Executive Policy #5
Revision Approved September 25, 2014
University policies and procedures are to be appropriately approved, published, and distributed in designated and authorized publications and web locations. This policy outlines the drafting, review, approval, and distribution processes for administrative, business, and safety policies and procedures.
University personnel are to obtain appropriate approvals prior to publication of University policies and procedures.
University policies are to be consistent with provisions of the Washington Administrative Code and the Revised Code of Washington.
University policies and procedures are to be published and distributed in designated and approved publications and approved web locations.
Advisory guidelines which supplement University policies and procedures may be published and distributed from departmental websites.
This policy applies to University policies, procedures, and advisory guidelines related to administrative, business, and safety functions that affect many or most University units.
Policies and procedures that affect operations at a single University campus; i.e., WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver; are reviewed and approved by the responsible chancellor and distributed on the campus website. Such policies and procedures are to be consistent with provisions of the Washington Administrative Code. Preliminary review by applicable offices indicated under "Preliminary Review/Approval" below should be considered, particularly the Office of Internal Audit and the Office of the Attorney General.
The office which implements and administers the policy/procedure is responsible for preparing the document in accordance with the requirements of this policy.
Procedures, Records, and Forms
The Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms manages a central policies website and coordinates the publication of all items included on the website. The office also drafts and edits the Business Policies and Procedures Manual and Safety Policies and Procedures Manual.
The responsible director approves procedure statements or forwards them to the responsible vice president for approval. The responsible director also approves advisory guideline statements.
Responsible Vice President
The responsible vice president or designee approves policies or forwards them to the University's council of executive officers for approval.
A vice president may designate a subordinate to approve policies or a specified subset of policies by sending a signed memorandum to the Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms. Such a designation remains in effect until the vice president or designee no longer occupy the position held at the time of designation or until rescinded by the vice president.
The University's council of executive officers approves those University policies referred to it by the individual vice presidents.
A policy is a plan or general course of action, having broad application throughout the University, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters. A policy helps to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulation, promotes operational efficiencies, promotes one or more of the University's missions, and/or reduces risk to the institution.
A procedure is an established method of implementing a University policy.
An advisory guideline provides a recommended, but not required, method for implementing an administrative process.
The recommended standard format for policy and procedure statements includes the following elements: effective date, revision date, policy or overview, applicability, responsibility, definitions, and procedures.
The recommended standard format for advisory guideline statements includes the following elements: effective date, revision date, reference to the related approved University policy, applicability, guidelines.
Usually the department responsible for implementing and administering the policy/procedure analyzes the issues and conceptualizes the substance of the policy/procedure.
Approval to Proceed
When seeking major policy changes, before proceeding further with policy development, the implementing department routes a summary of the proposal with an analysis to the responsible vice president through the responsible director. The vice president determines whether or not policy development will proceed. NOTE: This step is not required for draft proposals that do not include major policy statements.
The implementing department prepares a first draft if the document is to be published in the Executive Policy Manual or in another approved publication other than the Business Policies and Procedures Manual or Safety Policies and Procedures Manual.
The responsible department contacts the Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms if the document is to be published in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual (BPPM) or Safety Policies and Procedures Manual (SPPM). The Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms prepares the draft based upon source materials and interviews with departmental personnel.
Responsible Department / Procedures, Records, and Forms
The responsible department or Procedures, Records, and Forms routes the first draft to constituencies immediately involved with the proposed policy.
After considering input from the constituencies, the responsible department or Procedures, Records, and Forms routes the proposed policy with a supporting policy analysis to the responsible director. The director may take one of the following actions regarding the proposed policy:
- Route the proposal back to the responsible department noting that the policy is not to be considered further.
- Route the proposal back to the department or Procedures, Records, and Forms for further analysis, for consideration of other options, or redrafting.
- Give the proposal preliminary approval for review by additional University officers and constituencies. The Attorney General's Office; Human Resource Services; Council of Deans, Faculty Senate; Office of Internal Audit; Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms; Office of Risk Management; Office of Research are a few of the offices and groups that may be included in this review, depending upon subject matter and scope of the proposal.
The Attorney General's Office reviews the proposal for consistency with state and federal laws, rules and regulations.
When appropriate, the Council of Deans reviews the proposal to determine the potential effects on subordinate units and to assess the administrative feasibility of the proposed policy.
The Faculty Senate provides advice and recommendations regarding any proposed policy that could affect academic functions.
The Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms reviews proposals for consistency with existing policies and procedures published in the Business Policies and Procedures Manual and Safety Policies and Procedures Manual. Procedures, Records, and Forms also reviews the procedure for potential impact on University units other than the implementing unit.
The Office of Internal Audit reviews proposed policies for the inclusion of proper internal controls to control, monitor, and safeguard University and state assets.
If a proposal is substantially revised, it may be routed back to the reviewing organizations, offices, and constituencies for another review round.
Determination of the appropriate authority for final approval of a policy or procedure is dependent upon the judgment of the involved University officials. Generally, when in doubt regarding level of final approval, the responsible department seeks approval from a higher administration level. The following provides guidance for determining the appropriate approval level.
A director may approve procedural statements or changes. However, procedures with broad University impact and scope should be approved by the responsible vice president.
Policy statements or policy changes are routed to the responsible vice president or designee for approval. The vice president may approve the proposal or take it to the University's council of executive officers for final approval.
When a director or vice president forwards a proposal for approval, he or she may include reviewers' comments not incorporated into the draft.
Reviewers are to consider a proposal's consistency with University priorities and directions, impact upon operations, and ease of administration.
Notification of Decisions
The responsible director or vice president informs reviewing and implementing organizations of approval decisions regarding the proposal.
After final approval, the policy is implemented and distributed in accordance with distribution requirements described below.
After the proposed policy/procedure is approved, the responsible department ensures that the document is published in an approved official publication.
Approved official policy and procedure publications/websites and responsible offices:
Administrative Professional Personnel Handbook Human Resource Services Academic Catalog Registrar Business Policies and Procedures Manual Procedures, Records, and Forms Educational Policies and Procedures Manual Provost's Office/Faculty Senate Executive Policy Manual University executive officers and Procedures, Records, and Forms Faculty Manual Provost's Office/Faculty Senate Graduate School Policies and Procedures Graduate School Laboratory Safety Manual Environmental Health and Safety OROS Memorandums
Office of Research,
Office of Research Operations and Support
Safety Policies and Procedures Manual Procedures, Records, and Forms
Departments are not to independently publish policies having University-wide impact in locations other than those noted above.
Official and approved University policies and procedures are not to be republished on departmental websites. Departmental websites should link to official policy/procedure sites when references are required.
Departments follow the procedures indicated above when revising existing policies and procedures.
Review of Existing Policies and Procedures
The issuing department is responsible for ensuring that the policy/procedure document reflects current practices. The department is to review the document at least once every three years and update it as necessary in conformance with the procedures provided above. Anytime operational changes occur that impact the content of the policy/procedure document, the department is to conduct a formal review and process any necessary revisions in conformance with the procedures provided above. Documentation of any policy/procedure review is to be forwarded to the Office of Procedures, Records, and Forms for retention.
Retention of Superseded Policies and Procedures
Issuing departments are responsible for retaining policies and procedures for at least six years after they are superseded. See BPPM 90.01.