To designate operational Policies and Procedures for the University of Northern Iowa; to specify policy and procedure initiation, approval, and administrative bodies; and to establish a process for the development, review, approval, and dissemination of University policies and procedures.
The University of Northern Iowa Policies and Procedures shall provide the framework for all policies and procedures applicable to the entire University. These policies and procedures shall be written in a format and developed, approved, and disseminated by processes prescribed herein. The University Policies and Procedures shall be housed on the University website.
Format of Policies:
Policies shall be written in a format that includes standard components as well as discretionary components that effectively specify the policy in question.
1. The following standard components shall appear at the start of each policy:
Policy Number and Title.
Purpose: The overall intent of the policy.
Policy Statement: A general exposition of the policy's substantive content
2. A more detailed account of the policy’s provisions shall be provided in a format, tailored to the case-at-hand, that specifies, for instance, relevant processes, procedures, structures, and organizational entities.
3. Each policy shall conclude with a statement of:
The “originating body” that initiated the policy and the date of approval by that body.
The dates of approval by the University Council and President (and by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, if required).
Origins of Policy Proposals:
University policy recommendations may arise from several sources within the University. The most usual of these “originating bodies” are: the UNI Faculty Senate, the UNI President, the President’s University Council or President's Cabinet, the Northern Iowa Student Government, nonacademic committees, and a wide range of additional committees, most of which report to one of the aforementioned bodies. Policies may also originate from actions by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the state legislature, courts, or other governmental agencies to which the University is legally subject.
Policy Review Committee:
The University shall maintain a Policy Review Committee (PRC) which will review new and revised drafts of University policies prior to their consideration by the President’s University Council and then the President. The PRC is considered a sub-committee of the UNI University Council. This committee shall consist of the following members:
A representative from each of the four divisions—Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Finance and Operations, and University Advancement.
One faculty representative, to be appointed by the UNI Faculty Senate.
One faculty representative, to be appointed by UNI-United Faculty.
One faculty representative to be jointly appointed by the UNI Faculty Senate and the UNI-United Faculty.
One P&S employee representative, to be appointed by the P&S Council.
One Merit Supervisory and Confidential employee representative, to be appointed by the Supervisory & Confidential Council.
One Merit AFSCME employee representative, to be appointed by the Local President of AFSCME.
A student representative, appointed by the NISG Senate, for a one-year term.
A representative from Human Resource Services.
The University Counsel who will serve as the committee chair.
Except as otherwise noted, members of the PRC shall be appointed to three year terms. If a representative is not appointed as indicated above, that position on the PRC will be vacant until such appointment is made.
Review and Approval Process:
The following process is to be followed when a new University policy is proposed or an existing policy is revised:
1. Proposal: An originating body identifies the need to propose a new policy or to review/revise an existing policy. This body then:
Works to develop the policy, seeking input from relevant stakeholders.
Identifies or suggests an appropriate “administrative body”, normally the division whose Vice President will oversee the policy and be responsible for its enforcement, maintenance, and review/revision, and receives approval of the draft policy from the head of the administrative body before moving the policy forward for approval under this policy. If there is a disagreement between the original body and the head of the originating body regarding the policy content, which cannot be resolved, then two versions of the policy in question would be forwarded for approval. If responsibility for the policy lies within the President’s division, the administrative body is the applicable administrative head.
Provides the draft of the proposed policy or revision to the chair of the PRC to post on the University Policies and Procedures website; publicly announces the proposal via e-mail through Inside UNI; and accepts public comment for a period of at least two weeks. The posting will include an explanation of the reason for a new policy or revisions to an existing policy.
Revises the policy as appropriate after considering the University Community’s comments.
Submits the proposal to the Policy Review Committee.
2. Policy Review: The Policy Review Committee examines the policy, input from the University Community, and the suggested administrative body. As soon as reasonably possible, typically within four weeks of receipt of a proposal from the originating body, the PRC must either:
Agree with the recommendation and enter the policy into the approval process.
Suggest revisions and return the policy to the originating body. If the originating body accepts these revisions, the revised policy moves into the approval process. If the originating body rejects the revisions, the revised policy moves into the approval process with the notation that the originating body disagrees with the PRC’s proposed revisions. Both the PRC and the originating body must provide written rationales for their views on the contested elements of the proposal.
3. Initial Approval: The Policy Review Committee and, in cases of disagreement, the originating body submit appropriate material to the University Council which will, as soon as reasonably possible, typically within four weeks of receiving this material from the PRC, either:
Agree with an uncontested policy.
Agreement with one of the bodies in cases of a contested policy.
Refer the policy back to the originating body and PRC for additional work, in which case the process may begin anew.
Recommend there should be no policy on this topic.
In cases when all parties do not agree, a rationale for the University Council's decision shall be included with the policy at the next step of the approval process.
4. Final Approval: All University policies shall be subject to review and approval by the UNI President. The UNI President may bring policies back to the University Council and may have policies reviewed by the President's Cabinet for additional assistance and recommendations relating to policy review and approval.
Dissemination of Policies:
Upon receiving notice that a new or revised policy has been approved by the President, the University Counsel shall forward the new or revised policy to the Office of University Relations, which will be responsible for notifying the University Community regarding new or revised policies. Each University policy shall be broadcast in summary via e-mail through Inside UNI to University students, faculty, and staff. The e-mail message and/or policy shall contain the effective date of the new or revised policy and point out that the full text of the policy can be accessed on the UNI Policies and Procedures web page. A policy may also be published in other University publications. The Office of University Relations shall maintain, update, and edit the University policy and procedure records and the UNI Policies and Procedures web page.
The following additional rules and practices pertain to University policies:
All time periods for University Community review of policy proposals must occur during the Fall or Spring academic semesters. If a policy is adopted without satisfying this requirement, it will be considered an interim policy that must be reviewed according to the prescribed process during the next academic semester.
The University Counsel shall have the authority to make non-substantive changes to University policies without University Council or Policy Review Committee approval. Such changes must be discussed with the originating and relevant administrative body.
All policies and procedures identified on the UNI Policies and Procedures web page shall be reviewed at least every five years by the relevant administrative body.
Colleges and departments of the University are encouraged to formulate and to publish official policy statements and/or procedures for their jurisdictions. Such policy and procedure statements shall not be inconsistent with official University policy statements.
UNI Faculty Senate, approved December 2, 2013.
President’s Cabinet, approved May 19, 2015
President and Executive Management Team, approved June 1, 2015