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Old Dominion University

University Policy

1001 Development, Approval and Maintenance of University Policy

Responsible Oversight Executive: Vice President for Administration and Finance
Date of Current Revision or Creation: November 30, 2018
  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to define the process for developing, reviewing, approving, and maintaining all University policies.

  2. Authority

    Virginia Code Section 23.1-1301, as amended, grants authority to the Board of Visitors to make rules and policies concerning the institution. Section 6.01(a)(6) of the Board of Visitors Bylaws grants authority to the President to implement the policies and procedures of the Board relating to University operations.

    The policies of Old Dominion University fall within the following framework and hierarchy and, therefore, are subject to compliance with laws and regulations instituted by higher levels of authority:

    1. Federal laws and regulations
    2. State laws and regulations
    3. Board of Visitors policies
    4. University policies
    5. Guidebook/Handbook - Faculty Handbook, Classified Employee Guidebook, Wage Employee Guidebook, and Graduate and Undergraduate Catalogs.
    6. Divisional policies and procedures
    7. Departmental policies and procedures

    In the event of a conflict between different levels in 1 through 7 above, the lower numerical heading shall take precedence over the higher numerical heading.

  3. Definitions

    Board of Visitors Policy - Policy that is reviewed and approved by the Board of Visitors and falls into five categories, namely:

    • policy that governs the Board of Visitors or interaction with the Board;
    • policy that is designated by the General Assembly, Executive Branch or some other governmental entity as an item that must have the approval of the Board of Visitors;
    • policy that ensures basic rights and obligations to constituencies within the University that include, but are not limited to, faculty, employees and students;
    • policy governing the award of degrees, emeritus/emerita designation, recognition of related corporations, and naming; or
    • policy generated directly by the Board of Visitors or a member thereof.

    Editing Subcommittee - A subcommittee of the Policy Review Committee, selected by the Chair, which is tasked with editing policies during the pre- and post- review process.

    Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC or "Vice Presidents") - A committee comprised of all University Vice Presidents charged with approving the policy impact statement, assigning a Responsible Oversight Executive, suggesting members of a Policy Formulation Committee (PFC), and recommending approval of University policies to the President.

    Interim Policy - A University policy executed by the President, at his or her discretion, without following the process discussed herein. Interim policies should receive formal review through this process within one year of execution.

    Policy Formulation Committees (PFC) - These committees are assigned by the designated Responsible Officer for each policy, with suggestions from the Responsible Oversight Executive (ROE). The PFC is comprised of a sufficient number of technical, editorial and subject matter experts to adequately formulate the policies. These committees are charged with writing clear and understandable University policies that utilize the required University Policy Template. In some instances, the ROE may designate only one individual to draft the policy in lieu of a PFC.

    Policy History - The policy history is appended to each policy by the University Policy Manager and includes the initial approval and revision dates, the next scheduled revision date, and the names of the individuals who signed off on the policy. The policy history also documents any language changes and periodic reviews that do not require any revisions.

    University Policy Manager (UPM) - An individual appointed by the President to manage the policy review process and chair the Policy Review Committee. This individual maintains, publishes and notifies the University community of all approved and revised University policies.

    Policy Review Committee (PRC) - A standing committee whose responsibility is to review all proposed University policies and revisions for recommendation to the Vice Presidents and President for approval. The Committee is appointed by the President upon recommendation by the Vice Presidents and comprised of individuals from across the University, including representatives from the Faculty Senate, the Student Senate and the Hourly and Classified Employees Association.

    Procedure - A statement that prescribes specific actions to be taken to conform to established policies, allowing for the orderly implementation of those policies.

    Responsible Officer (RO) - The responsible officer is assigned by the Responsible Oversight Executive to administer the policy. This individual is responsible for drafting the policy, keeping it up to date, and coordinating a detailed review at least once every five years. After completion of a draft policy by the PFC, the RO is responsible for forwarding the policy to the UPM for facilitating a 30-day comment period (15 days for policy revisions), which allows for feedback from affected University community members. The RO will work with the Editing Subcommittee to revise the policy draft as needed, based upon feedback received from the comment period and the Policy Review Committee.

    Responsible Oversight Executive (ROE) - The member of the EPRC who is assigned to sponsor a specific policy. The ROE oversees its development process and acts as the EPRC contact.

    University Policy - Policy that applies broadly throughout the University and pertains to more than one division of the University. University policy requires the President's review and approval and falls into three categories, namely:

    • policy that enhances the mission of the University;
    • policy that ensures compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations; or
    • policy that promotes operational effectiveness and efficiencies and reduces institutional risk.

    University Policy Impact Statement - A document that describes the need and justification for a newly proposed University policy or revisions to existing University policy when the revisions are being proposed outside of the regular five-year review process.

    University Policy Template - A required policy format developed to ensure consistency. Use of the template facilitates the adoption of clear, concise and uniform University policies.

  4. Scope

    This policy applies to all employees, students, volunteers, employees of affiliated organizations who are paid through the University, and visitors to the institution. Employees include all staff, administrators, faculty, full- or part-time, and classified or non-classified persons who are paid by the University. Students include all persons admitted to the University who have not completed a program of study for which they were enrolled; student status continues whether or not the University's programs are in session. Affiliated organizations are separate entities that exist for the benefit of the University through an operating agreement and include the Foundations, the Community Development Corporation, and the Alumni Association. Visitors include vendors and their employees, parents of students, volunteers, guests, uninvited guests and all other persons located on property, owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University.

  5. Policy Statement

    Old Dominion University formally approves, promulgates in a consistent format, and maintains centrally all University policies. All parties responsible for writing, updating and distributing University policies must comply with the conditions and procedures that are outlined in this policy. This document defines a University policy, explains the University Policy Template, outlines the steps for formulating, approving, issuing, and amending policies and describes the roles of the various policy committees, the UPM and the President. All University policies require the President's approval.

  6. Procedures

    1. New Policies

      1. University Policy Impact Statement

        When the need for a new policy is identified, a University Policy Impact Statement is prepared by the proponent of the new policy and is submitted to the UPM, who forwards it to the Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) for their review and approval.

      2. Policy Formulation Committee

        If the University Policy Impact Statement is approved, the EPRC designates the Responsible Oversight Executive, who then assigns a Responsible Officer for the proposed policy. The EPRC also suggests members of a Policy Formulation Committee (PFC), but may also designate one individual to draft the policy in lieu of a PFC. The UPM forwards the approved Policy Impact Statement to the Responsible Officer, who invites individuals identified on the Policy Impact Statement to participate on the PFC and manages the drafting process.

        The PFC will use the University Policy Template in drafting the policy.

      3. Legal Review

        After completion of the draft policy, the RO submits the draft policy to the UPM, who forwards it to University Counsel for review and comment. The draft policy is then returned to the UPM along with any comments and suggested edits.

      4. Pre-Review Editing Process

        The UPM will conduct an initial review of the policy to:

        1. Determine if the policy is deficient in any element required in the Policy Template (improper format, contains vague or contradictory policy statements, poorly referenced procedures that do not provide for compliance with the policy, confusing wording, etc.);

        2. Determine if the policy is consistent in terms of style, standard language, hyperlinks, format, etc., with policies already reviewed; and

        3. Correct any grammatical or typing errors.

        The UPM will work with the RO, as necessary, to modify any elements of the policy that need further clarification, research, etc., and will consult with University Counsel on an as-needed basis.

        In some cases, at the discretion of the UPM, a review group consisting of the PRC's Editing Subcommittee, the policy's RO, and representative(s) on the PRC from the area whose policy is being review, will be formed to conduct this initial review.

      5. Comments Period

        The UPM will facilitate a 30-day comment period, which allows for feedback from affected University community members.

        1. The draft policy will be posted on the University's Policies and Procedures website and a campus-wide email will be sent notifying the University community that the policy is scheduled for review and inviting questions or comments.

        2. Respondents will be asked to send their comments or questions to the UPM.

        3. As comments and questions are received, they will be shared with the RO.

        4. The RO will make modifications to the policy based on the feedback as deemed appropriate.

        5. All comments received during the open comments period, and any written feedback from the RO, will be shared with the PRC members prior to their review.

      6. PRC Review

        After successful completion of the comment period and pre-review editing process, the UPM will work with the RO to establish a mutually agreeable date of the PRC meeting at which the new policy will be reviewed, and the RO will attend and participate in discussions. The RO, at his or her discretion, may bring additional staff members to the PRC meeting and involve them in the review process.

        The PRC is responsible for reviewing the draft policy to assess whether it is clear, consistent, understandable and has the proper scope and goals, as well as whether it might have any unintended or unwarranted impact on particular campus constituencies or the ODU community at large. The Committee will recommend any modifications to the content of the draft policy it deems necessary. As a result of this review, the PRC may:

        1. Approve the policy as drafted;

        2. Approve the policy with agreed-upon modifications; or

        3. Send the policy back to the RO to address PRC recommendations or concerns.

        Upon approval by the PRC, the UPM, in consultation with the RO and the Editing Subcommittee, will make the modifications approved by the PRC and conduct a final review of the policy for spelling, punctuation, grammar and clarity.

      7. EPRC Review

        The UPM will send the final draft policy to the EPRC and attend the monthly Vice Presidents meeting to review and discuss the policy. As the result of its review, the EPRC may:

        1. Approve the policy as drafted;

        2. Send the policy back to the PRC to address EPRC recommendations or concerns; or

        3. Make changes to the policy.

        If the EPRC makes changes to the policy, the UPM will work with the ROE to incorporate the changes into the draft policy.

      8. Presidential Approval

        The UPM will work with the President's Office to schedule review of the policy by the President and Vice Presidents at a President's Cabinet meeting and will attend to participate in the discussion. As a result of this review, the President may:

        1. Approve the policy as drafted;

        2. Send the policy back to the UPM to address the President's recommendations or concerns; or

        3. Make changes to the policy.

        This process will be repeated until the President approves the final version of the policy.

      9. Publication and Communication of the Policy

        Once the President approves the final version of the policy, the UPM will obtain the signatures of the RO, ROE, University Counsel, and President. The date the policy is signed by the President will be the execution date.

        The UPM completes the policy history section of the policy that includes the execution date, revision history and next scheduled review due date of the policy. The standard review date for the policy will be five years from the execution date, but the President, ROE or RO may request that the policy be reviewed in less than five years.

        The UPM posts the University policy to the University Policies and Procedures website and sends a campus-wide email notifying the University Community of the new policy.

        The UPM is responsible for maintaining all original policy documents for archiving purposes.

    2. Revised Policies

      The process for review of revised policies is the same as above, with the following exceptions:

      1. A new University Policy Impact Statement is not required for policies that are being revised as part of the scheduled five-year review process.

      2. If revisions are proposed outside of the five-year review process, a University Policy Impact Statement is required only if the suggested revisions are deemed substantial, as determined by the UPM in consultation with University Counsel and the Editing Subcommittee.

      3. The comment period for proposed policy revisions will be 15 days.

    3. Interim Policies

      On occasion, and at his or her sole discretion, the President may adopt interim University policies and waive or temporarily alter any policy in order to meet legal or operational requirements as needs arise, without utilizing the procedures outlined in this policy. Interim policies will have an expiration date of one year in order to provide time for full consideration in accordance with this policy.

    4. Editorial Changes to Policies

      There are times when the titles of University employees and departments may change. In these instances, the UPM is authorized to update these titles in any University policy that references them without following the formal review process. Other changes may be made by the UPM if deemed as editorial by University Counsel.

    5. Obsolete Policies

      From time to time, the PRC, in consultation with University Counsel and the RO, may recommend to the EPRC that a University Policy be rescinded as being obsolete. The decision to rescind a policy rests with the President.

    The authority to interpret any University policy rests with the President in consultation with University Counsel.

  7. Records Retention

    Applicable records must be retained and then destroyed in accordance with the Commonwealth's Records Retention Schedules.

  8. Responsible Officer

    University Policy Manager

  9. Related Information

    University Policy Approval Process

Policy History

Policy Formulation Committee (PFC) & Responsible Officer Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Responsible Officer
August 28, 2018

Policy Review Committee (PRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Chair, Policy Review Committee (PRC)
August 28, 2018

Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Gregory DuBois
Responsible Oversight Executive
November 20, 2018

University Counsel Approval to Proceed:

/s/ James D. Wright
University Counsel
November 26, 2018

Presidential Approval:

/s/ John R. Broderick
November 30, 2018

Previous Revisions

December 8, 1988; October 9, 2008; February 21, 2011; May 4, 2012; November 30, 2018

Scheduled Review Date

November 30, 2023

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