The University Policy Manual

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Policy on Policies

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • (Approved by the Chancellor, March 11, 2013)
  • Revised, May, 2019

1. Purpose

Policies are critical to maintaining an environment that fosters excellence, integrity, and accountability. UNC Greensboro identifies policies as falling into one of three distinct categories (defined below): University, Academic, and Unit. The purpose of this policy is to establish governing principles for the development, approval, maintenance, management, and publication of policies at UNC Greensboro.

2. Scope

Every member of the UNC Greensboro community is expected to follow all institutional policies, whether the policy is categorized as a University, Academic, or Unit policy. Every member of the UNC Greensboro community charged with the development, approval, maintenance, management, or publication of policies on behalf of the University is expected to follow the governing principles described in this policy.

3. Definitions and Roles and Responsibilities

3.1 Definitions

3.1.1 Policy
Regardless of category, a policy is a written statement that provides governing principles on a specific topic to faculty, staff, students, and/or campus visitors. Policies generally meet the following criteria:
  1. Enhance the university’s mission;
  2. Reduce institutional risk;
  3. Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations;
  4. Promote effectiveness and efficiency;
  5. Change infrequently and are applicable for the foreseeable future; and
  6. Include governing principles that mandate or restrict actions and are therefore enforceable.
3.1.2 Supporting Documents
Supporting Documents are procedures, standards, guidelines or other documents that contain specific mechanisms or processes related to and authorized by a policy to establish how that policy should be carried out. Supporting Documents may include detailed instructions, steps, or forms that facilitate compliance with a policy. Not all policies include Supporting Documents.
3.1.3 University Policy
A University Policy is a policy that provides governing principles on a specific topic to faculty, staff, students, and/or campus visitors. University Policies have broad application across the University and/or apply across more than one Division. University Policies must follow the development and review processes outlined in the Procedures for University Policy Development and Management.
3.1.4 Academic Policy
An Academic Policy is a policy that directly affects the pedagogical and/or research mission of the University. Academic Policies may include policies related to the instructional activities of and the award of academic degrees by the University. Some Academic Policies may be subject to shared governance.
3.1.5 Unit Policy
A Unit Policy is a policy that has application only within the issuing unit (e.g. applies only to unit employees, staff, students, and/or others working for or within the unit).
3.1.6 Unit
A Unit is a Center, Department, Institute, Office, School, or other operational segment within a Division of the University.
3.1.7 Division
A Division includes any one of the following: Academic Affairs, Athletics, Business Affairs, the Chancellor’s Office, Information Technology Services, Research and Engagement, Student Affairs, University Advancement, or University Communications.
3.1.8 Stakeholder
A Stakeholder is any individual or group directly or indirectly impacted by a given policy.

3.2 Roles and Responsibilities

3.2.1 Chancellor
The Chancellor is responsible for final approval of all University Policies, unless otherwise designated by the policies and regulations of the University of North Carolina System.
3.2.2 Chancellor’s Council
The Chancellor’s Council is a body of University officers appointed by the Chancellor to serve as senior advisors. The Chancellor’s Council provides institutional review of, and recommends action on, University Policies.
3.2.3 Office of General Counsel
The Office of General Counsel are attorneys representing the interests of University. The Office of General Counsel advises on University Policies to ensure consistency with applicable laws, regulations, governing policies, other requirements, and regarding material legal or ethical exposure to the University.
3.2.4 Policy Administrator
The Policy Administrator is the University Compliance Director or other individual designated by the Chancellor to facilitate and oversee the policy development and review process and ensure dissemination of and access to all University Policies. The Policy Administrator is responsible for:
  1. Designing, implementing, and reviewing a template, process, and system for developing, reviewing, issuing, storing, and revising University Policies;
  2. Generally guiding the Policy Owners through the policy development process;
  3. Providing feedback on the structure, formatting, expression, and other editorial aspects of documents to assure their clarity and coherence;
  4. Leading the process for reviewing and approving University Policies; including facilitating review by the Policy Advisory Group and Chancellor’s Council;
  5. Initiating review of University Policies whose provisions have been in effect for five years or longer; and
  6. Maintaining a repository of all University Policies.
3.2.5 Policy Advisory Group
The Policy Advisory Group is a group of individuals appointed by the Chancellor to provide consultation and expertise to the Policy Administrator and Chancellor’s Council on the development and revision of University Policies. A representative from the Office of General Counsel must always be included in this group for consultation purposes.
3.2.6 Policy Owners
Policy Owners are the individuals responsible for implementing, communicating, reviewing, updating, and monitoring a University Policy and its implementation for compliance and effectiveness. Each University Policy is “owned” by a Responsible Executive and a Responsible Administrator.
3.2.7 Responsible Executive
A Responsible Executive is a member of the Chancellor’s Council with oversight responsibility for at least one Division. Depending on the scope of its subject matter, a policy may fall under the jurisdiction of more than one Responsible Executive. The Responsible Executive is also responsible for:
  1. Identifying and/or approving the need for and purpose of a policy in relation to a subject that falls under her or his jurisdiction;
  2. Designating a Responsible Administrator to develop and administer the policy;
  3. Approving final drafts of all University Policies and Supporting Documents before they are submitted to the Policy Administrator for review by the Policy Advisory Group, Chancellor’s Council, and Chancellor;
  4. Ensuring that policies that fall under their jurisdiction are implemented, communicated, reviewed, updated, and monitored for compliance and effectiveness;
  5. Ensuring that University Policies for which the Responsible Executive is accountable are consistent with other University, Academic, or Unit policies in her or his area; and
  6. If necessary, leading the establishment of any new support systems needed to achieve compliance with new or substantially revised policies.
3.2.8 Responsible Administrator
The Responsible Administrator is an individual designated by a Responsible Executive to: (i) develop and administer a particular University Policy, and if applicable, its Supporting Documents; (ii) communicate with and train the university community in its requirements; and (iii) execute its timely updating and revisions. The Responsible Administrator has expertise in the topic(s) addressed in any given policy. Depending on the scope of its subject matter, a policy may fall under the jurisdiction of more than one Responsible Administrator. The Responsible Administrator is also responsible for:
  1. Adhering to this policy and its Supporting Documents in the development and management of University Policies;
  2. Consulting with the Responsible Executive while drafting or revising a policy to ensure that the content of the policy reflects the policy’s original purpose;
  3. Consulting with the Responsible Executive to update existing policies on a timely basis; and
  4. Ensuring that policies that fall under their jurisdiction are implemented, communicated, reviewed, updated, and monitored for compliance and effectiveness;
  5. Ensuring that University Policies for which the Responsible Administrator is accountable are consistent with other University, Academic, or Unit policies in her or his area; and
  6. If needed, assisting the Responsible Executive in establishing new support systems needed to achieve compliance with new or substantially revised policies.

4. Policy

4.1 Policy Statement

Policies must be developed, reviewed, and approved in a manner that ensures their consistency with the University mission, and with applicable laws, regulations, and external policies. Review and approval must be appropriate to the scope and impact of each policy.

4.2 Approval, Administration, and Oversight of University Policies

4.2.1
University Policies are generally subject to the approval by the Chancellor or Board of Trustees, as determined by the policies or regulations of the University of North Carolina System or UNC Greensboro. Some University Policies may require external review and/or approval by the President or the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System.
4.2.2
University Policies will generally require development, review, and recommendation by the Responsible Administrator, Responsible Executive, Policy Advisory Group, and Chancellor’s Council. Some clerical or non-substantive revisions to existing University Policies may be approved by the Responsible Administrator and the Policy Administrator without full review and recommendation by the Chancellor’s Council.
4.2.3
University Policies should be drafted using the University Policy Template and must follow the specific review and approval procedures set forth in the Procedures for University Policy Development and Management.

4.3 Standards and Administration of Academic and Unit Policies

4.3.1
Like University Policies, Academic and Unit Policies are expected to be clear, accurate, up-to-date, and published in a central location accessible to individuals or entities who must adhere to them. Academic and Unit Policies must be consistent with laws, regulations, and applicable University, UNC System, and external policies. Academic and Unit Policies may supplement but must not conflict with University Policies.
4.3.2
Academic and Unit Policies must also:
  1. Be submitted to the Office of General Counsel for legal review prior to their approval if they affect the substantive or procedural rights of individuals;
  2. Be clearly identified as an Academic or Unit Policy in the header, title, or other appropriate location on the policy;
  3. Include an approval date and the name and title of the approver; and
  4. Identify and link to any related state and federal laws, state agency rules, University or UNC System Policies, or external policies.
4.3.3 Academic Policies
Unless otherwise designated by the policies and regulations of the University of North Carolina System, the Provost oversees development, approval, dissemination, and management of Academic Policies, in consultation with the Faculty Senate consistent with the Constitution of the General Faculty of UNC Greensboro.
4.3.4 Unit Policies
  1. Unit Policies may exist in order to promote operational efficiencies, enhance the mission of an organizational unit, and/or meet accreditation requirements that are not broadly applicable throughout the University. Unit Policies are carried out within the unit charged with approving and implementing the policy.
  2. Responsibility for approving, developing, managing, and disseminating Unit Policies rests with the Vice Chancellor, Provost, and/or other administrative officer that oversees the unit in which the Unit Policy is established.
  3. Each Unit must establish and maintain:
    • A documented process for the creation of new Unit Policies;
    • A documented process and/or schedule for reviewing Unit Policies, including a record of such reviews;
    • A record of substantive changes to its Unit Policies; and
    • An archive of rescinded Unit Policies.

4.4 Policy Approval and Revision

New or revised University Policies, as defined below, will usually require review and recommendation by the Policy Advisory Group and Chancellor’s Council, and approval by the Chancellor or Board of Trustees.1

4.5 Approval and Revision of Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents should initially be developed, revised, and approved as part of the development, revision, and approval of a University Policy, but may also be separately revised and/or updated without additional review by the Chancellor’s Council and/or approval by the Chancellor or Board of Trustees, in the discretion of the Policy Administrator and/or the Chancellor.

4.6 Policy Review

Substantive review of all policies must occur at regular intervals appropriate to the type and nature of the document and sufficient to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and external policies. All newly created University Policies must be reviewed at the end of their first year of implementation. Policy Owners must monitor the ongoing implementation of any University Policies for which they are responsible and initiate a formal review of such policies every five years at a minimum, or more frequently, if necessary.

4.7 Policy Publication and Dissemination

4.7.1
All University Policies must be published on the University Policy Manual Website that is maintained by the Policy Administrator. The Policy Administrator will ensure that notification regarding approval of new or revised policies is disseminated via email or another standard form of campus-wide communication.
4.7.2
Divisions and other organizational units wishing to include University Policies on their websites must do so by linking to the official University Policy Manual Website to ensure that the official version is referenced.

4.8 Interim University Policies

4.8.1
Under exceptional circumstances, the Chancellor may issue interim University Policies and/or interim revisions to existing University Policies (collectively, “Interim University Policies”). Such circumstances may include the need to expedite the issuance of a University Policy because of external compliance deadlines; developments that will, or could, significantly affect the safety or welfare of members of the campus community; or where an Interim University Policy is necessary or desirable to facilitate orderly and efficient campus operations.
4.8.2
Interim University Policies will generally remain in effect for no more than six months from the effective date of their issuance; therefore, the Policy Owners must promptly initiate the steps outlined in the Procedures for University Policy Development and Management to develop or revise the policy. The Policy Administrator will post Interim University Policies, clearly designated as such, on the University Policy Manual Website. Interim University Policies become effective immediately upon approval by the Chancellor.

4.9 Policy Rescission

Rescinding a University Policy is necessary whenever the policy has become inconsistent with legal or policy requirements; no longer reflects the University’s practice; or when the policy is consolidated into other policies, guidelines, or procedures. The final decision to rescind a University Policy is made by the Chancellor following review by the Policy Advisory Group and the Chancellor’s Council. The Policy Administrator is responsible for communicating with all stakeholders the Chancellor’s decision to grant or deny a request to rescind a policy; maintaining an archive of rescinded policies for reference and record-keeping purposes; and ensuring that rescinded policies are no longer accessible on the University Policy Manual Website. Specific procedures for rescinding University Policies are outlined in the Procedures for University Policy Development and Management.

5. Compliance and Enforcement

5.1

After the effective date of this revised policy, any policies that are not produced and/or approved in compliance with this policy will not be considered official University Policies and will not be posted to the official University Policy Manual Website.

5.2

Academic, Unit, and University Policies adopted before the effective date of this revised policy are expected to achieve compliance with this policy and its supporting documents by June 30, 2020.

5.3

The Policy Administrator is responsible for promoting compliance with this policy.

6. Additional Information

6.1 Supporting Documents

6.2 Related Policies and Resources

6.3 Approving Authority

Chancellor

6.4 Contacts for Additional Information and Reporting

  • Responsible Administrator: University Compliance Director (Policy Administrator), Office of the Chancellor, policy@uncg.edu, 336.334.2467
  • Responsible Executive: Associate Vice Chancellor for Policy and Strategy, 336.334.5266
1Pursuant to the Code and Policies of the University of North Carolina System and the Code of the UNCG Board of Trustees, the President, Board of Governors and/or the Board of Trustees have responsibility and authority to implement or approve certain types of University Policies. This Policy shall not be applied in a manner that infringes on those powers. (See UNC BOG Policy Manual at http://www.northcarolina.edu/policy/index.php. See UNCG BOT Bylaws at http://policy.uncg.edu/code/.)