Policy Adoption Procedures and Template

Policy
Purpose of Policy
Definition of a University Policy
Who Should Know this Policy
Procedures for Proposing and Implementing a Policy
Related Documents
Emergency or Interim Policies
Date Policy First Issued
Date Policy Last Revised
Issuing Office
Responsible Officer

Policy

Valdosta State University (VSU) sets forth in writing and codifies all officially approved university policies. These policies are accessible at the University Policies website.  

VSU complies with Board of Regents Policy. VSU also encourages departments to post their specific departmental policies on their own websites. If any conflicts arise among policies the order of governance is: Board of Regents Policy, VSU Policy, and lastly Departmental Policy.

Purpose of Policy

The purpose of this webpage is to outline the procedure by which a document becomes University-wide policy.

Definition of a University Policy

A policy is a governing principle. It is a long-term commitment by university administration to an activity or practice. Policies are meant to guide the organization strategically thus are not frequently changed.

The difference between a policy and procedure is simply explained: a policy is what we do – a procedure is how we do it. Other distinguishing criteria for policies include:

  • Policies impact a broad segment of the university community
  • Policies apply institution wide
  • Policies have significant impact on a large number of people/units 
  • Policies are guiding principles in decision making; procedures guide actions

Who Should Know this Policy

All faculty, staff, and students of Valdosta State University.

Procedures for Proposing and Implementing a Policy

VSU Statutes Chapter 4, Article I, Section 3, addresses how recommendations from Faculty Senate can become official policy of the University. The Faculty Senate should follow these procedures when recommending proposals to the President. All others should follow the procedures outlined below.

1. Any employee or student of the university may request a new or revised policy by presenting the proposal on the Policy Template to an appropriate constituent group or governing body. The governing body can assess and revise the proposal as it deems necessary. The routing for proposals should be:

  • Faculty/Staff - Present the request to Faculty Senate, Council on Staff Affairs, Deans’ Council, Cabinet or other such body.
  • Students - Present the proposal to the Student Government Association for endorsement.

2. A representative from the governing body should bring the new or revised proposal to a Vice President. The Vice President presents the proposal at the next President's Cabinet meeting after receipt. The members of this group can accept the proposal, revise it, or reject it. The Vice Presidents would reject the proposal if it does not meet the criteria for a policy, is not in compliance with current laws and policies, or does not align with the strategy or vision of the University.

  • If the proposal is rejected by the Vice Presidents, a Vice President (or designee) will explain to the proposer the reason for the rejection.
  • If the proposal is accepted, the Vice President will notify the Policy Administrator (PA).   

3. The Vice President sends the proposal to the Policy Administrator who will review and engage the Office of Legal Affairs to review.

4. Once reviewed by the Policy Administrator (PA) and Legal Affairs, the PA will post the proposed policy to the Policies website and notify constituent groups that the policy has been posted for public review and comments. Constituent groups include: University Council, Council on Staff Affairs, Deans’ Council, Faculty Senate, Cabinet, Student Government Association, Faculty/Staff listservs and other groups that are deemed appropriate. The Policy Administrator will specifically request these constituents present the policy to their bodies, if it is applicable. The proposal will remain posted for 2 weeks (10 business days) excluding months when many faculty and students are absent from campus.

5. At the end of the posting period, the PA returns the proposal and all comments to the sponsoring office/unit for consideration.

6. Upon receiving the revised proposal from the sponsoring office/unit, the Policy Administrator will request the policy added to the agenda for the next scheduled meeting of the University Council.

7. The members of the University Council can then accept, revise, or reject the proposal based on comments received and their own professional judgment.

  • If the University Council elects to reject the proposal, they notify the PA who in turn notifies constituent groups.
  • If the University Council accepts the proposal, they forward it to the President with their endorsement.

8. Considering the recommendation made by University Council, the President can approve or reject the proposed policy.

  • If rejected, the PA notifies constituent groups.
  • If accepted, the PA posts the policy in the Policy Library and notifies constituent groups.

Related Documents

Policy Template

Visual Representation of the Policy Approval Routing Process

Emergency or Interim Policies

The President has the prerogative to issue policies before review as provided for in this webpage. It is expected this prerogative will be exercised only in special circumstances including but not limited to: the health and welfare of the university community, advice of legal counsel, university liability, or contractual issues. Interim polices will “sunset” one calendar year following issuance unless processed for approval as a university-wide policy.

Date Policy First Issued

March 11, 2009

Date Policy Last Revised

Revised January 1, 2013; Adopted March 5, 2013
Procedures revised February 7, 2017, October 22, 2018

Issuing Office

Office of the President

Responsible Officer

University Policy Administrator