Policy on Policies

Policy Information
Policy TitlePolicy on Policies
Responsible OfficeOffice of the Vice President for Operations
Policy TypePolicy Development & Standards
Policy Number101
Last Revision Date1/1/2020

The following office is responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in this policy: Office of the Vice President for Operations

Scope of Policy

This policy serves to ensure that all University policies:

  • are effectively communicated and easily accessible;
  • are appropriately reviewed and approved prior to implementation;
  • are annually reviewed and updated;
  • are internally consistent;
  • are written in comprehensible terms; and
  • comply with applicable legal standards.

University policies support the University’s mission by establishing clear and well understood standards for individual conduct, clarifying institutional expectations, promoting compliance with law, mitigating risk, and supporting productivity. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus are expected to comply with University policies. University policies shall be kept current and shall be made available in a timely manner.

Definitions

As used in this Policy on Policies, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.

A. “University policy” or “policy” means an official, written University directive that:

  • Establishes expectations for the conduct of members of the University community or the conduct of University business;
  • Applies broadly throughout the University and not just to particular departments, colleges, schools, centers, or units;
  • Furthers the University’s mission, reduces institutional risk, promotes operational effectiveness and efficiency, and helps achieve compliance with applicable legal standards;
  • Has been reviewed and approved by the Senior Officers Group of the University; and
  • Is sponsored by at least one University department, who serves as the “policy owner” and is primarily responsible for the policy’s implementation and enforcement.

B. The term “University policy” or “policy” does not include:

  • Policies or procedures that by their purpose and scope apply only to a specific college or administrative unit;
  • Board of Trustees’ Bylaws, resolutions, or operating procedures;
  • University Faculty Senate policies and procedures;
  • The Faculty / Staff Handbook or any policy codified in the Handbook;
  • The Student Handbook or any policy codified in the Handbook; or
  • Any collective bargaining agreements.

C. “Responsible University office” is the University office, department, or unit responsible for sponsoring, implementing, enforcing and answering inquiries about a University policy. The responsible University office may also be responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of and ensuring compliance with a University policy.

D. “Policy owner” means the University officer, director, unit head, or other person who manages or directs the responsible University office. In some cases, the policy owner and the responsible University office may be the same.

E. “Binghamton University Management Procedures” means an electronic portal on the University website that is easily accessible from the University’s home page and that contains, in numbered and searchable form, a compendium of current University polices and management procedures.

Policy Statement

All University policies shall be developed, approved and published in accordance with the standards outlined in this Policy and shall appear online in the Binghamton University Management Procedures.

Policy Standards and Procedures

General Standards

A University policy shall:

  • Be formatted in a manner consistent with the formatting template in this policy; and
  • Be included on the Binghamton University Management Procedure website

Many other department, college, school, and unit rules, standards or guidelines guide or direct students and employees, but are outside the scope of this policy. They should nevertheless be clearly written and appropriately available online to affected members of the University community.

Every University policy must include the title of at least one policy owner. It is the policy owner’s responsibility to designate the appropriate responsible University office charged with the tasks of implementing and enforcing the policy.

A University policy should be written so that it is clear and concise. It should contain sufficient information on the subject without being excessive in length or complexity.

The University reserves the right to amend, modify, delete or add any policy at any time in order to meet the needs of the University community, in order to comply with law, or for any other reason the University may determine. Nothing in this Policy on Policies diminishes or interferes with the ultimate right of the SUNY Board of Trustees to adopt, rescind, modify, amend, or replace any University policy on any subject.

Procedures for Review and Approval of Policies

Any individual or unit may identify the need for a new policy, but at least one University division head must agree to serve as the policy owner (or designate an appropriate department in their division) and be accountable for a policy’s implementation and enforcement.

The policy owner is responsible for the first instance of developing a draft policy or revising a current policy in consultation with key stakeholders. At any time in the drafting process, University Counsel is available for consultation.

The policy owner (or designee) shall submit the draft policy to their respective Vice President / division head for review. The Vice President / division head will share an electronic version of the policy with the Senior Officers Group who will ultimately approve any new University policy.

Once approved by the Senior Officers Group, the Division of Operations will appropriately categorize and include it in the on-line Management Procedures for the University.

A proposed policy becomes an official policy of the University and goes into effect:

  • When it is approved by the Senior Officers Group and published on-line in the Management Procedures; or
  • Upon such other date as the Senior Officers Group shall specify.

There may be occasions when a University policy is deemed by the President to be of sufficient significance to merit review and comment by Campus Governance Leaders. In such circumstances, the policy shall be shared with the Campus Governance Leaders for review, discussion and comment but ultimate wording and approval rests with the Senior Officers Group.

Periodic Review and Amendment of Policies

Each responsible University office shall annually review all University policies for which it is responsible to determine whether a policy requires revision, replacement, or supersession because of a change in applicable law or business process.

A responsible University office may deem it appropriate to retire an existing policy or consolidate two or more policies. Such changes should be discussed in advance with the Senior Officers Group.

Classification of Policies

The Binghamton University Management Procedures are divided into the following functional sections: