Policy for the Establishment, Approval and Review of Policies
|Office of the President|
|Chief of Staff, Office of the President|
|Updated on 7/07/17, 8/15/12, 8/20/2021|
|policy, policies, review, approval|
The original policy was adopted in 2011. The procedures have evolved with changes in administration.
This policy outlines the university’s processes for developing and revising policies.
Policy: A statement that governs the operation and conduct of the university’s work. University policies align with the mission and goals of the university.
Policy Sponsor: The division head of the department that owns the policy. This policy sponsor has final approval of the policy before it goes to the president’s office. Policy sponsors have the responsibility to ensure university operations are in compliance with the policy.
Policy Contact: The person who takes the lead in drafting the policy or revision. This person is typically the subject matter expert and department head.
Subsuming: Incorporating one policy into another policy.
All new and substantially revised university policies will be submitted for review to the appropriate stakeholders, including the shared governance system in matters of academic policy, appropriate department heads, and general counsel. To provide the university community opportunity to submit feedback, drafts of administrative policies will be posted internally by the Policy Sponsor or designee for comment for a 30-day period (or longer when applicable to accommodate faculty no-appointment and reading periods) and academic or student centered policies follow the governance process for input. A completed draft of every policy is submitted in a standard format (Appendix A) to the Office of the President for final review and edits. Final versions are made publicly accessible via the university’s website.
University-wide policies establish principles and standards that align with the mission of the university. These policies will supersede any other departmental policy. It is the responsibility of the Policy Sponsor and Contact to ensure that the policy is in compliance with university operations.
The president and/or designee may establish or revise administrative policies in order to maintain compliance with federal, state or local laws, SUNY policies, collective agreements and related employee handbooks. The Office of the President and relevant stakeholders have the discretion to determine if the approval process can be expedited in order to maintain university-wide compliance under extenuating or time-sensitive circumstances. Expedited policies will still be posted internally in order to inform the university community of the new or revised policy. The Office of the President has discretion in determining the date the policy becomes effective.
Applicable Legislation and Regulations
The university is governed by the State University of New York's Board of Trustees, and University policy is developed in conformance with the University’s Bylaws, Policies of the Board of Trustees (pdf), the New York State Code, Rules, and Regulations, and all applicable federal policies.
Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices
Process for New or Significantly Revised Administrative Policies
Administrative policies are developed, drafted, and and substantially revised to comply with the university-wide policy format, as provided by the Office of the President (Appendix A). The Policy Contact will send a completed draft to relevant stakeholders, department heads, and Director of Compliance and Strategic Initiatives (DoC) for feedback. A draft that incorporates all stakeholder input must be submitted to the Policy Sponsor for approval before moving forward. Policies that assign accountability or specific duties to personnel must be sent to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources (AVPHR). The AVPHR, or designee, will determine if the policy requires further action before the responsibilities can be assigned to personnel. The AVPHR, or designee, will communicate with the Policy Contact if action is needed and determine if the policy can be accepted as drafted or requires amendments.
A version that incorporates edits from all stakeholders, the Policy Sponsor and the AVPHR is posted internally for 30-days in order to solicit feedback from the university community. Before the draft is posted, the Policy Sponsor shall give the corresponding Cabinet member (if different than the sponsor) notice the policy is going to 30-day comment. The Cabinet member will put it on the agenda with a brief description of the policy and ask that all Cabinet members alert appropriate staff members. It is the responsibility of the Policy Contact to submit the draft policy to Empire News using the “suggest a story” link. When submitting, the Policy Contact must include a brief description of the policy, the date comments must be submitted by, and the contact information for the person taking the comments. The director of internal communications will review the policy for AP style, branding, and grammar. It is the responsibility of the Policy Contact to check Empire News regularly for comments that may be left on that platform. The Policy Contact monitors the 30-day time frame, and incorporates feedback into the original draft. The updated draft, along with the attached cover letter (Appendix B), is submitted to the Chief of Staff.
The Chief of Staff will review the policy and communicate with the contact any suggestions. The Chief of Staff will submit the final draft to the Cabinet for discussion. The Chief of Staff will communicate any comments, questions or suggestions to the Policy Contact. The Policy Contact will make edits if necessary, and submit back to the Chief of Staff. The Chieif of Staff will submit the policy to the President for review, revision, and approval/denial. If the policy is approved, the Office of the President will assign a number and post to the website. The signed copy will be filed in the Office of the President, and the Office of the President will inform the Policy Contact once the policy is updated online. If the policy is denied, the Chief of Staff may reach out to the Policy Contact with the President’s comments regarding necessary changes. The Policy Contact should determine what changes are appropriate to communicate to stakeholders and update the policy. These changes do not require an additional 30-day review and can be sent back to the Chief of Staff once they are incorporated into the policy.
Policies with minor edits or revisions of procedures are to be approved by the Policy Sponsor then submitted to the Office of the President with a cover letter (Appendix B) for posting and record keeping.
Process for New or Significantly Revised Academic Policies
Academic and Student Affairs policies are developed in consultation with the Provost’s Office. Academic or Student Affairs Policy actions that fall within the charge of a governance committee are presented for approval by the university Senate. Actions of the Senate are referred to the president, by way of the Chief of Staff, in compliance with the universitywide policy format, as provided by the President’s Office. At this time, the Chief of Staff communicates any need for additional formatting or edits. Once in final draft, the Chief of Staff will submit the final draft to the President for review and edits, or approval and signature. If the policy is approved, the President’s Office will assign a number and then send the policy back to the governance secretary for distribution purposes. The policy is then made publicly accessible via the university’s website by the Office of Academic Affairs.
Process for Retired, Rescinded, or Expired Policies
It is the responsibility of the Policy Sponsor and/or Contact to review and submit a list of policies to be retired or rescinded to relevant stakeholders and DoC. Once reviewed, the Policy Sponsor and/or Contact will submit the list of policies to be retired or rescinded, along with the cover letter, to the Office of the President for acknowledgment. Elapsed policies that fall out of compliance will be considered invalid. It is the responsibility of DoC to inform Policy Sponsors when administrative policies integral to the successful management of the university are out of compliance or out of date. The DoC will annually publish a report directly to the president of any policies/policy owners who are out of compliance.
Appendix A: University Policy Template (file 26kB)
Appendix B: Policy Approval Cover Letter (file 28kB)
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