How to Create a New Policy

The following steps will guide you through the process of creating a brand-new policy from scratch. If you need to revise a current policy, please see How to Edit an Existing Policy.


Review/complete the resource Step 1: Policy Needs Assessment. This resource will help you determine if a new policy is truly needed, if an update to an existing policy would work, or if creating internal procedures would be better.


If a new policy is needed and appropriate, review/complete the resource Step 2: Preliminary Outline for Policy Planning and Drafting.


Ensure that you are adhering to the information in the Policy Style Guide & Writing Manual. The Style Guide covers how to format the policies in areas like bullet hierarchy, referencing other policies and other sources, appropriate word usage, etc.

Other helpful information can be accessed through the Policy Resources page.


Download the Policy Template, save in a place you will find it again, and open in Microsoft Word.

Please do not use any other word processing software, as we can't guarantee that the Track Changes portion as outlined in Step 5 will work the same. The University provides the Microsoft Office Suite free of charge to all employees. Contact the IT Help Desk if you do not have access to Microsoft Word.


Review the comments in the template before removing them, as they provide guidance on policy formatting requirements. 

Activate the Track Changes function within the Review tab ribbon. This will underline any text you add in addition to tracking changes to spacing, lists, etc. This feature also allows changes to be accepted or rejected by the approving party and immediately integrated into the final document.

Track changes in Microsoft Word highlighted

Do not use any color. The default color through Track Changes is red and should be changed to black. This can be adjusted in the advanced options of the tracking group.

Change Tracking Options highlighted in Microsoft Word

Track Changes Options - Advanced Options in Microsoft Word

Color settings in Advanced Track Changes Options in Microsoft Word


Fill in the appropriate sections of the new policy, including the policy number and title.

If there will be no content in a particular section, such as Section II References, Section III Definitions, or Section V Relevant Links/Forms, replace the template section holder with "N/A."


Once the policy has been written, save the Word document with the following naming convention: DRAFT P#.# v1 (for the first draft).

NOTE: Any time further revisions are made after being distributed internally, re-save the new policy as DRAFT P#.# v2 (for a second draft), DRAFT P#.# v3 (for a third draft), etc. This naming convention will allow the University administration to keep track of which version is the latest, most accurate version to move forward in the approval process.


The final draft policy will be retained by the appropriate Vice President, who will shepherd the policy through the approval process.

DO NOT send the new policy as a PDF to your VP. The Word document will be converted to a PDF by the administration, but your VP must receive the Word file so they can make any edits as recommended by President’s Council, the campus review period, etc.


Wait! You can follow the policy’s approval steps with the Policy Progress Tracker.

Once it has been approved by the University’s Board of Trustees, the policy will be added online within five (5) business days.