Establishing University Policies
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- Office of the Executive VP for University Academic Affairs
- Responsible University Administrator:
Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs
- Policy Contact:
University Policy Officer
Office of the Exec. VP for University Academic Affairs
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
- Print or view a PDF of this policy
- Many policies are quite lengthy. Please check the page count before deciding whether to print.
Indiana University formally approves university policies through an established process, publishes those policies in a consistent format, and maintains university-wide policies in a central, readily accessible policy website. Responsible Administrators and their offices must comply with the procedures in this policy for drafting, approving, revising, distributing, maintaining, and rescinding university policies.
The standard template, as formatted for posting on the university policy website, should be used for all university policies.
Authority for Approving Policies
University policies may be adopted and posted only with the approval of the Board of Trustees; or by the President within delegation; or by University Faculty Council; or by a university Vice President whose responsibilities include the subject of the policy. Academic policies shall be adopted and posted in accordance with the principles of shared governance of Indiana University.
Development and Review Period
The adoption of a university policy should be based on a determination that its requirements are necessary to support a university mission or goal; to promote consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness; to mitigate or manage significant institutional risk; or to assure compliance with federal or state laws, rules, or regulations.
Policies should impose the minimum burden on affected constituencies, including time and resources to comply, and should be consistent with achieving the stated objectives.
Constituencies that will be affected by a policy, including those that must comply with the policy and those responsible for assuring compliance, should be informed of the existence and requirements of a proposed policy or to proposed revisions of an existing policy and should have the opportunity to submit feedback. Affected constituents may be consulted through existing organizations that represent job categories, schools, or committees. The faculty as a whole is represented by the University Faculty Council; individual notices are not required.
- As part of the policy development process, policy drafts should undergo review by a relevant working/review group, departments, committees, or taskforce. The Policy Advisory Council (PAC) is available to assist with disseminating policies, recognizing constituencies that will be affected, and identifying issues and intersections with other policies. The policy office may solicit such input from the PAC on new policies or substantive revisions to existing policies formally or informally. Policies with broad impact should also be reviewed by the President’s Cabinet.
- A policy development worksheet is available to assist in identifying critical considerations.
- A proposed new policy or revisions to an existing policy should generally be posted to the university policy website for a 30-day review period prior to final approval, except as provided in Paragraph E.
Responsible University Offices may put an interim policy into place in situations when a university policy must be established in a time period too short to permit the completion of the process articulated in this policy. An interim policy will remain in force for up to one year from the date of issuance.
Responsible University Offices may forego the review period and approve a policy via an expedited process when necessary. Special situations where this is likely may include a change in federal or state law, a significant and immediate financial opportunity, or a major institutional risk.
Academic appointees, staff, and students are responsible for knowing, understanding, and complying with policies that relate to their position, employment or enrollment at the university. The Responsible University Office identified in the “About This Policy” section of each policy must follow the policy development and implementation process established by this policy, communicating its policies effectively, reviewing and updating its policies regularly, and monitoring its policies for compliance and effectiveness.
Academic and administrative units (including campuses, schools, and departments) may develop local policies, whether or not a corresponding university policy exists. A local policy may be more restrictive than a university policy, but not less restrictive. Constituents are bound by local policy unless it contradicts university policy. Perceived conflicts between a local policy and a university policy should be brought to the attention of the local policy owner and the Chief Policy Officer for resolution. In the event of a conflict between a university policy and a local policy that cannot be resolved, the university policy controls.
Review, Revision, and Rescission
Responsible University Offices should conduct a full, substantive review of their policies no later than five years after the effective date of the last review/update to ensure that the information in the policy remains accurate and that the policy is still necessary and effective in its current form. Revisions that affect the substance or scope of the policy should follow the full policy development and approval process; however, minor revisions and changes in contacts, forms, or related information may be made by the Responsible University Office and posted without review. Rescission of a policy, along with any replacement policy, must follow the policy development and approval process. Review, revision, and rescission actions should be noted in the History section of the policy. The Office of Policy Administration will archive any versions of policies that are revised or rescinded.
A staff member in the Office of Policy Administration will serve as the policy facilitator in order to receive comments, concerns, and questions about policies. The policy facilitator will direct feedback and questions to the Responsible University Office and Policy Contact identified in the “About This Policy” section. The policy facilitator does not determine the applicability of a policy to a particular set of circumstances, but is available to assist the Responsible Office and Policy Contact in responding to feedback.
Reason for Policy
- Indiana University establishes university policies to further the university's mission; to promote consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness; and to mitigate or manage significant institutional risk. Responsibility for creating university policies is derived from the authority of Board of Trustees, including delegated authority to the President and university leadership to manage the institution and to comply with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
- University policies must be thoroughly reviewed, maintained, and made available to the university community to promote compliance and accountability. This policy provides for a consistent, transparent, and inclusive development process; an identified authority for approving policies; a mechanism for regular review of policy needs, compliance, and effectiveness; a consistent policy format; and an accessible electronic policy library.
Drafting and Review of Policies
The Responsible University Office may draft a new policy or revisions to an existing using its own process or with the assistance of the office of policy administration. This draft should undergo review by a relevant working group, committee, or taskforce.
The office of policy administration can assist with presenting the policy draft to the PAC for suggestions concerning language, level of detail, readability, and potential impacts on other university policies or practices. PAC members may solicit input from the organization or campus they represent.
- The final policy draft should be posted on the university policy website for at least 30 days to provide a review and comment period. Any comments received through the policy website will be forwarded to the Responsible University Office for consideration. Following the review period, the policy may be revised or posted as final. The Office of Policy Administration may assist in determining if a revised policy draft should be posted for review.
Posting and Disseminating Policies
Approved policies or policy revisions will be posted on the “New and Recently Revised” portion of the website for a period of no less than six months. The policy web address will be sent to the PAC for assistance with dissemination. In addition, the responsible office should work with the office of policy administration to determine the targeted policy users and the most effective method for policy dissemination.
Review and Maintenance of Policies
Policies should be reviewed by the Responsible University Office at least every five years to assess the ongoing need and effectiveness. The office of policy administration will notify responsible offices when policies are due for review. The responsible offices should respond whether a policy will remain in its current form or whether a revision will be considered. Reviews will be added to the history section of the policy.
University Policy – A guiding or governing set of rules or principles, formally approved, to further the conduct of university affairs. Only those policies approved in accordance with this policy will have the force of university policy.
Policy Advisory Council (PAC) – The Policy Advisory Council is a standing committee of university administrators convened by the Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs to consult with university offices on proposed and draft policies to consider whether they are necessary and aligned with institutional mission, goals, and priorities; that policies are concise, consistent in format and scope, and easy to understand; to identify constituencies and other policies that may be affected; and to make recommendations to the responsible offices. The PAC also assists with dissemination and sharing feedback regarding policies. The PAC meets twice per semester during the academic year and consists of the director of policy administration (chair), and representatives of each Vice President, Chancellor and Provost.
History – The History section should include the initial approval date of each policy and the dates of subsequent reviews or revisions. If a policy is rescinded, the effective date of the rescission should be noted, along with a direction to the policy that now addresses the topic, if applicable.
Policy Contact – The policy contact is generally an individual who is the subject matter expert designated by the policy owner to be the first point of contact to answer policy questions and assist in policy interpretation.
Policy Statement – The policy statement describes what the policy is including core provisions, prohibitions or requirements.
Procedures – Procedures are a series of consecutive action steps related to a policy that specifies how a particular process should be completed. Procedures include information on who, what, when, and where of the policy. Procedures that are lengthy or involved may be maintained outside of the policy database, but linked to in the procedures section.
Reason for Policy – The reason for the policy is a statement that describes the need for and objective of the policy and the general approach taken by the policy, as distinct from the actual requirements of the policy.
Related Information – Related information may include links to other policies, relevant statutes, or other information that may assist the policy user.
Responsible Administrator – The Responsible Administrator may be the Board of Trustees, the President, the University Faculty Council, and/or an executive designated by the President as responsible for the high-level oversight of administrative policies that fall within their areas of responsibility. The Responsible Administrator has approval authority for policies; is accountable for the substance of the policy and compliance with administrative policies under that administrator's jurisdiction; and delegating to and overseeing the performance of the Responsible Office. Depending on the scope of the subject matter, a policy may have more than one Responsible Administrator.
Responsible University Office – The Responsible University Office is assigned by the Responsible Administrator and is tasked with the operational administration of a policy and its related procedures, processes, instructions, and forms. Depending on the subject matter, a policy may have more than one responsible office.