SUU Seal (for official use only)

POLICY #0.0
SUBJECT: Policy Development Authority (Policy on Policies)


I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Policy is to define the procedure through which University policy may be established or amended and allow for broad input from University employees prior to the adoption of any new policy or Substantive Amendment of any existing policy. Any reference in this Policy to proposed new policies shall apply with equal force to proposed amendments to existing policies, unless otherwise stated.


III. DEFINITIONS

  1. Non-Substantive Amendment: Revisions to an existing policy or policy Proposal that correct typographical and grammatical errors, change policy format, correct minor inconsistencies in language within the policy or when compared to other University or USHE policies or laws, edits or additions to relevant forms, links and/or responsible office(s) listed in the policy, and/or updating university, Board of Trustees, Board of Higher Education, titles, or similar reference information. 
  2. President’s Cabinet: Body convened by the University President of designated University leaders at the Vice President level and equivalent leaders.
  3. President’s Council: Body convened by the university president that includes the President and the University’s top administrators and representatives.
  4. Proposal: Compilation of written documents for the creation, revision, suspension, or deletion of a University policy in one of the policy approval processes. A policy Proposal may include drafts of new and revised policies, a statement regarding deletions of existing policies, and supporting documents. 
  5. Substantive Amendment: Any proposed changes to an existing policy that are not Non-Substantive Amendments.

IV. POLICY

  1. Authority to Establish Policy

    The President’s authority to develop policy for the institution, as delegated by the Utah Board of Higher Education, is subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees. On such matters, it is the duty of the President to prepare initiatives for response by the Board of Trustees. Except for consultation and advice as provided in the Utah State Board of Higher Education Policy R220 and for responsibilities specifically delegated by statute or by the Board of Higher Education, the actions of the Board of Trustees, as they affect institutional policies and operations, are limited to approval or disapproval of initiatives brought to them by the institutional President.
  2. Making Recommendations for Policy

    Any University employee, entity, or student may make recommendations regarding University Policy. The party seeking to make a recommendation should contact the office responsible for the relevant policy or relevant subject matter area to make the recommendation. The office responsible shall consult with the applicable Cabinet level administrator about the Proposal. The Cabinet level administrator may convene a policy workgroup to draft a policy or revisions to a policy, may assign certain employees to draft the policy or revisions, or take what other steps are necessary to update and revise policies as needed. 
  3. Form of Draft Policy Proposals

    Proposals for new policies and revisions to existing policies should follow the Policy Format Template. Any employees and workgroups intending to draft or drafting policy should first review the resources on policy drafting available from the Office of Legal Affairs and the Provost’s Office, as applicable from time to time. 
  4. Review Procedure

    Substantive edits to existing policies and new proposed policies shall be reviewed as follows:
    1. Proposed policies and policy amendments should be reviewed by any relevant internal university council, association, and department, including but not limited to the Deans’ Council, Faculty Senate, Staff Association, and Student Association. In particular, all academic policies shall be reviewed by the Faculty Senate and the Deans’ Council, with any proposed amendments thereto by the one body to be reviewed by the other body.
    2. After review by any relevant internal University council, association, and/or department, the Vice President with responsibility for the proposed policy will present it to the President’s Cabinet for review. 
    3. After review by the President’s Cabinet, the proposed policy will be presented to the President's Council for review.
    4. In either of the two prior steps, the Administrators within the group may revise the proposed policy or policy edits, may send it back to the individual or group who proposed the policy identifying issues to address, submit a revised a policy, and/or take such other action as deemed necessary by the Vice President with responsibility. For sake of clarity, except as provided above academic policies, it is not necessary to return a proposed policy to the beginning of the review procedure if the process results in modifications to the proposed policy. 
    5. Following President’s Council review and any edits necessary, proposed policies shall be sent out to university employees through email providing for a period of general review and comment. After a general review and comment period of at least 21 days the President’s Council shall again consider the policy along with the comments submitted by university employees. The Council shall give input, as/if applicable, and the Vice President shall determine whether any issues need to be addressed.
    6. After considering input generated during this review process, the President shall make a determination as to whether the proposed policy is forwarded to the institution’s Board of Trustees for final consideration.
    7. The Board of Trustees decides whether to approve or disapprove the policy Proposal forwarded by the President.
    8. In addition to the above process, if policies directly affect student civil liberties, such policies must be made a rule in accordance with the Student Civil Liberties Protection Act (Utah Code § 53B-27-3 et seq.), which may include certain notice and other requirements.
  5. Non-Substantive Amendments to Approved Policies

    In the event Non-Substantive Amendments to any existing policy are needed or proposed, the Vice President over the unit designated as the responsible office in the applicable policy may authorize, and oversee the adoption of, such Amendments. The Vice President should provide notice to the President’s Council either prior to or within a reasonable time after the Amendment is implemented. No formal steps are needed for the process because these Amendments do not change the substance of the existing policy.
  6. Exigency Exception to Process/Temporary Policies

    In the event the process set forth in this Policy would delay implementation of a new policy, or amendment to a current policy, beyond what is necessary under the exigencies understood to be present at the time, the President shall be authorized to immediately implement a new policy, or amendment to an existing policy, provisionally for a period of not more than 120 days. The policy shall be clearly marked as “temporary,” and notice of the provisional policy or amendment to an existing policy, shall be sent to the President’s Council, Deans’ Council, Faculty Senate, Staff Association, Student Association, and Board of Trustees. During the 120 days within which the temporary new policy, or amendment to an existing policy, is effective, the review process set forth in Section IV.D. shall be followed prior as a condition to final implementation of the same. Temporary policies (including revisions and suspensions) will expire at the conclusion of the 120-day period or on the effective date of a relevant policy Proposal enacted through the regular approval process under this policy, whichever occurs first. If no relevant policy Proposal is enacted through the regular approval process prior to the expiration date of the temporary policy, the temporary policy shall no longer be in effect and shall be removed, and the un-revised policy, if any, shall be reinstated in its previous state.

    In extraordinary circumstances in which the normal policy governance process cannot be conducted or proceed practically, the Board of Trustees may approve the extension of temporary emergency policy or policies by six months beyond their previously approved expiration date. 
  7. Effective Date and Publication of Policies

    Unless provided otherwise, all policies are effective upon adoption by the Board of Trustees and are to be published by the Provost’s Office as soon as reasonably possible on the University’s policy website. 
  8. Hierarchy of Policies and Policy Interpretation

    University policies are the official policies of the University. Unless expressly stated to the contrary, they are binding on university employees, students, and persons visiting or using the facilities or resources of the University. University policies exist within the following hierarchy of authority listed in the order below:
    1. Federal and State Statutes, Regulations, and Court Rulings
    2. Board of Higher Education policies
    3. University policies
    4. Division/College/School guidelines, practices, and standard operating procedures 
    5. Department, program, and office guidelines, practices, and standard operating procedures

    In the event of a conflict between documents at different levels in the hierarchy of authority, the higher-level authority governs and the subordinate, lower-level document shall be read consistently with the higher authority and shall be revised to that effect if necessary. Moreover, guidelines, practices, standard operating procedures, forms, checklists, protocols, criteria, deadlines, or any other means of implementing or complying with a university policy shall be consistent with the university policy. In the event of a need for an interpretation of a Policy or a decision on its application to particular circumstances, the Vice President or equivalent with authority over the Responsible Office for the Policy has authority to do so. If a Policy does not include an express provision about an exception to a Policy, then any exceptions require approval of the applicable Vice President or equivalent and the University President.
  9. Organization of Policies

    Policies of the University are organized by general topic or area of responsibility as follows:
    1. Section 0. Policy Organization and Maintenance Information
    2. Section 1. Statutory Creation of the University
    3. Section 2. Mission and Role of the University
    4. Section 3. State System of Higher Education
    5. Section 4. Organization of the University
    6. Section 5. General Policies
    7. Section 6. Academic and Faculty Policies
    8. Section 7. Administrative Procedures
    9. Section 8. Staff and Professional Employee Policies 
    10. Section 9. University Leave
    11. Section 10. Financial Operations Policies
    12. Section 11. Student Services
    13. Section 12. Intercollegiate Athletics
    14. Section 13. Councils and Committees
    15. Section 14. Miscellaneous

V. RELEVANT FORMS/LINKS

N/A


VI. QUESTIONS/RESPONSIBLE OFFICE

Questions about this Policy should be directed to the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office, or the Office of Legal Affairs, as applicable. The President’s Office is the Responsible Office for the Policy.


VII. POLICY ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT DATES

Date Approved: May 6, 2005 (as Policy 5.56)

Amended: December 7, 2012; January 31, 2014; January 13, 2017; August 12, 2021 (renumbered to 0.0)