University Policy Development, Approval, and Publication

University Policy 805, University Policy Development, Approval, and Publication

I. Policy Statement and Purpose

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, through its Office of Legal Affairs, maintains a series of policies of general applicability to members of the University community. All University Policies must be developed, reviewed, revised, approved, and published in accordance with the standards and procedures specified in this policy. 

University Policies must be current, consistent, and available to all who are expected to comply with them.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure consistency and clarity regarding development, review, revision, approval, and publication of University Policies.

II. Definitions 

University Policy:  A University Policy is a written statement of policy of general applicability to members of the University community.  University Policies may be developed by a college, department, or unit or by University administration in order to express basic values of the University; to ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and governing policies; to promote operational efficiencies; to enhance the University’s mission; and/or to reduce institutional risk. 

University Policies do not include departmental policies, which apply only to the operation of a specific college, department, or unit. Departmental policies may exist in order to promote operational efficiencies or enhance the mission of the college, department, or unit, but are not broadly applicable throughout the University.  Departmental policies may supplement, but must not conflict with, University Policies. They should be clearly written and well communicated.

Supplemental Procedures or Regulations:  Supplemental Procedures or Regulations contain specific mechanisms or processes related to and authorized by a University Policy that establish how that University Policy should be carried out.  Supplemental Procedures or Regulations may include detailed instructions, steps, and/or forms that facilitate compliance with a University Policy. Not all University Policies include Supplemental Procedures or Regulations.

III.  Applicability

This policy applies to any University employee or member of the Board of Trustees who develops, reviews, revises, or approves University Policies. 

After the effective date of this University Policy 805, any policies that are not produced and/or approved in compliance with this policy will not be considered official University Policies and will not be posted to the official University Policy website (legal.uncc.edu/policies).

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

Office of Legal Affairs:  The Office of Legal Affairs manages the process for development, approval, and publication of all University Policies, in accordance with the standards set forth in this policy and its Supplemental Procedures. Legal Affairs is responsible for ensuring that University Policies are consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, governing policies, and other requirements, and that policy content does not create legal liability for the University.  Legal Affairs is also responsible for determining who has approval authority for each University Policy, according to applicable laws, regulations, and related policies.  Legal Affairs also determines whether a proposed policy fits the definition of and follows the requirements for a University Policy.

Responsible Office:  The Responsible Office owns, develops, and administers a particular University Policy and, if applicable, its Procedures or Regulations.  The Responsible Office is accountable for the accuracy of the subject matter, issuance, and timely review and updating of the University Policy. As the policy owner, the Responsible Office is responsible for following the policy development, approval, and publication procedures and standards in this policy.  The Responsible Office also ensures that the University Policies for which it is responsible are consistent with other policies within its area, communicated properly, reviewed regularly, revised or updated as needed, and monitored for compliance and effectiveness.

Chancellor’s Cabinet:  The Chancellor’s Cabinet is responsible for reviewing and recommending the approval or revision of University Policies.

Chancellor: The Chancellor is responsible for final approval of University Policies over which he or she has authority, such authority being determined by policies or regulations of the University of North Carolina and UNC Charlotte.

Board of Trustees: The UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees is responsible for final approval of University Policies over which it has authority, such authority being determined by policies or regulations of the University of North Carolina and UNC Charlotte.

V.  Procedures

A. Standards for Policy Development

Policies should be drafted so that they are clear and concise. Policies should contain sufficient information on the subject without being excessive in length.  Detailed mechanisms or processes may be more suitable for Supplemental Procedures, Supplemental Regulations, or departmental policies than for a University Policy.

The following sections should be considered for inclusion in each University Policy as it is developed.  For example, if there are terms that must be defined in order for the University Policy to be understood, those terms and their definitions should be included in the Definitions section. If there are specific consequences for not complying with a University Policy, those consequences should be addressed in the Compliance section.  The following University Policy sections are recommended, as applicable:

  • Policy Title
  • Policy Statement and Purpose
  • Definitions
  • Applicability
  • Procedures
  • Roles and Responsibilities

All policies should include the following information after the end of the policy:

  • Revision History (Revision history should include the initial effective date and all revision dates.)
  • Authority (Chancellor or Board of Trustees)
  • Responsible Office
  • Related Resources

The Responsible Office is encouraged to collaborate with other departments, units, or constituencies that may be affected by the new or revised University Policy prior to presenting the policy for approval.  Examples of such constituencies include, but are not limited to, Faculty Council, Staff Council, and the Student Government Association.

B. Policy Approval

New or revised University Policies will usually require development, review, and recommendation by the Responsible Office, the Office of Legal Affairs, and Chancellor’s Cabinet, and approval by either the Chancellor or Board of Trustees, as determined by policies or regulations of the University of North Carolina or UNC Charlotte.  Some University Policies may require external review and/or approval by the President of the University of North Carolina. Specific review and approval procedures are set forth in the Supplemental Procedures to this policy.

Some clerical or non-substantive revisions to existing University Policies may be approved by the Responsible Office and the Office of Legal Affairs without full review and recommendation by the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

Supplemental Procedures or Regulations may initially be developed, revised, and approved as part of the development, revision, and approval of a University Policy, but may also be separately revised and/or updated without additional review by Chancellor’s Cabinet and/or approval by the Chancellor or Board of Trustees, in the discretion of the Office of Legal Affairs and/or the Chancellor.

C. Interim Policies

Under exceptional circumstances, the Chancellor may issue Interim University Policies.  Such circumstances may include the need to expedite the issuance of a University Policy because of external compliance deadlines; developments that will, or could, significantly affect the safety or welfare of members of the campus community; or where the step is necessary or desirable to facilitate orderly and efficient campus operations.

Interim University Policies will generally remain in effect for no more than six months from the effective date of their issuance; thus, the Responsible Office should initiate the steps described above for review and approval of a final University Policy promptly. The Office of Legal Affairs will post Interim University Policies, clearly designated as such, on the University Policies website. Interim Policies become effective immediately upon approval by the Chancellor.

D. Policy Rescission

Rescinding a University Policy is necessary whenever the policy has become inconsistent with legal or policy requirements; no longer reflects the University’s practice; or when the policy is consolidated into other policies.  Only the authority that originally approved a University Policy is authorized to rescind that policy.

The Office of Legal Affairs retains copies of rescinded University Policies for reference and record-keeping purposes.  The Office of Legal Affairs will maintain appropriate references to rescinded policies, and clearly denote rescinded statuses, on its official University Policy site.

E.  Publication of University Policies

All approved University Policies, Interim Policies and Supplemental Procedures or Regulations will be published on the official University Policy site of the University (legal.uncc.edu/policies).  Any University Policy published on or linked from the official University Policy site must be consistent with this policy.

If a unit wishes to include University Policies on its website, it must do so by means of a link to the official University Policy site to assure that the official version is referenced.  The official University Policy site will be the only site that carries the assurance that the University Policies posted on it are current and correct.

F. Policy Review, Revision, and Updates

Every University Policy will be reviewed at least every five years by the unit that is the Responsible Office for that policy, or more frequently, if necessary.  The Responsible Office will propose revisions or updates on an as-needed basis to keep the University Policy current and whenever necessary to comply with regulatory changes or changes in business operations. 

The Office of Legal Affairs will oversee the review process. Policy modifications will follow the same review and approval process as for new University Policies.