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Old Dominion University


1001 Development, Approval and Maintenance of University Policy

Responsible Oversight Executive: Vice President for Administration and Finance
Date of Current Revision or Creation: May 4, 2012
  1. Purpose

    This policy defines the process for developing, reviewing, approving, and maintaining all University policies.

  2. Authority

    Virginia Code Section 23-9.2:3, as amended, grants authority to the Board of Visitors to establish rules and regulations for 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) - A committee comprised of the Chief Operating Officer, all University Vice Presidents, and University Counsel. This group is 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 Responsible Officer, with suggestions from the Responsible Oversight Executive, and are specific to a policy. 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 addresses details regarding the initial approval and subsequent revisions and is maintained by the Policy Manager. The document details all language changes and periodic reviews that do not require any revisions.

    Policy Manager - 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 appointed by the President and comprised of individuals from across the University who participate in the review of all proposed University policies and revisions.

    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 keeping the policy 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 Policy Manager for facilitating a 30-day comment period, 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 30-day 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

    University policies and procedures are applicable to all members of the University community unless a specific policy states otherwise. Matters pertaining only to the internal procedures of a given department or office are not considered to be within the scope of this policy.

  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 Policy Manager 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 Policy Manager, 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 to 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 Policy Manager forwards the approved Policy Impact Statement to the Responsible Officer, who invites individuals identified on the Policy Impact Statement to participate on the Policy Formulation Committee and manages the drafting process.

      3. Legal Review

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

      4. Pre-Review Editing Process

        A review group consisting of the PRC's Editing Subcommittee, the policy's RO, representative(s) on the PRC from the area whose policy is being reviewed, and any other member of the PRC who expresses interest in participating will be formed.

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

        • 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.);
        • Determine if the policy is consistent in terms of style, standard language, hyperlinks, format, etc., with policies already reviewed; and,
        • Correct any grammatical or typing errors.

        This group 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.

        Comments Period

        The Policy Manager 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 Policy Manager.

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

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

      5. PRC Review

        After successful completion of the comment period and pre-review editing process, the draft policy is forwarded to the RO for approval of the PFC (when applicable) and authorized by the Responsible Officer's signature. The RO sends the signed policy to the Policy Manager who will schedule the date of the PRC meeting at which the new policy will be reviewed.

        The Policy Manager will work with the RO in order to establish a mutually agreeable date, 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 for proper template completion and ensuring that the draft policy is clear and understandable. Following review and approval by the PRC, the Editing Subcommittee will make final edits to the policy in consultation with the RO.

      6. EPRC Review

        The Policy Manager will send the final draft policy to the EPRC, with a copy to the President. The President's Office will schedule review by the EPRC at a regularly scheduled meeting of the President's Cabinet and will invite the Policy Manager to attend.

        As the result of its review, the EPRC may:

        • Approve the policy as drafted;
        • Send the policy back to the PRC to consider EPRC recommendations or concerns; or
        • Make changes to the policy.

        If the EPRC makes changes to the policy, the Policy Manager will work with the ROE to incorporate the changes into the final version of the policy.

      7. Final Approvals

        Once the final draft is complete, the Policy Manager will obtain the signatures of the ROE, University Counsel, and President. The date the policy is signed by the President will be the execution date.

        After the policy is executed by the President, the Policy Manager completes the policy history section of the policy that includes the execution date, revision history and next scheduled review due date, which will be no longer than five years from the execution date.

        The Policy Manager posts the University policy to the University Policies and Procedures website and sends a campus-wide email notifying the University Committee of the new policy. The Policy Manager is responsible for maintaining all original policy documents for archiving purposes. All University policies will be reviewed no later than five years from the execution date or the last review date.

    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 RO in consultation with the Policy Manager and 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 Policy Manager is authorized to update these titles in any University policy that references them without following the formal review process.

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

  7. Responsible Officer

    University Policy Manager

  8. Related Information

    University Policy Template

    University Policy Impact Statement Template

Policy History

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

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Responsible Officer Signature
March 14, 2012

Policy Review Committee (PRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Donna W. Meeks
Chair, Policy Review Committee (PRC)
March 27, 2012

Executive Policy Review Committee (EPRC) Approval to Proceed:

/s/ Robert L. Fenning
Responsible Oversight Executive Signature
April 30, 2012

University Counsel Approval to Proceed:

/s/ James D. Wright
University Counsel
May 3, 2012

Presidential Approval:

/s/ John R. Broderick
May 4, 2012

Previous Revisions

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

Scheduled Review Date

May 4, 2017