Guidelines for WJU Policy Development

Purpose of WJU Administrative, Academic and Operational Policies

  • Policy identifies standards and boundaries that the University holds.
  • Policy guides actions towards those that are most likely to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Policy exists to help ensure that our core values are reflected in our day-to-day operations.
  • Policy helps ensure that our practices are in compliance with requirements set by regulatory/legislative bodies.
  • Policy helps protect the University and its stakeholders.  [/expand]

What is a Policy at WJU?

  • In general, a policy is a concise formal statement that operationalizes principles that are valued by the University community.  In general, policies are either are “threshold” policies (sets a standard) or “boundary” policies (sets a boundary) for the issue being addressed.  The following levels of policy work together to guide the operation of the University:
    • Board policy includes executive guidelines for the President and broad institutional policies;
    • Administrative policy provides direction for the development and monitoring of operational policies by the Cabinet;
    • Educational policies provide direction for the comprehensive educational curriculum and its content and quality.
  • Points to consider when writing a policy statement:
    • Use clear, concise and simple language.
    • Avoid reference to items that are quickly outdated.
    • Avoid use of “should”; if action is compulsory, use “shall” or “will”.
    • Avoid the use of procedural language; it is the responsibility of the policy sponsor to implement and monitor the policy.
    • If terms require definition, include them in a section following the policy statement.

Roles Related to Administration and Council Policy Management

  • Executive Leadership Team:  Responsible to develop interpret Board policies and to develop operational policies;
  • Academic Council: Responsible to approve and monitor policies pertaining to the comprehensive university curriculum in order to enhance educational vitality.
  • Cabinet: Responsible to approve and monitor operational policies in order to empower non-academic offices to effectively manage their efforts to support educational vitality.
  • Policy Sponsor: The administrator/office responsible for the overall administration of the policy (implementation and monitoring).  The Sponsor has the authority to interpret an operational or educational policy and to develop and maintain procedures related to it, as well as the responsibility to report on the implementation of the policy as required by the Cabinet and/or Academic Council, as the case may be.
  • Policy Committee (PC-working title): Responsible to assist in the coordination of new policy development/review, policy posting, and policy monitoring. PC will post policy on the university policy tree.  The PC will consist of a representative from the Council and Cabinet and an appointed chair.

Policy Development and Monitoring Procedures

  • A proposal for a new policy, or the revision of an existing policy, may be suggested by any member of the University community (normally the Policy Sponsor) to the Policy Committee by completing a policy template, and securing the support of the appropriate Policy Sponsor.
  • Upon receipt of a new/revised policy proposal, the Policy Committee shall:
    • Ensure that the proposed policy reasonably aligns with WJU’s strategic directions and existing policy and could reasonably be implemented if approved;
    • Identify where the policy, if new, would fit in the WJU policy tree and ensure that the policy aligns with overarching policy in the policy tree
    • Identify a vetting process for the policy, including appropriate consultation;
    • Ensure that the policy is written in standard format and that monitoring data are identified (initially, the Policy Committee may take more editorial responsibility for this task, but over time, the Policy Sponsor would normally be the principal author of the policy statement);
    • Post the draft policy for review/discussion, with suggested revisions either being incorporated into the policy statement (by the Policy Sponsor) or, for suggested revisions that are substantive that are not accepted by the Policy Sponsor, a statement why the suggestion wasn’t adopted;
    • Submit the reviewed policy to the appropriate approval body together with recommended monitoring data and cycle.
  • Upon approval by Cabinet and/or Council, the Policy Committee shall:
    • Update the policy database and add the policy to the policy monitoring schedule;
    • Advise the sponsor that the policy has been approved for implementation.
  • The policy Sponsor is responsible to ensure that:
    • Processes are established by which the policy can be implemented effectively;
    • The policy and procedures (including appeal procedures) are communicated effectively to those to whom policy applies;
    • Processes are established to monitor compliance of the policy and submit monitoring reports to the Policy Committee when they are due.
    • Circumstances that were unforeseen when a policy was developed are tracked and fed back into the policy revision process as needed.  If the Sponsor feels that an exception to a policy may be warranted, s/he may approve the exception provided this is reported to his/her supervisor and as part of the following policy report through the Policy committee.