University Standard: 04-001 Development of University Policies and Standards
Policy Category:
Governance and Administration
Responsible Office:
Executive Vice President and Provost
Responsible Executive:
Office of University Compliance
Download the Policy:
Effective Date:
01/01/2018
1. Policy Statement

1.1. Oregon State University (“university”) will develop the university’s governance policies and standards in conformance with this university standard and maintain those policies and standards in the University Policies and Standards Manual (“UPSM”).  In implementing this uniform process, the university seeks to enhance operational efficiencies, best practices, effective decision making, and compliance with laws and rules.  The university also seeks to ensure its governing documents are easily accessible, understandable, widely disseminated, consistent, and appropriately reviewed and approved.

2. Reason for Policy

2.1. This university standard provides the process and identifies the roles and responsibilities for developing and maintaining the university policies and university standards that govern the institution in accordance with ORS 352.087 Powers and duties of governing board and university with a governing board and OSU Board of Trustees Resolution No. 14-12 Delegating Authority to the University.  This framework supports the goals of the university’s compliance and ethics program.

2.2. Various statutes require the university or its Board to adopt policies or standards on certain topics.  Other statutes authorize the university or its Board to adopt policies or standards to govern the university or its public service programs.

2.3. As to many issues, the Board has delegated its authority and responsibilities to the President.  In other areas, the President has direct statutory authority to manage the university.  This university standard delineates a uniform process for developing, adopting, amending, or retiring university policies and standards.

3. Scope & Audience

3.1. This university standard applies to the compilation, maintenance, and general application of all university policies and standards and to the adoption, revision, and retirement of such university policies and standards by the President.

3.2. The audience for this university standard is all university units, employees, students, applicants for admission and employment, agents, contractors, licensees, volunteers, and the public at large.

4. Definitions

4.1. Board of Trustees (“Board”):  The governing body for Oregon State University, which manages the affairs of the university by carrying out all the powers conferred on it by law.  Under ORS 352.076, Oregon State University trustees are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate.

4.2. Educational policy:  Policies pertaining to matters within the purview of the faculty under ORS 352.146.

4.3. Executive Policy and Standards Committee (“EPSC”):  The university body that advises and makes recommendations to the President about amendments to the UPSM. 

4.4. Faculty Senate: The governing body for faculty at Oregon State University, representing faculty in all academic and administrative units.  It has oversight responsibility regarding academic policies, educational standards, curricula, academic regulations, and faculty welfare, and makes recommendations to university administration.

4.5. Housekeeping amendment:  An amendment to the UPSM that does not materially affect the university community or the public at large including, but not limited to, amendments to:

4.5.1. Update references to statutes or officials due to statutory changes;

4.5.2. Retire university policies and standards that are no longer necessary or relevant due to statutory changes or Board of Trustees actions;

4.5.3. Update policies to reflect changed or adopted names of a university unit or program;

4.5.4. Correct spelling, punctuation, or formatting;

4.5.5. Correct grammatical mistakes in a manner that does not alter the scope, application, or meaning of the university policy or standard;

4.5.6. Correct references to statutes, rules, or university policies or standards;

4.5.7. Update or correct contact information referred to in the university policy or standard; or,

4.5.8. Update or correct web links.

4.6. Other governance documents:  Other policies, statements, rules, and procedures that do not warrant inclusion in the UPSM.

4.7. Policy Advisory Group:  A committee composed of representatives from various university constituencies that reviews proposed UPSM amendments and offers suggestions on improving those under consideration.  The committee membership is appointed by the Office of University Compliance.

4.8. President:  The President of Oregon State University.

4.9. Responsible executive:  The university official who has responsibility for the development, retirement, and maintenance of a university policy or standard.  Responsible executives ensure compliance with, and the implementation and dissemination of, university policies and standards.  Responsible executives may be the president, provost, vice presidents, vice provosts, or other executive level officers. 

4.10. UPSM amendment (or “amendment”):  Any substantive change made to the UPSM, including the adoption, revision, or retirement of a university policy or university standard.

4.11. Unit rules:  Mechanisms for administering or implementing operations that apply solely within a university unit or function.  Unit rules are applicable only to the unit or functions over which that unit has authority, and are developed and approved by the unit.  Unit rules may be more restrictive than university policies and university standards, but may not be more lenient or conflict with them.

4.12. University community:  University employees, students, agents, contractors, licensees, and volunteers; and applicants for admission to and employment with the university.

4.13. University policy:  A governing statement and set of expected behaviors that enhances the university's mission, promotes operational efficiencies, reduces institutional risk, and helps ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.  While a university policy is enforceable against employees, students, agents, contractors, licensees, and volunteers, it does not have the force of law for purposes of ORS 352.087(1)(m).  University employees, students, agents, contractors, licensees, volunteers, and applicants for admission to or employment with the university are subject to university policies.

4.14. University Policy and Standards Manual (“UPSM”): The collection of university policies and university standards that provide the university’s governing framework.  Collectively, the university policies and standards within the UPSM provide the authority to and articulate responsibilities of the university community such that the university may achieve its mission.

4.15. University standard:  A governing statement and set of expected behaviors broadly relevant throughout the university and to those who interact with the university, that enhances the university's mission, promotes operational efficiencies, reduces institutional risk, or helps ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations.  University standards are enforceable against employees, students, agents, contractors, licensees, and volunteers, and have the force of law for purposes of ORS 352.087(1)(m). 

5. Responsibilities & Procedures

5.1. General

5.1.1. Along with applicable laws and regulations, Board resolutions, and other governance documents, university policies and standards govern the university’s operations.

5.1.2. The university develops, adopts, and amends its university policies and university standards as described under this university standard, except for any such university policies or standards adopted by the Board of Trustees.

5.1.3. The President is the ultimate authority over university policies and university standards.  UPSM amendments become final upon approval by the President. 

5.1.4. The EPSC has responsibility and authority to develop and administer plans and policies for the program, organization, and operation of the university by way of the delegation granted to the President by Board of Trustees Resolution No. 14-12 Delegating Authority to the University and in accordance with ORS 352.146.  

5.1.5. University policies and university standards developed by the university are to be interpreted consistent with federal and state laws and regulations.    

5.1.6. Nothing in this university standard is intended to conflict with the Faculty Senate’s role in educational policy formulation.

5.1.7. Nothing in this university standard limits or circumscribes the power and authority of the Board of Trustees or the President to issue, amend, or revoke university policies and university standards on any matter.

5.1.8. The EPSC designates the Office of University Compliance as the office responsible for the coordination of the UPSM amendment process.  The Office of University Compliance will develop and maintain procedures designed to facilitate the development, amendment, and retirement of university policies and university standards contained within the UPSM.  The EPSC will provide oversight for the operation of the UPSM amendment process.

5.2. Compliance and Enforcement

5.2.1. All university employees, students, applicants for admission and employment, agents, contractors, licensees, and volunteers must comply with all applicable university policies and university standards.  Violation of university policies or university standards may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion of students and termination of employment.

5.2.2. University policies are enforceable through formal and informal procedures, including, but not limited to, student and employee disciplinary procedures and contract and license administration.

5.2.3. All persons subject to university policies and all other persons or entities entering university real property, using university resources, or participating in university programs are subject to university standards.

5.2.4. At the university’s option, a university standard is enforceable as either a university policy or a university standard.  If the university uses a university standard’s enforcement process to enforce a standard, that standard is deemed to have the force of law under ORS 352.087(1)(m).  

5.2.5. University standards may be enforced as such only in a court of competent jurisdiction or in a university enforcement process that includes an opportunity for appeal.

5.3. Responsibilities

5.3.1. Responsible executives are to:

a. Create university policies and university standards when a need is identified;

b. Conduct periodic reviews of university policies and university standards under their purview;

c. Update or retire a university policy or university standard when deemed appropriate;  

d. When desired, designate an office or employee to represent the responsible executive as to individual university policies or standards;

e. Ensure dissemination, implementation, and compliance with university policies and standards; and,

f. Establish training and support programs to implement and comply with university policies and university standards within their purview.

5.3.2. The Executive Policy and Standards Committee (“EPSC”):

a. Advises and makes recommendations to the President about amendments to the UPSM;

b. Has the responsibility and authority to develop university policies and standards and to evaluate the effectiveness of their substance and administration; and,

c. Supervises the UPSM amendment activities of the Office of University Compliance.

5.3.3. The Office of University Compliance is to:

a. Coordinate and administer the UPSM amendment process to assure compliance with this university standard;

b. Retain the official record of all university policies and standards in compliance with the university’s records retention schedule;

c. Appoint a Director of Policy and Standards to have authority and responsibility over the university policy and standards program;

d. Assure integrity of university policy and standard amendments with regard to format, clarity, content, and style consistency;

e. Provide staff support for the EPSC;

f. Chair the Policy Advisory Group;

g. Decide whether a proposed amendment of a university policy or standard is a housekeeping amendment or a substantive amendment;

h. Communicate with university stakeholders when university policy and standard amendments are approved; and,

i. Maintain the website for the university policy and standards program, which includes the UPSM.

5.4. UPSM Amendment Process

5.4.1. Initiation of the UPSM amendment process.

a. The UPSM amendment process is initiated when a responsible executive or the Office of University Compliance proposes an amendment.  A proposed amendment must be sponsored by a responsible executive. 

b. Proposed amendments are drafted by a responsible executive, or their designee, in consultation with the Office of University Compliance.

5.4.2. Stakeholder review of proposed UPSM amendments.

a. The Office of University Compliance, in consultation with the responsible executive, develops a plan for receiving stakeholder input on proposed UPSM amendments.  The type of notice and stakeholder consultation required for a proposed amendment depends upon the nature of the amendment.

b. In general, the Office of University Compliance will seek stakeholder input on substantive amendments to university policies.  Substantive amendments are those not determined to be housekeeping amendments (See Sec. 4.5).  The Office of University Compliance may solicit feedback from the Policy Advisory Group, the Faculty Senate, student groups, or others.

c. Substantive amendments to university standards are to be published for a 3-week public comment period.  Any material comments that are received will be relayed to the EPSC for its consideration prior to finalizing the amendment.

d. Housekeeping amendments do not materially affect the university community or the public at large, therefore, these amendments may be adopted without notification or consultation.

5.4.3. EPSC recommendation and President’s decision.

a. The EPSC shall consider input from the Policy Advisory Group and any other stakeholders, including public comments, when formulating its recommendation about a UPSM amendment.

b. The EPSC may recommend: approving amendments; approving amendments pending agreed-upon revisions or additional actions; modifying amendments; or rejecting amendments.  The EPSC may request additional information, discussion, analysis, input from subject-matter experts, or any other actions prior to making a final recommendation on an amendment.

c. The EPSC shall forward its formal recommendation to the President, who will consider the recommendation and adopt or disapprove the amendment.

5.5. Exceptions and Emergency or Temporary UPSM Amendment Process

5.5.1. The Chief Compliance Officer, or designee, may authorize exceptions to this university standard, including, but not limited to, expediting processes when necessary, issuing interim university policies or university standards, waiving or temporarily altering provisions, or otherwise altering the processes articulated herein.  In instances where the Chief Compliance Officer issues interim university policies or standards, the officer will immediately report such action to the EPSC.  From the time of notification, the EPSC will, within one year, make a recommendation to the President to approve, rescind, or otherwise modify the interim policy.  If the interim policy is not acted on by the President within one year, it is effectively rescinded.

5.5.2. In the case of an immediate or substantial need as determined by the President, the President may adopt a temporary substantive amendment, effective immediately, either after an exception process approved by the Chief Compliance Officer or without following any of the processes described in this university standard.

5.6. Distribution of the UPSM

5.6.1. The Office of University Compliance is responsible for publishing the UPSM electronically.  To promote compliance with the UPSM, a link to the manual will be periodically distributed. 

5.6.2. Amendments to the UPSM will be electronically published, updated, and maintained on the university policy website. 

5.7. Other Governance Documents

5.7.1. The President, Provost, Vice Presidents, or Vice Provosts may adopt rules and procedures, or issue statements, that do not warrant inclusion in the UPSM but still govern the actions of members of the university community. 

5.7.2. Colleges, schools, departments, and other administrative units may promulgate unit rules to implement the university policies and university standards contained within the UPSM, as well as unit rules that are not created in reference to a particular university policy or university standard.  The creator of a unit rule must inform those bound by the rule that the rule applies to them and where they may direct questions about that rule.  Unit rules are specific to the university and its units and are not to be confused with Oregon Administrative Rules.

5.7.3. Rules and procedures adopted under this section may not conflict with university policies and university standards contained within the UPSM.

5.7.4. The Office of University Compliance, in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and a responsible executive, will decide if a unit rule or procedure developed pursuant to this section merits inclusion in the UPSM.  That decision may be appealed to the EPSC by the office proposing the policy.

6. Forms & Tools 

6.1. UPSM amendment process: http://policy.oregonstate.edu/policy-development-process

6.2. University policy template and other resources for developing policy: http://policy.oregonstate.edu/resources

7. Frequently Asked Questions

7.1. None.

8. Related Information

8.1. University Policy and Standards Program: http://policy.oregonstate.edu

8.2. OSU Board of Trustees Resolution No. 14-12, Delegating Authority to the University: http://leadership.oregonstate.edu/sites/leadership.oregonstate.edu/files/trustees/agendas-minutes/resolution_14-12_delegating_authority.pdf

8.3. ORS 352.087 Powers and duties of governing board and university with a governing board: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/352.087

9. History

9.1. Last review date:  January 2018.

9.2. Next scheduled review date:  January 2021.

10. Website

10.1. University Policy 04-001, Development of University Policies and Standardshttp://policy.oregonstate.edu/UPSM/04-001_development_policies_standards

11. Contacts

Office of University Compliance

541-737-3389 

http://leadership.oregonstate.edu/compliance