Policy Advisory Group/responsible office/stakeholders review process, until all parties are satisfied with the draft.
The Policy Advisory Group then e-mails the draft policy to members of the President’s Cabinet, who will consider the policy at the Cabinet’s next scheduled meeting. Feedback from the President’s Cabinet may result in a continuance of the President’s Cabinet/Policy Advisory Group/responsible office/stakeholders review process, until all parties are satisfied with the draft. However, if changes are minimal, the draft policy need not go back to the governance groups or stakeholders.
Approving a Policy
The only person with authority to approve an institutional policy is the President of the University. Once the President’s Cabinet, Policy Advisory Group, responsible office, governance groups, and stakeholders have all reviewed a draft policy, the President of the University signs and dates the policy. From this point forward, the policy is considered to be in effect.
The President may, at his or her discretion, ask that the Board of Trustees also review a policy before approving it.
Promulgating a Policy
Once the President has approved a new policy, the policy is posted to the University’s online policy manual. The Office of the President then issues a global e-mail with a link to the policy manual informing members of the University community that a new policy has been posted. The date that this action takes place is also noted on the policy document.
Working Draft Policies
Governance groups do not meet during the summer. During that time, policies that have reached the point that they are to be submitted to the governance groups may be distributed to the University community via e-mail as working draft policies. Once the fall semester begins, the formal review process must begin.
In addition, working draft policies may be put into place without going through the formal policy review process if legal or other considerations dictate. In this case, once the working draft policy has been put into place, a responsible office must initiate the policy review process outlined in this policy.
Working draft policies are distributed to the University community by the Office of the President. They are included in the online policy manual, and are denoted with the letter “W.”
Legacy Policies
Policies that have not been through the formal review process must be brought before the Policy Advisory Group in the proper format. Until they have been through the formal review process, legacy policies are included in the online policy manual, and are denoted with the letter “L.”
Revising a Policy
On occasion, policies and procedures will need to be updated. The responsible office is charged with bringing proposed revisions before the Policy Advisory Group. If the Policy Advisory Group judges that the requested change is minor (e.g., change in a University employee’s title), no formal review process is required. However, the revision will be noted on the policy, the President will formally approve the revised policy, the revised policy will be posted to the online policy manual (replacing the earlier document), and the Office of the President will issue a global e-mail alerting the members of the University community to the amendment.
If the Policy Advisory Group concurs that the proposed revisions are substantial, the entire procedure for creating a policy must be followed.
Policies may be revised at any time. However, if three years have passed without any revisions, the Policy Advisory Group will request that the responsible office initiate a formal policy review. The Office of the President is responsible for identifying policies in need of three-year reviews.
Policy Manual
The online policy manual is the sole official source for Utica University’s institutional policies. The Office of the President additionally keeps original signed policies organized by volume.
“Journey of a Policy” Document
The process for proposing, reviewing, and approving policies is described in a document titled “Journey of a Policy”.
It is the responsibility of each department that wishes to create and/or revise an institutional or departmental policy to contact the appropriate vice president, draft the policy and make revisions based on conversations with stakeholders, conduct any training required to enforce the policy, and regularly review the policies for which it is responsible and initiate the revision procedure as necessary.
In the case of institutional policies, it is the responsibility of the vice president to submit the policy to the President’s Cabinet for preliminary approval.
It is the responsibility of members of the governance groups to review draft policies and provide feedback as needed.
It is the responsibility of the Policy Advisory Group to ensure that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed.
Enforcement of Utica University policies is the responsibility of the office listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.

Utica University acknowledges that University policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The University therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the University (i.e. president, vice president for academic affairs, or vice president for financial affairs).
Information about creating policies can be found in Utica University’s online policy manual.  For additional information, please contact the Office of the President.
Please note that other Utica University policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.
Effective Date: 03/13/2006
Date Last Revised: 11/12/2008
Revision Promulgation Date: 11/24/2008

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