Policy and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is a University policy?
A university policy is defined by all the following criteria:
- It has broad application throughout the university.
- It helps achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiencies, enhances the university’s mission, or reduces institutional risks. If a policy fits the criteria above, it is a university policy. If it does not, it is an Operational Unit policy.
Q2. How can I get access to a policy or procedure?
Approved and active policies and procedures are available on the WesternU Policies & Procedures weblink. Only those policies and procedures that have gone through the formal review and approval process are published on this site.
Q3. What is the role of the University Policy Office (UPO)?
The UPO provides guidance in the creation, development and revision of policies and procedures. The UPO is responsible for providing updated templates, posting current policies and procedures and archiving outdated documents. UPO does not write policies or procedures.
Q4. How is a University policy approved?
Once a policy is developed or revised, it goes through a rigorous review and approval process. The Policy Contact and/or designed Editor(s) draft/revise a policy/procedure and then submits the document for review to the UPO. The UPO reviews the document for relevance and how it will likely be applied, meaning Operating Unit specific or university wide. The UPO works with the contact person/editor to obtain clarification on all aspects of the document. In certain cases, the document will be referred to the University Policy Committee (UPC) for further review and recommendations. The UPC will determine if the document should be reviewed by other Committees or Operating Units of the university.
Q5. Can I make suggestions to improve a policy?
Absolutely! Feedback about policies may be sent to the Policy Contact or UPO. Typographical or other simple errors that you submit can be changed immediately by UPO. Suggested changes of a more substantive nature will be introduced to the document owner and revision to the policy will take place when or if applicable.
Q6. How do I suggest changes to existing policies?
- Talk to your supervisor to get their feedback to your suggestion and determine a mutual agreement on the change request.
- Contact the responsible office for the policy. This information can be found at the bottom of any policy being managed by UPO. Discuss your suggestions with the policy owner.
- If the policy owner agrees with your recommendation, they will be responsible for initiating the proposed changes to the UPO for review and approval.
Q7. Whom do I contact if I have a question on a policy or procedure?
All published policies and procedures have the name and contact information at the bottom of the document.
Q8. How can I get a university policy started from my unit?
The UPO can assist with any questions you have about the process in general. If you want to know whether a university policy is warranted in a particular situation, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 909-469-8517 for assistance.
Q9. Where do I send questions or comments about this Webpage?
Send questions, comments or suggestions about this Webpage to: email@example.com
Q10. What is the average time to get a recommended policy reviewed and approved?
It depends on when the policy is presented to the University Policy Office.
Here is how a clean and clear policy is processed/approved:
- All policies, whether brand new or being revised, are to go to the University Policy Office for initial review.
- Content is reviewed by the UPO to ensure it is clearly written, all weblinks work, and the verbiage does not conflict with any regulatory references or other policies/procedures mentioned in the policy.
- If no issues are identified, it will be uploaded to SharePoint for the University Policies Committee (UPC) for review and then added to the agenda for the next UPC meeting.
- The UPC meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month. If the committee approves it as presented and does not recommend input from other committees, the policy owner is notified that it has been reviewed, approved and can be uploaded onto the WesternU Policy website. So, the answer for this would be roughly 30-days max.
If the policy has a lot of issues with the content, the UPO will refer it back to the creator/owner to review/revise and resubmit to the UPO through Converge Point. This type of document review process can sometimes take 2-3 returns before it is considered “clean.”
Once it is “clean,” it is uploaded onto SharePoint and will be placed on the UPC agenda and the committee will review the document at the next scheduled meeting. For policies that have many issues or require review or input from other committees or operating units, the review and approval process can take as much as 6-months.
Q11. Will I have to make an oral presentation for a policy presented? If so, to whom?
You may be asked to come to a UPC meeting to answer questions committee members may have related to the policy you have submitted for review and approval.