Policy on the Development, Management, and Approval of Policies
- Policy and Category & Number: Executive 4:1
- Effective Date: 2/8/23
- Responsible Officer: General Counsel
- Responsible Office: Office of the General Counsel
- History: N/A
- Location: https://wit.edu/about/policies/policy-about-policies
This policy is intended to establish a development, management, and approval process for all Wentworth Institute of Technology (University) policies, except Academic Policies. A consistent process will enhance the University’s mission, reduce institutional risk, promote operational efficiency and clarity, and help achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
This Policy applies to all proposed University policies, except that the approval procedures do not include Academic Policies. Additionally, while the Academic Catalog, the Employee Policies and Procedures Guide, the Faculty Handbook, the Student Handbook, and the Athletics Compliance Handbook follow their own approval processes, they shall include approved University policies as appropriate.
This Policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, visitors, and other community members working on behalf of the University.
This Policy outlines the University’s procedures for evaluating, formulating, revising, approving, issuing, and maintaining university policies. All policies, except Academic Policies, must follow the procedures outlined in this Policy. The Responsible Officer shall maintain, review, interpret, and update their policies in accordance with this Policy.
The University reserves the right to change, delete, suspend, or discontinue any policy, procedure, or process without prior notice. In these cases, notification will be provided to the appropriate stakeholders as needed.
The Bylaws adopted by the Board of Trustees, shall prevail in the event of a conflict with any university policy, procedure, internal process, the Faculty Senate Bylaws, and the Staff Council Bylaws.
- Academic Policies: These policies are those that relate to the educational activities aimed at implementing student centered learning and govern the academic standards and requirements for students to maintain matriculated status and to qualify for a degree or certificate. Examples include, but are not limited to, the policies associated with admission standards, registration, degree/certificate completion, and academic honesty. These policies governed and subject to approval under the Faculty Senate By-laws, which require initial approval of the Faculty Senate and then Final approval from the Provost, President, or Board of Trustees. Upon approval, Academic Policies are published in the Catalog and are presented to the President’s Cabinet for acknowledgement and educational purposes.
- Approving Body: Those vested with the authority to approve a University Policy. Approving Bodies include the Board of Trustees and the President. The preferred method for policy approval shall be through the President, after a recommendation from the President’s Cabinet.
- Guidelines: Recommended guidance or additional information used to support policies and procedures.
- Internal Process: The specific operations of how an individual department implements its policies. Internal Processes provide flexibility and the ability to change as needed and are not subject to the procedures needed for approval of policies outlined in this Policy.
- Official Policy Homepage: The sanctioned official website for publication of all University Policies. The Official Policy Homepage shall be maintained by the Office of the General Counsel and shall provide a current link to all University Policies.
- Policy: A set of governing established principles that articulate the strategic pillars, expectations, and requirements regarding the administration of the University.
- Procedures: An overview of the steps needed to implement and adhere to policies.
- Policy Template: The standard format that policies must follow.
- Responsible Office: The Office responsible for the development and administration of an individual policy, to communicate with and train the University community in its requirements, and to execute its timely updating and revisions. A Responsible Office shall have the sole responsibility for determining where and how University Policies under their authority are maintained, edited, and published; however, they must ensure that all University Policies are linked to the Wentworth Institute of Technology Official Policy Homepage.
- Responsible Officer: The Officer, typically a Vice President, or designee, within the Responsible Office who is responsible for development, review, interpretation, and administration of the policy. There may be more than one Responsible Officer.
- Revision, editorial: Includes modifications related to spelling, grammar, format, and updates to hyperlinks or URLs, contact information, references, titles of individuals and organizations.
- Revision, non-substantive: Includes modifications intended to enhance clarity without changing the intent of the policy, such as adding or modifying definitions, updating guidelines or internal processes, without altering the policy’s requirements for compliance.
- Revision, substantive: Includes significant modifications to the nature and/or scope of the policy that affects its requirements, principles, or intent.
- Stakeholders: Those who will be substantially impacted by the proposed policy or involved in its implementation.
- New policies may be initiated through individual departments, colleges, schools, other administrative offices, or the Board of Trustees.
- The Responsible Officer shall appoint an individual or committee member(s) to draft policy language. The individual or committee will work with appropriate stakeholders (including those substantially impacted by implementation of the policy) to gather comments and make appropriate edits. The Office of the General Counsel may also be consulted.
- The Responsible Officer will notify the President’s Cabinet of all on-going policy development and provide appropriate updates.
- Edits to the draft policy may be made in response to comments.
- Determinations regarding the Approving Body and/or the Responsible Office shall be made during this phase. Conflicts regarding the Approving Body shall be made by the Office of the General Counsel.
Review Prior to Approval
- All University policies, except Academic Policies, require approval by an Approving Body.
- Prior to submission to the Approving Body, draft policies must be presented to the Office of the General Counsel.
- Final edits may be made, and a final draft will be prepared.
- The Responsible Officer, or designee, will present the final draft policy to the Approving Body for approval.
- The Responsible Officer, or designee, shall also provide an overview of policy implementation.
- Board of Trustee policies are approved by a majority vote.
- All other non-academic policies are approved by the President. Typically, the President’s Cabinet will provide a recommendation prior to the President’s approval.
- Once approved, the policy will be published as appropriate on the Official Policy Homepage.
- The Responsible Officer, or designee, is responsible for the development of appropriate communications and training to appropriate constituencies regarding policy implementation and compliance.
- The Responsible Officer/ is responsible for regular review and updating of its policies. This includes periodic reviews for editorial or non-substantive reviews, and every three to five years for substantive revision.
- The Office of the General Counsel, in conjunction with the Responsible Officer, will determine if the proposed revisions are editorial, non-substantive, or substantive.
- Editorial revisions will be completed by the Office of the General Counsel and posted to the Official Policy Homepage.
- Non-substantive revisions will be recommended by the Responsible Office. The Responsible Office will update the President’s Cabinet about the changes. Final revisions will be completed by the Office of the General Counsel and posted to the Official Policy Homepage.
- Substantive revisions must follow the same review and approval process as a new policy.
- If a Responsible Officer determines that a policy is no longer needed, or needs to be consolidated with a separate policy, the Responsible Office shall propose that a policy is withdrawn.
- Typically, the process for withdrawal of a policy shall be subject to the same approval procedure outlined above in a-d. However, some polices may be withdrawn by an Approving Body without being subject to the approval procedure. In these cases, notification to the community must be provided.
- An Approving Body may enact an interim policy if necessary whenever a policy is required, and time does not permit for complete drafting and review as outlined in this Policy. Interim policies shall be announced as Interim Policy in a manner that informs the community that a formal policy is still in development. Interim policies shall be effective for up to 12 months unless extended by the original Approving Body.
Policies Pre-dating the Policy
- Policies that predate this Policy shall remain official university policies but are subject to review and approval under this process within three calendar years. These policies must be posted to the Official Policy Website.
Additional Information & Related Documents
- Policy Template
- The flow-charts outlining the approval process for University Policies, Academic Policies
- Wentworth Style Guide
- Additional Guidelines
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Office of the General Counsel. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this Policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every three years; however, editorial, and non-substantive changes and updates can be made at any time.
The University will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review and Revision History
This Policy was approved by the President on February 8, 2023. There is no prior history associated with this Policy.