The University of Alabama, Office for Academic Affairs

Policy Development and Management Policy

Unit:  Academic Affairs
Contact: James T. Dalton
Title:  Provost
Effective Date: 9/21/2016
Revision Date: 11/29/2021


 
 

Purpose

The Policy Development and Management Policy (the Policy) establishes the institutional standards for developing, approving, and managing policies.
 

Policy

All policies shall be developed, approved, and managed in accordance with this Policy in order to ensure consistency, clarity, and relevance. Authority has been delegated to the Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs to coordinate the policy review process. The Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs provides a Policy Coordinator who serves as the campus designee for policy review under Board Rule 108.
 

Development, Approval, and Management of Policies

All policies must be assigned to a Responsible Office and Policy Contact who will ensure that the policy is kept up-to-date and enforced. The steps necessary for approval are dependent upon the scope of the policy as outlined below.
 

Unit-Level Policies

Each Executive Administrator must develop a process within their administrative unit to address development, approval, and management of policies that apply only to a specific Office, College, Department, or Division under their direct supervision in a manner consistent with this Policy.

New and substantively revised Unit-Level Policies must undergo the following review and approval steps:
  1. The Executive Administrator for the Responsible Office must approve the Unit-Level Policy.
  2. The Unit-Level Policy must be forwarded by the Policy Coordinator for System Review as defined by Board Rule 108.
At the conclusion of this process, the Unit-Level Policy will be officially signed, posted, and communicated to the Policy Contact for implementation. Approved Unit-Level Policies are published to the official UA Policy Website, unless an exception is granted by the Office of the Provost. 
 

University Policies

New and substantively revised University Policies must undergo the following review and approval steps:
  1. The Executive Administrator for the Responsible Office must approve the University Policy.
  2. The University Policy must be submitted to the Policy Advisory Review Committee (PARC). The PARC must review the University Policy to ensure that it is written clearly and does not conflict with any other University Policy.
  3. Once the University Policy has been appropriately reviewed by the PARC, it must be forwarded by the Policy Coordinator for System Review as defined by Board Rule 108.
At the conclusion of this process, the University Policy will be officially signed, posted, and communicated to the Policy Contact for implementation. 
 

Non-Substantive Revisions

Minor, non-substantive revisions that do not affect the scope or intent of the original University Policy may be made and approved by the Executive Administrator for the Responsible Office at their discretion, with the assistance of the Policy Coordinator.
 

Expedited Approval

Except when expediency is required (e.g., because of a legal mandate or emergency), policies should only be adopted and published after following the procedures described above. Should circumstances warrant immediate implementation of a policy, the matter will be addressed directly by the President or the appropriate Executive Administrator. Any policy enacted under such circumstances will be routed back through the approved process for review and may be amended at a later date, subject to the approval of the President and the Executive Administrators. 

Conflicts

The policy version posted on the UA Policy Website will be considered the official version, and it shall supersede any and all versions located elsewhere. Further, in the event of a conflict between a University Policy and any departmental, college, division, or unit policy, the University Policy shall prevail and govern.
 

Linking to University Policies

A policy should never be copied and posted to another site including sites on the University’s domain (web addresses including “ua.edu”). Instead, a link to the approved policy posted on the UA Policy Website should be provided.
 

Periodic Policy Review

It is the responsibility of each Office, College, Department, or Division initiating policy to conduct a periodic review of its policies to ensure that they remain current and accurate. Each Policy Contact will be prompted to conduct such a review annually. For assistance with policy maintenance and development, contact the Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs.
 

Effect of Policies

Policies do not create a contract or quasi-contract between the University or any University employee and or any individual that may be affected by a University Policy. Policies do not have the force and effect of law. Policies are not intended to limit the appropriate discretion of University officials as warranted by the individual circumstances of a particular student, employee, or situation.
All policies are subject to superseding laws, regulations, Bylaws, Rules, minutes, and other pronouncements of The Board of Trustees and Chancellor of The University of Alabama System. As such, policy websites and other collections of policies will include a notice to the following effect:
Although the policies contained herein are intended to reflect current rules and policies of the University, users are cautioned that changes or additions may have become effective since the publication of this material. In the event of a conflict, current statements of Board policy contained in the Bylaws, Rules, official minutes, and other pronouncements of the Board or Chancellor, or superseding law, shall prevail.
 

Definitions

  • Executive Administrators: The Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Student Life, Finance and Operations, University Advancement, Research and Economic Development, Community Affairs, Strategic Communications, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Executive Administrators may choose to designate appropriate individuals to fulfill the duties outlined in this policy on their behalf.
  • Policy: A policy documents a set of principles, standards and/or rules that serve to guide group and/or individual conduct. Policies establish obligations, responsibilities, and sanctions for non-compliance. Policy statements communicated through handbooks, manuals, and guides are also subject to the requirements described in this policy.
  • Policy Advisory Review Committee: The Policy Advisory Review Committee (PARC) assists with policy review and advising. Membership will include the divisional Policy Contacts, with a representative from the Office of Counsel serving in an advisory role. Other individuals may be added to the PARC based upon recommendations to the President by an Executive Administrator. The PARC’s role is to ensure that each policy is written clearly and does not conflict with other University Policy.
  • Policy Coordinator: The Policy Coordinator is housed in the Office of Compliance, Ethics, and Regulatory Affairs and is charged with coordinating the review and approval process for policies from all divisions, managing the document library, and ensuring that approved policies are posted appropriately. The Policy Coordinator serves as the campus designee for policy review under Board Rule 108.
  • Policy Contact: It is the responsibility of each Executive Administrator to designate at least one Policy Contact from their area. The Policy Contact (1) serves as the primary contact for policies within their respective Responsible Office, 2) acts as the liaison to the staff of their Responsible Office regarding the process for creating and revising policies, 3) ensures proposed policies or revisions are routed to the Policy Coordinator, and 4) serves on the PARC.
  • Responsible Office: Responsible Office is the specific Administrative Office/Division/Unit that is responsible for creating, revising, interpreting, enforcing, and monitoring the policy and its related operational procedures.
  • Unit-Level Policy: A Unit-Level Policy is a policy, manual, handbook, or guide that applies only to a specified office, department, college, or division. 
  • University Policy: A University Policy is a policy, manual, handbook, or guide that applies to the University as a whole, having broad applicability beyond the internal operating procedures of a single office, college, department or division. University Policies shall ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws, Board rules/policies, and regulations, and should promote operational efficiencies, enhance the University’s mission, be enforceable, and/or reduce institutional risk.

Scope

This policy applies to any University employee who develops reviews, approves, manages, or otherwise engages in the creation and promulgation of policies.
 
 

Office of the Provost

Approved by Dr. Lesley Reid, Associate Provost, 11/29/2021