REVIEW VERSION: Establishing Policies and Procedures



Purpose:  To designate operational Policies and Procedures for the University of Northern Iowa; to specify policy and procedure initiating, approving, and administrative bodies; and to establish a process for the development, review, approval, and dissemination of University policies and procedures.

Policy Statement:  The University of Northern Iowa Policies and Procedures shall specify all policies and procedures applicable to the entire University.  These policies and procedures shall be written in a format and developed, approved, and disseminated by processes prescribed herein.  The University Policies and Procedures shall be recorded on the University website.

Format of Policies:  Policies shall be written in a format that includes standard components as well as discretionary components that effectively specify the policy in question. 

1.    The following standard components shall appear at the start of each policy:

o    Policy Number and Title.
o    Purpose:  The overall intent of the policy.
o    Policy Statement:  A general exposition of the policy’s substantive content.

2.    A more detailed account of the policy’s provisions shall be provided in a format, tailored to the case-at-hand, that specifies, for instance, relevant processes, procedures, structures, and organizational entities.

3.    Each policy shall conclude with a statement of:

o    The “originating body” that initiated the policy and the date of approval by that body.
o    The dates of approval by the Cabinet and President (and by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, if required).

Origins of Policy Proposals:  University policy recommendations may arise from several sources within the University.  The most usual of these “originating bodies” are:  the University Faculty Senate, the UNI President, the President’s Cabinet, the Northern Iowa Student Government, nonacademic committees, and a wide range of additional committees, most of which report to one of the aforementioned bodies.  Policies may also be imposed on the University as a consequence of actions by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the state legislature, courts, or other governmental agencies to which the University is legally subject. 

Policy Review Committee:  The University shall maintain a Policy Review Committee (PRC) which will review new and revised drafts of University policies prior to their consideration by the President and Cabinet.  This committee shall consist of the following members:

o    A representative from each of the three divisions—Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and Administration and Financial Services.
o    Two faculty representatives, to be appointed by the University Faculty Senate.
o    A student representative, appointed by the NISG Senate, for a one-year term.
o    A representative from Development and Alumni Relations.
o    A representative from Human Resource Services.
o    The University Counsel who will serve as the committee chair.

Except as otherwise noted, members of the PRC shall be appointed to three year terms.

Review and Approval Process:  The following process is to be followed when a new University policy is proposed or an existing policy is revised:

1.    Proposal:  An originating body identifies the need to propose a new policy or to review/revise an existing policy.  This body then:

o    Notifies the University community of its intention to do so and asks for input concerning the policy.
o    Identifies or suggests an appropriate “administrative body”, normally the division whose Vice President will oversee the policy and be responsible for its enforcement, maintenance, and review/revision.  If responsibility for the policy lies within the President’s division, the administrative body is the applicable administrative head.
o    Posts a draft of the proposed policy or revision on the University Policies and Procedures website, publicly announces the proposal via e-mail through Inside UNI, and accepts public comment for a period of at least two weeks.
o    After considering the University Community’s comments, the originating body generates, announces, and posts its formal policy proposal, making available to the University Community a copy of the received comments and (when reasonable) a synopsis of that input.
o    Submits the proposal to the Policy Review Committee.

2.    Policy Review:  The Policy Review Committee examines the policy statement, input from the University Community, and the suggested administrative body.  Within two weeks of receipt of a proposal from the originating body, the PRC must either:

o    Agree with the recommendation and enter the policy into the approval process.
o    Suggest revisions and return the policy to the originating body.  If the originating body accepts these revisions, the revised policy moves into the approval process.  If the originating body rejects the revisions, the revised policy moves into the approval process with the notation that the originating body disagrees with the PRC’s proposed revisions.  Both the PRC and the originating body must provide written rationales for their views on the contested elements of the proposal.

3.    Initial Approval:  The Policy Review Committee and, in cases of disagreement, the originating body, submit appropriate material to the Cabinet which will, within four weeks of receiving this material from the PRC, either:

o    Announce and post agreement with an uncontested policy.
o    Announce and post agreement with one of the bodies in cases of a contested policy.
o    Refer the policy back to the originating body and PRC for additional work, in which case the process begins anew.
o    Announce and post a revised policy statement.
o    Announce and post the decision that there is to be no policy on this topic.

In cases when all parties do not agree, a rationale for the Cabinet’s decision shall be posted with the decision.

4.    Final Approval:  All University policies shall be subject to review and approval by the UNI President.  The final policy decision, policy statement (when appropriate), and any attendant rationales shall be made available to the University Community on the University Policy and Procedures website for a minimum of two weeks.  An opportunity shall be provided for members of the University Community to voice objections to the UNI President.

Dissemination of Policies:  Upon receiving notice that a new or revised policy has been approved by the President, the University Counsel shall forward the new or revised policy to the Office of University Relations, which will be responsible for notifying the University Community regarding new or revised policies.  Each University policy shall be broadcast in summary via e-mail through Inside UNI to University students, faculty, and staff.  The e-mail message shall contain the effective date of the new or revised policy and point out that the full text of the policy can be accessed on the UNI Policies and Procedures web page.  A policy may also be published in other University publications.  The Office of University Relations shall maintain, update, and edit the University policy and procedure records and the UNI Policies and Procedures web page. 

Other:  The following additional rules and practices pertain to University policies:

1.    All time periods for University Community review of policy proposals must occur during the Fall or Spring academic semesters.  If a policy is adopted without satisfying this requirement, it will be considered an interim policy that must be reviewed according to the prescribed process during the next academic semester. 
2.    The University Counsel shall have the authority to make non-substantive changes to University policies without Cabinet or Policy Review Committee approval.  Such changes must be discussed with the originating and relevant administrative body.
3.    All policies and procedures identified on the UNI Policies and Procedures web page shall be reviewed at least every five years by the relevant administrative body.
4.    Colleges and departments of the University are encouraged to formulate and to publish official policy statements and/or procedures for their jurisdictions.  Such policy and procedure statements shall not be inconsistent with official University policy statements.

UNI Faculty Senate, approved December 2, 2013.   

President’s Cabinet, approved  (date)

UNI President, approved  (date)