The Catholic University of America

Governance of the University:                                                                                                                  Policy on Policies

Archived 3/21/13

I. Introduction

As chief executive officer of the university, the president is the individual ultimately responsible for the university's policies. The Catholic University of America requires all university policies to be promulgated in accord with the standards and formatset forth in this policy. Policies presented in the standard format will help the university accomplish its mission, maintain accountability and provide the university community with a clear explanation of how the university does business. This policy also provides for revising and archiving of policies.

II. Definitions

A. Policies are guiding or governing principles, formally approved to provide assistance in the conduct of university affairs. This definition encompasses only university wide policies, which should be distinguished from procedures and from school or departmental policies. Only those policies approved in accord with this policy will have the force of university policy. In the event of a conflict between a university wide policy and a school or departmental policy, the university wide policy will supersede the departmental policy.

B. The Policy Coordinating Committee (the "Committee") appointed by the President, is composed of representatives from the office of the Provost and each of the Vice Presidential areas and the Office of General Counsel. The Committee provides oversight for the process of policy dissemination and works to ensure that the guidelines in this policy are made known to and followed by members of the university community. The President has delegated responsibility for management of the Committee and internal policy process to the Office of General Counsel.

C. Procedures are statements that provide for orderly implementation of established policies through specific, prescribed actions and are more detailed than a policy statement.

D. Responsible Official is the university official charged with overseeing administration of the policy.

E. Academic Policies are policies which directly affect the pedagogical and research mission of the university.

F. Administrative Policies are non-academic policies governing the operations of the university.

III. Policy Approval Process: Academic Policies

Proposed new university academic policies or proposed changes to existing university academic policies may be initiated by the Academic Senate or one of its committees, the Deans' Conference, the Provost or the President. The actions of the Academic Senate require the president's approval for validity. All university academic policies are ordinarily reviewed by the Provost, the Dean's Conference and the Academic Senate, prior to final approval by the President. Where required in the by-laws of the university or otherwise determined either by established policy, legitimate past practice or decision of the president, some policies may also require the approval of the Board of Trustees. Those policies that do not require review or approval by the Academic Senate are ordinarily reported to the Senate by the Provost.

Following its approval and prior to its promulgation, a new or amended university academic policy must be referred to this Committee for its review of the policy's consistency in format and presentation, potential conflicts with other policies, and accordance with laws and external regulations. The Provost will appoint a Responsible Official for the policy.

A School of the university may develop additional academic policies that pertain only to the affairs of the School concerned. School-specific academic policies do not substitute for university academic policies, but may include additional regulations or provisions. All school-specific academic policies must include, at a minimum, the provisions of the appropriate university academic policy and not be in conflict with it. It is the responsibility of the dean of the School to communicate such policies to the Provost and to this Committee.

IV. Policy Approval Process: Administrative Policies

New policies or changes to existing policies may be initiated by the President, the Provost, or by any Vice President. Recommendations for new or revised policies must be proposed to the Provost or the appropriate Vice President by any member of the university community by using the policy template. Once the Provost or cognizant Vice President approves a policy proposal, he/she will appoint a Responsible Official for the policy, and forward the policy to the Committee.

The Committee will review the policy for the following:

  • consistency in format and presentation
  • conflicts between the proposed policy and other university policies
  • consistency with laws or other external regulations germane to the policy
  • consistency with the mission of The Catholic University of America

Once the policy has been reviewed by the Committee, it will be returned to the Provost or the appropriate Vice President who has the responsibility for seeking approval for the policy from the President and his Council. After approval by the the President and his Council, the Committee will be responsible for posting and coordinating dissemination of the policy in cooperation with the Office of Public Affairs.

V. Review of Policies

The Policy Committee will establish a calendar for regular review of all policies.

VI. Role of Responsible Official

The Responsible Official will administer the policy. Each of the respective Vice Presidents and the Provost shall assign a Responsible Official to all existing policies within their area of operations and to any newly generated policies. If no Responsible Official has been assigned, the Vice President for that area of operations will be deemed to be the Responsible Official.

VII. Policy Template

The standard template should be used for all university wide policies. Only those policies approved in accord with this policy will have the force of university policy.

VIII. Interim Policies

The President, Provost or a Vice President may put an interim policy into place in situations where a university policy must be established in a time period too short to permit the completion of the process delineated in this policy. An interim policy will remain in force for up to six months from the date of issuance.

IX. Posting of Policies

All university wide policies will be posted on the official CUA policy website. The Committee with the assistance of the Responsible Official will identify all of the places in university communications where a policy appears, and ensure standardization of print and online policies. All school and departmental web pages must link to the official CUA policy website instead of posting their own versions of the approved policy. Printed versions of the policy may be included in the student handbook, faculty handbook, staff handbook, Announcements and other publications, but must include a disclaimer that the official CUA policy website should be consulted for the latest version.

X. Related Procedures and Guidelines

Policies may be supplemented by school or departmental procedures or guidelines that describe policy implementation practices, subject to III and IV above. These supplemental procedures may be referenced in, and/or linked from, the relevant policy, as appropriate. The Committee may review procedures and guidelines to assure consistency with university wide policies.

XI. Archiving of Policies

The Committee will keep, to the extent reasonably practicable, an archive of university policies, including, as possible, their effective dates.