An overview of the policy development process and the guiding principles for developing policy content
What is a policy?
Policies are high-level statements with broad application throughout the university designed to promote operational efficiencies, enhance the university's mission, or reduce institutional risk. Policies state required actions that are defined by standards, procedures, and guidelines.Read about the Policy Pyramid (PDF)
How are policies developed?
According to Policy on Policies, new policies must be written using the following template:
Identify policy action required
- Regulatory mandates & accreditation
- Impacted audiences
- Rapidity of policy action
Evaluate impact on other university guidance
Decide course of action
- Technical Update
- Substantial Revision
- Policy Obsolescence/Retirement
Prepare policy draft using redline version of policy template
Solicit and Integrate feedback
- Shared Governance/University Council
- Policy Advisory Committee
- Office of the Vice President for Policy and Governance
Acquire approval by the following, as applicable
- University Council
- Safety and Security Policy Committee
- Vice President or President
- Board of Visitors
Publish on policy website
Communicate policy per the Policy Communication Plan
- Daily VT News
- University Relations communicators group
- Other sources, as identified by the policy owner
Educate employees and students
- Update onboarding
- Update training
- Update training tracking procedures, if applicable for regulatory compliance
- Board of Visitors
Enforce policy compliance
- Monitor compliance
- Policy awareness
- Recognized policy discrepancy or conflict with business operations
- Inconsistency with other guidance (policies/ procedures/forms, etc.)
- Anticipated regulatory changes
Revise or retire policy
- Review at least every 4 years, per the policy review schedule
- Notify the Office of the Vice President for Policy and Governance if any review needed apart from the review schedule
How are policies approved?
Policies are typically created, reviewed and approved within one of the following pathways:
Vice Presidents -
Responsible for administrative policies under the respective vice president's purview, such as financial or facilities policies.
University Governance -
Responsible for academic and operational policies that deal with the university's missions of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, some of which may require additional approval by the Board of Visitors.
Safety and Security Policy Committee -
Responsible for policies addressing university safety and security and emergency management, with authority delegated from the Board of Visitors.
Board of Visitors -
Responsible for hiring the president; approving salaries, personnel and student conduct policies, awards of tenure, tuition and fees, the university’s budget, new colleges, departments, and degree programs, and commemorative namings and special awards; the physical plant; and safety and security. This is the governing body of the university and operates under the control of the Virginia General Assembly.