University of Saskatchewan Policies
Development, Approval and Administration of University Policies
|Responsibility:||Policy Oversight Committee|
|Authorization:||Board of Governors|
|Approval Date:||February 8, 1978; revised March 30, 2001; approval June 23, 2006|
|Amendment Date:||June 1, 2006|
To define a coordinated and consistent process for identification, development, approval and administration of all University policies, consistent with governing principles on which the activities of the University are based.
Policies exist to ensure that our processes and practices align with our strategic directions, our core principles and the regulatory and governance environment, to protect the University and its stakeholders, and to guide change. They describe the University's position on a particular issue. Procedures for implementation, communication and compliance monitoring should be developed for each policy.
A University policy is one which is intended to
- state the University's position on issues which have university-wide application;
- reflect and uphold the University's governing principles;
- identify and prescribe compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and other policies;
- promote operational efficiencies;
- enhance the University's mission and/or reduce institutional risk;
- provide decision makers with limits, alternatives and guidance;
- change infrequently.
Under the University's tricameral governance structure, University policies may be subject to the approval of one or more of the Board of Governors, University Council and Senate.
Other policies with more local applicability may exist at the college, department or unit level. While such policies are always subject to university-wide policies, their development, approval and administration are outside the scope of this policy and these procedures.
Policies vs. Procedures
While policies may (as in this policy) comprise elements of procedure, most policies should focus on principles and provide guidance and direction. Policies change infrequently, and changes to policy are subject to approval by the appropriate governing body. Procedures, on the other hand, are put into place under the direction of the policy's sponsor to ensure that institutional processes and practices comply with policy. Procedures may be changed at the discretion of the sponsor to ensure that implementation of a policy is consistent with, and takes appropriate advantage of, changes in the environment, improvements in technology, and other factors which could contribute to effective processes and practices. To ensure coordination of policies and procedures, these should always be cross-referenced to one another. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to ensure that the procedures are made available in an appropriate format and that they are cross-referenced to the relevant policy(ies).
Process for Policy Development, Approval and Administration:
1. Identification of Need: Any member of the University community may suggest that a new University policy, or revision to an existing policy, is required.
2. Approval of Concept: A proposal for a new policy, or revision to an existing policy, will be considered by a Policy Oversight Committee composed of senior members of the University community who represent both administrative and academic spheres of authority and responsibility (See Appendix 1 for Terms of Reference and Membership of this Committee). Following an assessment of need, the Policy Oversight Committee may recommend that policy development proceed, and if so will identify an appropriate sponsor, provide a template, advise about consultation (including advice about the need for legal review), and identify the appropriate approval path. The Committee may also assist sponsors in an evaluation of the implications of the policy, including potential risks, costs, and infrastructure requirements.
3. Drafting and Consultation: The designated sponsor, who may be, for example, a dean, department head, director, or other senior administrator, will take responsibility for drafting the policy, including a communications plan and an implementation plan. The sponsor will also be responsible for carrying out appropriate consultation and (where recommended by the Policy Oversight Committee) for seeking legal advice.
4. Recommendation for Approval: The Policy Oversight Committee will receive the draft policy, review and comment on matters such as the format, the implementation and communication plan, the process of consultation and the appropriate approval path, and will forward the draft policy to the relevant body (PEC, PCIP, or a Committee of the Board, of Council or Senate) for initial approval.
5. Initial Approval: The draft policy will be reviewed and a decision made whether to recommend the policy to the Board of Governors and/or Council and/or Senate for approval.
6. Final Approval: The appropriate governance body will make a decision whether to approve the policy.
7. Implementation of the New Policy: Once approved, introduction and implementation of the policy will be the responsibility of the sponsor. The policy should be communicated to all relevant units and employees, and arrangements should be made by the sponsor for appropriate training, interpretation, and compliance monitoring.
8. Maintenance of the Policy Portfolio: The University Secretary will take responsibility for curatorial aspects of the administration of policies, including keeping a directory of all approved policies and making these available on the University's web site.
9. Policy Portfolio Review: The Policy Oversight Committee will undertake periodic reviews of existing policies, identifying anachronisms, gaps and overlaps, and monitoring the effectiveness of the institution's ongoing administration of its policies.
See www.usask.ca/corporate_admin/policies/index.php for more information about these processes.
To access the Notice of Intent form and Policy template, click here: www.usask.ca/university_secretary/policies/PolicyForms.doc .
Lea Pennock, University Secretary