Pursuant to the UIC Policy on Policies, the University has established a standardized process for the development, approval, and oversight of official university-level policies. The process is in place to ensure that policies with a broad University application have a consistent format, are formally approved, widely communicated, centrally maintained, and readily available for review. It is the responsibility of the Office of the Provost to facilitate the official policy development process. Any questions regarding the process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Effective July 1, 2016, all official University policies must follow a formal review process and be approved by the chancellor.
The exception to this requirement is educational policy, as described in the University of Illinois Statues, which follows a different process (II.1.b-e).
Beginning with the effective date, all University units must follow the policy development process to establish new official University policies, or to revise or repeal existing ones. In order to be considered Official University Policy (see definitions below), units must update all pre-existing University-level policies, according to the following procedures, by June 30, 2017 or request an extension from the UIC Committee on Policy (COP). UIC policies and procedures should conform to applicable federal and state laws and regulations, and to the University of Illinois system Statutes, General Rules, policies, and procedures.
Policy on Policy Procedures
At each step, the involved party may send the document back to the preceding step with questions or requests for further revision. The Office of the Provost is responsible for facilitating the entire standard review process as follows:
Step 1. The vice chancellor or associate chancellor (VC/AC), or designate, whose office will oversee the policy completes the Policy Needs Assessment for submission. The VC/AC should append relevant materials, including examples from other institutions, government or university mandates, etc.
Step 2. The associate provost (AP) reviews and determines whether the request meets the requirements for development, revision, or repeal of an official University policy. The AP confirms that the proposed policy does not duplicate existing policy or conflict with statutes, laws, or other mandates; determines if the process should follow a standard or expedited process; and facilitates both processes.
Step 3. The AP provides a report to the UIC Committee on Policy (COP) on the proposed policy, including any questions about whether the policy should move forward. If the COP concurs with the policy need, in consultation with the VC/AC, they appoint a group of subject matter experts to draft or revise the specific policy.
Step 4. The Ad Hoc Expert Committee works with the office of the responsible VC/AC to draft, revise, or adapt the policy, completing all elements of the Policy Template. This group is responsible for consulting legal counsel as needed and all relevant stakeholders, including those specified in the Policy Needs Assessment. They document whom they consult and the input received, and the AP includes that information in the materials submitted to the COP in Step 5, along with a description of the plan for informing the campus and training relevant stakeholders to assure correct implementation of the policy.
Step 5. The COP reviews the policy and may send it back to the Ad Hoc Committee with requests for clarification or revisions. Once the COP endorses it, the draft policy is forwarded to the Chancellor/Vice Chancellor Committee (CVC).
Step 6. The CVC reviews the policy. Once the CVC endorses it, the draft policy is forwarded to the chancellor for a decision.
Step 7. The chancellor reviews and issues a decision.
Step 7A. If required, the policy is sent to University Administration and/or the Board of Trustees for review and approval.
Step 8. The AP notifies the campus of the new, revised, or repealed policy and electronically stores all originals and revisions on a dedicated website for future reference. Repealed policies are identified as archived
Step 9. The AP initiates a review of policies once every five years or more frequently as necessary.
Exceptions to Standard Review Process
The COP must approve any exceptions to the review process. The COP may authorize an expedited review process when there is a compelling reason to do so.
An expedited review may occur if changes to a policy are for non-substantive revisions (such as changing an office name or contact information, transferring an existing policy to the UIC policy template, or reformatting an existing policy). Other reasons for an expedited review would include legislative, Board of Trustees, or regulatory mandates requiring immediate action. In such instances, the VC/AC would submit a draft policy to the COP via the AP and upon approval, the COP would submit the proposal to the CVC, bypassing Steps 3 and 4 in the process.
New policies that go through the expedited review process must be approved by the COP, CVC, and the chancellor (as described in the steps outlined above), but existing policies that are transferred to the UIC policy template will be formally approved only by the COP.
Repealing an existing policy is another example of a situation that may qualify for the expedited review process. The VC/AC may propose to repeal a policy. The COP may endorse the proposal and submit it directly to the CVC for review and approval before it is sent to the chancellor for a decision.
The chancellor may issue or authorize interim policies in situations where there is insufficient time to complete the full policy development and approval process before an external mandate becomes effective. An interim policy may remain in effect up to six months from the date of issuance.
Proposal from Someone Other than a Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor
A VC/AC is not the exclusive initiator of a new policy. Anyone on campus who determines a need for a new policy or a reason to revise an existing policy may propose a policy action. The recommendation must be submitted to the AP using the Policy Needs Assessment Form. The AP will perform an administrative review and report to the COP. If the COP decides the proposal should move forward, it will select an appropriate VC/AC.
Policies Requiring University Approval (Step 7A)
If a University Policy 1) includes a level of review by University Administration (UA) and/or the Board of Trustees (BOT) and/or 2) is mandated by UA and/or the BOT but includes substantive changes or additions to the original, it must be sent to them for approval.
Updating Existing University Policy to Official Status
Existing University Policies will remain in effect until the following process is completed. They will be sorted for repeal or revision and approval as Official University Policies by the AP based on recommendations from the VC/AC or designate. The AP will then follow one of these procedures:
- Policies that meet the criteria for a University Policy will be transferred to the UIC Policy Template and follow the process for expedited approval.
- Policies the AP’s administrative review suggests no longer meet the criteria for University Policy and/or are no longer current will be forwarded to the COP for review. If the COP approves their repeal, they will be labeled as obsolete and archived on the policy website. The COP may also recommend that the policy be revised or updated.
- Policies that do not meet the criteria for a University Policy, but continue to address a current policy need, may serve as source material for a Policy Needs Assessment to establish a new Official University policy following the standard review process.
- Policies that meet the criteria for a University Policy, but are missing required non-substantive or minimally substantive elements, may serve as the basis for a Policy Needs Assessment, with a request for expedited approval.
The following definitions describe the groups, office holders, key terms, and documents referenced in the policy development process and accompanying flow diagram.
Ad Hoc Expert Committee: a group of subject matter experts identified by the VC/AC and AP to draft or revise a specific policy. At a minimum, the committee may consist of staff from the VC/AC unit that will be responsible for implementing the policy. This group consults any additional stakeholders and incorporates their feedback into the draft.
Associate Provost (AP): the person responsible for the facilitation of the policy development process at UIC. This administrative unit facilitates the processes to create, revise, repeal, and maintain Official University Policies. The office works closely with the Ad Hoc Expert Committee and has responsibility for maintaining an electronic policy library for all University policies, including those that have not yet been updated.
University Policy: a statement that governs decision-making and conduct at UIC. University policy must meet all of the following criteria:
- Have broad application across campus, i.e., affect more than one major college or administrative unit, including the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System.
- Advance compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promote operational efficiencies, enhance the university's mission, or reduce institutional risks
- Mandate action or restraint with procedures for compliance.
An Official University Policy is a University Policy that has been approved through the policy development process detailed below. Specifically:
- An Official University Policy has been through the established policy development process and formally approved by the chancellor following approval and submission by the UIC Committee on Policy (COP).
- It meets the above criteria for a University Policy and conforms to the prescribed format of the UIC Policy Template.
- There is a designated “current and active” status applied to the policy, including an established review period to ensure the policy remains current and appropriate.
- All official University policies must be housed and maintained in the centralized policy repository and maintained by the Office of the Provost.
Once the policy has been through the complete process and is formally announced to the campus community, it is considered official. Existing University Policies remain in effect until they are reviewed and updated as described in “Updating University Policy to Official Status,” above.
Policy Needs Assessment: a proposal, on an approved template, submitted to the AP requesting authorization to create, revise, or repeal an existing policy. The document includes a description of the reason for the policy, the campus impact, stakeholders, and an implementation plan.
UIC Committee on Policy (COP): a committee with the requisite policy expertise and stakeholder representation in areas relevant to University-level non-educational policy development and implementation appointed by the provost and/or chancellor. The COP is responsible for review of the initial proposal and approval of the policy draft, which is then submitted to the CVC for review and approval before it is sent to the chancellor for a decision.
Updated June 8, 2017