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Governance, Ethics and General

Policy on Policies

Section: Governance, Ethics and General Policies
Policy Name: Policy on Policies
Policy Owner: Vice President and General Counsel
Responsible University Office: Office of General Counsel
Origination Date: April 15, 1975
Revisions: June 5, 1989; June 12, 1991; December 2000; July 1, 2005; March 29, 2012; May 19, 2014
Legacy Policy Number: 1-01
  1. SCOPE OF POLICY
    1. This policy serves to ensure that all University policies:
      1. are effectively communicated and easily accessible;
      2. are appropriately reviewed and approved prior to implementation;
      3. are internally consistent;
      4. are written in comprehensible terms; and
      5. comply with applicable legal standards.
    2. University policies support the University’s mission by establishing clear and well understood standards for individual conduct, clarifying institutional expectations, promoting compliance with law, mitigating risk, and supporting productivity. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus are expected to comply with University policies. University policies shall be kept current, and shall be made available in a timely manner.
  2. DEFINITIONSAs used in this Policy on Policies, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
    1. “University policy” or “policy” means an official, written University directive that:
      1. Establishes expectations for the conduct of members of the University community or the conduct of University business;
      2. Applies broadly throughout the University and not just to particular departments, colleges, schools, centers, or units;
      3. Furthers the University’s mission, reduces institutional risk, promotes operational efficiency, and helps achieve compliance with applicable legal standards;
      4. Has been reviewed and approved by an appropriate committee of University officers, typically the President’s Executive Committee; and
      5. Is sponsored by at least one University officer, who serves as the “policy owner” and is primarily responsible for the policy’s implementation and enforcement.
    2. The term “University policy” or “policy” does not include:
      1. Board of Trustees’ Bylaws, resolutions, or operating procedures;
      2. The Faculty Handbook or any policy codified in the Faculty Handbook;
      3. A collective bargaining agreement; or
      4. The Student Guide to University Policies or any policy codified in the Student Guide to University Policies.
    3. “Responsible University office” is the University office, department, or unit responsible for sponsoring, implementing, enforcing and answering inquiries about a University policy. The responsible University office may also be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness ofand ensuring compliance with a University policy.
    4. “Policy owner” means the University officer, director, unit head, or other person who manages or directs the responsible University office. In some cases the policy owner and the responsible University office may be the same.
    5. The “University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual” means an electronic portal on the University web site that is easily accessible from the University’s home page and that contains, in numbered and indexed form, a compendium of current University policies.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTAll University policies shall be developed, approved and published in accordance with the standards outlined in this Policy and shall appear online in the University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual.
  4. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
    1. General Standards
      1. A University policy shall:
        1. Be formatted in a manner consistent with the formatting template in the appendix to this Policy on Policies; and
        2. Be included in, or linked to, the University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual.
      2. Many other important department, college, school, and unit rules, standards or guidelines are useful and important, but are not subject to this policy because they do not have University-wide applicability. They should nevertheless be clearly written and appropriately available online to affected members of the University community. The formatting template provides a good starting point for drafting and formatting.
      3. Every University policy must include the name of at least one policy owner. It is the policy owner’s responsibility to designate the appropriate responsible University office charged with the tasks of implementing and enforcing the policy.
      4. A University policy should be written so that it is clear and concise. It should contain sufficient information on the subject without being excessive in length or complexity.
      5. The University reserves the right to amend, modify, delete, or add any policy at any time in order to meet the needs of the University community, in order to comply with law, or for any other reason the University may determine. Nothing in this Policy on Policies diminishes or interferes with the ultimate right of the University’s Board of Trustees to adopt, rescind, modify, amend, or replace any University policy on any subject, including the documents described in Sections II.B.1, II.B.2, and II.B.4 of this Policy on Policies.
    2. Procedures for Review and Approval of Policies.
      1. Any individual or unit may identify the need for a new policy, but at least one University officer must agree to serve as the policy owner and be accountable for a policy’s implementation and enforcement.
      2. The policy owner is responsible in the first instance for developing a draft policy or revising a current policy in consultation with key stakeholders. At any time in the drafting process, the Office of General Counsel (“OGC”) is available for consultation.
      3. The policy owner or designee ordinarily prepares the first draft of a proposed or revised policy. If the reason for the policy is not apparent, the first draft will ordinarily be accompanied by an explanatory memorandum addressing the necessity for the policy and how (if at all) it supplements or alters existing policy.
      4. The draft will be shared with OGC, which will review the proposed policy for form and legal sufficiency. It is OGC’s responsibility to ensure consistency in formatting, clarity, and legal sufficiency.
      5. A new policy or the substantive revision of an existing policy requires the approval of the President’s Executive Committee.
      6. If the General Counsel and the policy owner determine that a proposed revision of an existing policy is minor in nature and does not substantively change the policy, then no review by the President’s Executive Committee is required.
      7. The policy owner (or designee) is responsible for presenting the proposed new or revised policy to the President’s Executive Committee for approval, which shall include communicating with the President’s Office to get the matter placed on the agenda and circulating a copy of the proposed new or revised University policy, with any explanation or background material deemed appropriate, in accordance with standard President’s Executive Committee practices.
      8. Following approval by the President’s Executive Committee:
        1. OGC shall ensure that the University Policy is electronically published in the University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual; and
        2. the policy owner shall ensure that the policy is appropriately announced and communicated to the University community.
      9. Except as provided in Subsection IV.B.10 of this Policy on Policies, a proposed new or revised policy becomes an official policy of the University and goes into effect:
        1. when it is approved by the President’s Executive Committee (or, for policy changes of a minor nature, the OGC and the Policy Owner) and published in the University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual; or
        2. Upon such other date as the President’s Executive Committee shall specify.
      10. There may be occasions when a University policy is deemed by the President to be of sufficient significance to merit review and approval by the Board of Trustees or a standing committee of the Board prior to adoption and implementation. In such circumstances, the provisions of Subsection IV.B.9 of this Policy on Policies to the contrary notwithstanding, the policy shall be presented to the Board (or standing Board committee) for approval, and shall not become effective unless and until so approved.
    3. Periodic Review and Amendment of Policies.
      1. Each responsible University office shall periodically review all University policies for which it is responsible to determine whether a policy requires revision, replacement, or supersession because of a change in applicable law or business process.
      2. A responsible University office may deem it appropriate to retire an existing policy or consolidate two or more policies. Such changes should be discussed in advance with the OGC and the policy owner.
    4. Classification of Policies.The University of Delaware Administrative Policy Manual is divided into the following functional sections:
      Section 1: Academic Policies
      Section 2: Campus Safety and Security Policies
      Section 3: External Relations Policies
      Section 4: Facilities, Real Estate, and Auxiliary Services Policies
      Section 5: Financial and Business Policies
      Section 6: Governance, Ethics, and General Policies
      Section 7: Human Resources Policies
      Section 8: Information Technologies Policies
      Section 9: Research, Sponsored Program, Technology Transfer, and Intellectual Property Policies
      Section 10: Student and Athletics Policies

APPENDIX: FORMATTING TEMPLATE 

Section:
Policy Name:
Policy Owner:
Responsible University Office:
Origination Date:
Revisions:
Policy Number: (Legacy Policy Number: ______)

  1. SCOPE OF POLICY
    This policy addresses the [fill in blank] and applies to all [university departments, faculty, staff and students].
  2. DEFINITIONS
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  3. POLICY STATEMENT
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  4. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
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