University Policy 113
Policy Development, Approval, and Review Procedures

Initially approved: August 15, 2011
Revised: September 17, 2012
Revised: November 18, 2013
Policy Topic:  Governance and Administration
Administering Office: Legal Counsel Office


I. POLICY STATEMENT

As chief executive officer of Western Carolina University (the “University”), the Chancellor is ultimately responsible for the University's Policies, with the exception of those policy matters reserved by statute or University of North Carolina ("UNC") Code or Policy Manual to other authorities.  The purpose of this policy is to: set forth the required elements of a University Policy; to describe the manner in which University Policies are proposed, developed, approved, and reviewed; and to promote the regular review of University Policies.


II.  SCOPE AND APPLICATION OF POLICY

This policy does not apply to policies pertaining to (i) faculty instructional responsibilities; (ii) tenure, promotion, and reappointment; or (iii) curriculum development and revision, which are within the exclusive purview of the faculty pursuant to the Faculty Handbook, subject to any external approval requirements.

This policy does not apply to the development and administration of Unit Specific Policies.

This policy does not apply to the development and administration of Standard Operating Procedures and Regulations.


III. DEFINITIONS

“Administering Office” is the University office charged with overseeing the implementation, administration, and review of designated policies.

“Divisional Manager” means the Chancellor, Provost, the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Chief of Staff, the Chief Information Officer or the Athletic Director.

“Procedures” are statements that provide for the orderly implementation of policies through detailed, prescribed actions.  Responsibility for the implementation of policies and the routine administration of policies thereafter rests with the Administering Office.

“Standard Operating Procedures and Regulations” are prescribed instructions pertaining to common business practices and activities for the University, including the policies and regulations applicable to State agencies.  Standard Operating Procedures and Regulations generally pertain to broad categories of University business operations such as property management, fiscal regulations, travel regulations, purchasing and contracting regulations, information technology regulations, and personnel/payroll management.

“University Policy” is defined as a policy that:

  • has broad applicability beyond the internal operating procedures of a single office, department or division;
  • requires the Chancellor’s review and approval for adoption and revision;
  • ensures compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations; 
  • ensures compliance with the Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina as well as applicable policies adopted by the Board of Governors; 
  • promotes operational effectiveness and efficiencies and reduces institutional risks; and
  • supersedes other institutional policies or regulations adopted by offices, departments or divisions in the event of conflicts or inconsistencies between or among the policies.
“Unit Specific Policy” is a policy that pertains only to the internal operating procedures of a single academic or administrative office, department or division (e.g., Academic Policies and Regulations).


IV. REQUIRED ELEMENTS OF A UNIVERSITY POLICY

University Policies shall include the following information:

  • University Policy number;
  • University Policy name;
  • Date of initial approval and revision history thereafter;
  • Policy topic;
  • Administering Office;
  • Policy statement;
  • Definitions;
  • Detailed implementing procedures if necessary;
  • Schedule for regular and periodic review by the Administering Office; and
  • Related policies and resources.

The University Policy Topic Index is located at http://www.wcu.edu/about-wcu/leadership/office-of-the-chancellor/university-policies/topic-index.asp.  Policy topics include: governance and administration; academic affairs; advancement and public relations; University facilities and state property; personnel; educational outreach, conferences and events; business administration and auxiliary services; information technology; research and sponsored activities; and student activities and services.


V. UNIVERSITY POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND APPROVAL PROCESS

A.  Policy Proposals   

Proposals for new University Policies or revisions to existing University Policies may be initiated by  any member of the University community.  Proposals from SPA and EPA non-faculty employees normally proceed through administrative levels to their Divisional Manager, with review at each level.

Consistent with Section 3.01 of the Faculty Handbook, a faculty member may initiate proposals for new University Policies or revisions to existing University Policies through the appropriate council of the Faculty Senate, through departmental, college or General Faculty committees, through individual members of the Faculty Senate, through the Chair of the Faculty, or through appropriate administrative channels. Recommendations pertaining to University Policies must be forwarded to the Chancellor by the Faculty Senate, which is the chief policy-recommending body of the General Faculty. 

B.  Policy Development

A complete draft of a proposed new or revised University Policy and its related procedures should be developed through an integrative and cooperative process by which all appropriate and impacted individuals, offices, departments, and divisions are involved in the development of the draft.  The drafters should ensure the following: (1) all stakeholders have been involved in the development of the draft; (2) consistency in format and presentation; (3) that there are no conflicts between the proposed University Policy and other University Policies; (4) consistency with laws or other external policies or regulations germane to the policy; and (5) consistency with the mission of the University.

Drafters shall submit a complete draft of the University Policy to their Divisional Manager through appropriate supervisory levels.  Drafters shall also submit a development history with the draft that should include a description of the individuals, offices, departments or divisions involved in the development.

C.  Policy Approval Process

All University Policies ultimately must be approved by the Chancellor through the process described in this section.  Some policies may require additional approval of the University Board of Trustees, the UNC President, and/or the UNC Board of Governors pursuant to North Carolina law, the Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina or the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees of the University. 

1. Executive Council Review

After proposed policies are developed in accordance with Section V.B above, Divisional Managers will submit proposed new or revised University Policies to the Chancellor’s Executive Council (“EC”) for its review and approval through the Assistant to the Chancellor/ Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees.  A University Policy will be effective upon the review and approval of EC and final approval by the Chancellor, unless it requires the review of the Chancellor’s Leadership Council (“CLC”) in accordance with Section V.C.2. below.  A summary of the approved University Policy will be provided to the campus community when the policy is posted.

2. Chancellor's Leadership Council Review

Following the initial review and approval by EC and the Chancellor, the Chancellor, in his/her discretion, may submit certain University Policies to the Chancellor's Leadership Council ("CLC") for review and comment.  A University Policy reviewed by CLC pursuant to this Section V.C.2 will be effective upon review by CLC, approval by the EC, and final approval by the Chancellor.  A summary of the approved University Policy will be provided to the campus community when the policy is posted.

3. Interim University Policies

In the event a change in law, regulation or UNC policy necessitates the immediate development of a new University Policy or the revision of an existing University Policy, such policy will be developed or revised as expeditiously as possible by General Counsel and posted as an interim University Policy following approval by the Chancellor.  Interim University Policies shall be effective and enforceable upon posting.  Interim University Policies will become permanent policies upon review and approval in accordance with the applicable procedures described in this Section V.C.


VI. ROLE OF ADMINISTERING OFFICE: MANAGER'S ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES

The Chancellor will appoint an Administering Office for all approved University Policies.  The manager of the Administering Office will be responsible for policy implementation, administration, and review/revision.  Responsibility for interpretation of policies that are the subject of this policy ultimately rests with the Legal Counsel Office.

It is the responsibility of all University managers to ensure that their employees are familiar with and comply with applicable policies. For purposes of this policy, the term "manager" includes vice chancellors, associate and assistant vice chancellors, deans, associate and assistant deans, directors, department heads, and supervisors.


VII. REVIEW AND REVISION OF POLICIES

Administering Offices shall formalize a procedure and schedule for a periodic review of its designated policies in order to ensure that policies reflect current operational imperatives and compliance with applicable law and external policies and regulations.  The period of review shall be appropriate to the subject matter, and shall be included in each University Policy.  


VIII. POLICY TEMPLATE

The policy standard template, which is available in Section XI below, must be used for all University Policies.


IX. ARCHIVING POLICIES

The Legal Counsel's Office will maintain the University Policies website, and keep, to the extent reasonably practicable, an archive of University policies, including their effective dates and revision history.  A searchable archive of University Policies shall be published and maintained on the University’s website.


X.  POLICY REVIEW

This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.


XI. RELATED POLICIES AND RESOURCES

University Policies
UNC Policy Manual: http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php
Academic Procedures and Regulations
Faculty Handbook
University Policy Standard Template:  Appendix A
 

 

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