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About Ohio State Policies
Ohio State approves, issues, and maintains all university wide policies using a consistent process and format. A university-wide process provides continuity, ease of access and understanding, and transparent guidance to the university community. The University Policy Process is co-managed by the Offices of Human Resources and Legal Affairs. Coordinators are: Sandra Anderson, Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, 614 292-0611, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Eunice Hornsby, Project Manager, 614-688-8643, email@example.com.
Ohio State's policy process is guided by these principles:
- The policy formulation process is well defined, understandable, transparent, and easy to navigate.
- The process sets out and follows a timeline for each policy.
- Stakeholder input and feedback are broadly sought, valued, and used.
- Policy ownership lies with responsible office/executive.
- Policy owners are responsible to review, update, and decommission policies on a regular basis.
Criteria to Determine if a Policy May Be Needed
Issues can emerge as a result of federal, state, or local legislation; incidents or trends that emerge within or outside of the university; a shift in university values or priorities; or a host of other sources.
Issues that rise to the level that need to be addressed through the university policy process share a number of characteristics, that include and are not limited to:
- Endure across time and administrations; change infrequently and set the course for the foreseeable future.
- Manifest and operationalize the university's mission, vision, values, and principles.
- Apply broadly across the institution.
- Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Promote operational efficiency and reduce bureaucracy.
- Manage institutional risk.
The Policy Process
Proposing a new policy or a revision to a current policy
Members of Senior Management Council (SMC) propose new policies or revisions to current policies using the Policy Proposal form. Chaired by the Executive Vice President and Provost, SMC determines if an issue needs to be addressed by a policy or a rule.
Developing a new policy or revising a current policy
Feedback is solicited from stakeholder groups and policy drafts are submitted to the Policy Review Committee for feedback and endorsement to proceed to Senior Management Council (SMC) with the final draft. SMC may approve the policy immediately, ask for substantial revisions, take additional time to review the policy, or determine that a policy is not needed.
Implementing a new or revised policy
Policy owners communicate policies to the university community, provide training and information about requirements, and archive superseded policies and associated documents. Policy owners also collect feedback on policies and ensure that policies are reviewed and updated as needed or at least every five years.
Establishing an Interim Policy
When a policy is needed in a timeframe that does not allow for the entire policy formulation process, it can be proposed as an interim policy with a Policy Proposal form. Interim policies are approved by SMC in 6-month increments, up to 18 months in duration. The interim policy must complete the university policy process within 18 months of its issuance.
Decommissioning a Policy
Policy owners propose that a policy be decommissioned when it is no longer needed or is more effectively combined with another policy. Steps in this process include: initial approval from Senior Management Council, consultation with stakeholders and the Policy Review Committee, and final approve by SMC. When SMC authorizes the policy's decommissioning, it is removed from the University Policy Web Site. The policy owner communicates the change in status to the university community.
Archiving a Policy
When a policy is revised, edited, or decommissioned, the policy owner sends the superseded policy and its associated documents to University Archives at: Noonan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bylaw, rule, regulation
Interchangeable terms used historically to provide a framework for the overall governance of the university. Bylaws govern the organization and operation of the Board of Trustees, its officers, and committees; establish and define the principal institutions and administrative officers of the university and their roles and responsibilities; and provide a general framework for the organization, administration, and operation of the university. Rules and regulations provide a more detailed framework regarding the organization, administration, and operation of the university, including rules for the faculty and faculty governance, instruction and academic administration, and other matters. Bylaws, rules, and regulations are subject to adoption by the Board of Trustees and become a part of the Ohio Administrative Code (section 3335).
Provide specific direction for operations, administration, or programs. Policies are applicable university-wide and are developed through the University Policy Process and adopted by Senior Management Council which may additionally take them to the president or Board of Trustees at its discretion. Policies enhance the university's mission and operational efficiency, mandate action or constraints, and must be consistent with relevant statues, regulations, bylaws, or rules. Interim policies may be approved for 6 month intervals when regulatory, accreditation, or other urgent needs require the policy to be in place before the university policy formulation process can be finalized.
Unit guidelines or procedures
Provide specific implementation mechanisms for operations, administration, or programs within a particular unit or units. Unit guidelines or procedures are applicable only to their home units(s) and are developed and approved by the unit(s). Unit guidelines or procedures may be more restrictive than university policies but must remain consistent with them and with relevant statutes, regulations, bylaws, or rules.
Other university-wide documents
Provide advice and suggestions to guide and improve performance and operations. Can be attached to policies in the resources section of the policy template or hosted on the responsible office's web site.
Policy Process Tools
- Policy Development Checklist (PDF) updated: 5/21/2013
- Policy Stakeholders (PDF) updated: 5/21/2013
- Policy Proposal (Microsoft word)
- Policy Template (Microsoft word) updated: 5/21/2013
- SMC Policy Approval Cover Sheet (Microsoft Word)
- Policy Approval and Signatures (Microsoft Word) updated: 5/21/2013
- Style Guidelines (PDF)
- Gender Sensitive Language (PDF and website link)