POL-U1000.10 Developing, Maintaining and Cancelling University Policies

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

May 10, 2022

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all University divisions for the development of University policies, procedures, standards and guidelines.

Overview

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that University policies (and related procedures, standards, and guidelines) carry out the mission of the institution. University policies should be clearly written, comply with legal requirements, and be published so that they are accessible to University constituents. In addition, this policy defines a policy making process that provides for participation of those who have relevant expertise and for solicitation and consideration of stakeholder and constituent perspectives. When authority to promulgate policies has been delegated to a division or to the Faculty Senate by the Board of Trustees or the President, POL-U1000.10 does not apply. However, the policies must not conflict with University policies, be clearly written, comply with legal requirements, be developed in consultation with appropriate policy owner and other University constituents, and be well communicated.

Definitions

University Policy

A mandatory action that meets some or all the following criteria:

  • enhances the mission of the University
  • sets clear institutional expectations
  • captures and operationalizes management decisions and directives
  • ensures compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • promotes operational effectiveness and efficiencies and reduces institutional risks
  • applies broadly throughout the University and pertains to more than one division of the University
  • may restate or apply a Washington Administrative Code (WAC) or Revised Code of Washington (RCW) to a particular operational context within the University.

Standard

 A mandatory action that supports a specific policy requirement and is designed to make the policy more effective and applies to those under its purview.

Guideline

A recommended best practice that supports the implementation of a specific policy objective.

Procedure

An established sequential process with task(s) assigned to individual(s) in order to accomplish a policy and /or standard.

Policy Impact Statement

A document that describes the need and justification for developing new policies, revising an existing policy and/ or cancelling University policies.

Policy Owner (or designee)

The individual(s) responsible charged with the responsibility for initiating, developing, and maintaining University policies under the purview of the President, Provost or Vice Presidents.

Stakeholders

Campus community member(s) and groups that can affect or may be affected by a proposed policy or policy amendment. At a minimum, stakeholders should include leadership of WWU Faculty Union, Faculty Senate, the WWU chapter of the Public School of Employees (PSE), the WWU chapter of the Federation of School of Employees labor union (WFSE), the WWU Associated Students and WWU Professional Staff Organization (PSO).

Interim Guidelines

Guidelines developed on an interim basis and as substitute guidance for a current policy that is no longer valid because of changes in laws, rules or process.

Interim Policy

A policy adopted by the President on an interim basis to meet legal or operational requirements as emergency needs arise. 

Policy Statements

1. President Approves All University Policies

All University policies must be approved and signed by the President. Colleges or divisions may develop and maintain policies related specifically to the personnel and operations within their units. Divisions and department policies may address issues not covered by University policies but must not conflict with University policies, 

2. The Board of Trustees adopts Board Policies and Amendments

Per RCW.28B.35.120, the Board of Trustees may adopt policies for the governance of the University and for the regulation of the business of the Board. The development or revision of such policies do not require comprehensive university review and only require the approval of the Board.

3. Proposed University Policies Are Reviewed

The University Policy and Rules Review Group (UPRRG) is responsible for reviewing proposed policies that are newly developed, revised, or cancelled. Policy Owners must include all supporting documents, such as, standards, procedures and forms, with the policy draft for UPRRG review. In addition, policies are reviewed by the Technical Review Committee and the university community during a 30-day review period.

4. University Policy Manager Facilitates the Policy Making and Publication Process

University Policy Manager is responsible for ensuring Policy Owners complete the required steps of the policy process as outlined in this policy and procedure, PRO-U1000.10A.

5. University Policies Will Follow a Consistent Format

Western Washington University adopts the policy-writing style developed by Larry Peabody in the publication How to Write Policies, Procedures & Task Outlines: Sending Clear Signals in Written Directions.

Exception: Policies may be developed in another format as needed to ensure compliance with federal or state policy mandates.

6. University Policies Shall Be Reviewed Periodically

Policy Owners (or designees) review existing policies under their purview for relevancy and currency and update as necessary. Enclosed Policy Review Checklist provide additional information to assist policy owners conduct comprehensive review. In addition, the University Policy Manager shall create a schedule and plan to promote the systematic review of policies.

7. Proposed Policy Amendments Require Review

When policy amendments are proposed, the University Policy Manager shall, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General and Policy Owner (as needed), determine whether a proposed policy amendment is a minor change or a substantive change. Substantive changes require a full review (as described in PRO-U1000.10A). Minor revisions do not require full review and can be completed through an approval of the division Vice President and the University Policy Manager (see PRO-U1000.10B). Minor revisions, include but are not limited to:

  1. Additional or updated references to relevant law and regulations;
  2. Spelling or grammar errors;
  3. Revisions to the policy name or number;
  4. Changes to attached procedures and/or forms;
  5. Position/Title changes of personnel;
  6. Procedural changes that marginally impact policy implementation, but do not affect policy substance or content.

8. Policy Owners Must Consult with Stakeholders

Policy Owners must consult with representatives from groups affected during the development of both new and significantly revised policies (including legislative changes) and proposals for cancellation of existing policies. Legislative changes are statutory changes and/or new legislation where stakeholder input will not change the outcome.
Although a policy may remain unchanged, supporting documents such as guidelines, procedures and standards can be amended or revised as needed. At a minimum, Policy Owners (or designees) must review substantive changes to standards with the stakeholders originally listed in the approved Policy Impact Statement for their input/feedback. Policy Owners (or designees) must send all records pertaining to stakeholder feedback to the University Policy Manager to maintain a complete policy record..

9. President May Adopt Interim Policies

The President may adopt interim policies or procedures to meet legal or operational requirements as needs arises. Interim policies will have an expiration date that provides time for full consideration in accordance with this policy.

10. Interim Guidelines May be Developed by Policy Owners

If there is an immediate need, Policy Owners (or designees) may develop an interim guideline as substitute guidance for a current policy that is no longer valid because of changes in laws, rules or processes. This gives time for a revised or new policy to go through the full policy review process, or other formal governing document created, that will replace the invalid policy. The interim guideline may only be used for a reasonable and limited period of time, and its use discontinued as soon as a replacement policy or other formal governing document is finalized.

The Policy Owner (or designee) submits the interim guideline to the University Policy Manager for publication and monitoring.

11. University Policy Manager and /or Policy Owner Communicates Approved Policies

University Policy Manager and Policy Owners (or designees) are responsible for communicating new or revised policies, interim guidelines and supporting documents to the University. University Policy Manager is responsible for university-wide communication and Policy Owners are to communicate with stakeholders they engaged in during the policy development process.

12. President Approves University Policy Cancellations

A policy may be cancelled if has become inconsistent with legal or policy requirements; it no longer reflects the University’s practice; or it is consolidated into other policies, guidelines, or procedures.

Policy Owner (or designee) may propose the permanent cancellation of all policies that are not under consideration for revision using FRM-U1000.10C Policy Impact Statement - Canceling University Policy. Such proposals will be reviewed by the University Policy and Rules Review Group, followed by a recommendation to the President. The President approves cancellation of all university policies.