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October 2007

Memorial adopts new approach to policy
Over the past year there have been a number of initiatives underway within the University to review and revise our approaches to policy formulation, approval and administration.
At its meeting on September 6, 2007, the Board of Regents approved a new policy titled, “Development, Approval and Administration of University Policies”, the purpose of which is to define a coordinated and consistent process for identification, development, approval, dissemination and administration of all non-academic University policies.
At the same time the Board established the Policy Oversight Committee, a new Board committee which will:
  • vet proposals for the creation of new or changes in existing policies before they are developed in detail;
  • review proposed new or changes in existing policies;
  • make recommendations to the Board regarding new or changes in existing policies;
  • oversee reviews of existing policies at least once every five years.

    The highlights of this new policy include:
  • The creation of a mechanism by which any University employee, with the support of his/her unit head, may propose the creation of a new policy or changes in an existing policy.
  • The designation of a “sponsor” for every policy, i.e., a senior administrator responsible for the development of a policy, its implementation and its periodic review.
  • The requirement for consultation during policy development, for both an implementation plan and a communications plan and for compliance monitoring.
  • The review of policies annually by the policy sponsor and at least every five years by the Policy Oversight Committee.

Policy Toolkit
To implement the new "Policy on Policies" a Policy Framework Process has been developed. It describes the four phases of policy development and approval and contains the templates to be used by policy proposers and policy writers.
Policy Communications Strategy
Another policy initiative underway is the establishment of a communication and access strategy. This will include an online repository for policy and procedure that will become the primary means to publish and disseminate policies. essentially a policy database. A Users Group was formed in July and has been working over the past few months on the Requirements Definition phase of this project. The goal of the database is to provide search capability, consistency in formats and styles of policy, a clear separation of policy from procedure and the ability to track policy versions.
Donna L. Ball
Senior Policy Analyst