Frequently Asked Questions

What is a university policy?
A university policy is a document that (1) states the university’s position on a particular issue, and (2) includes procedures for compliance. A university policy is defined by all of the following criteria:

  • It has broad application throughout the university.
  • It helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiencies, enhances the university’s mission, or reduces institutional risks
  • The subject matter requires university Board of Governors, president, and/or executive officer review and approval for policy issuance and major changes

If a policy fits these criteria, it is a university policy. If it does not, it is a departmental, office, or unit policy. For more information on the policy process, see University Regulation 50.1.13, Formulation, Issuance and Maintenance of University Policies.

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What is a procedure?
Procedures are steps taken to implement a policy. Generally, procedures will be provided as direct links to the appropriate procedures held on departmental websites.

How are the policies organized?
Policies are organized in ten functional-based sections grouping policies together under logical headings.

What is a policy template?
The policy template is an easy to use, standardized format to lend structure and ensure consistency from one policy document to another. An explanation of the terms used in the policy template is available here.

What kinds of policies do you write?
The Office of the Secretary of the University oversees development of policies that have application throughout the university, as represented by the ten University Regulations Sections. These policies are board, academic, administrative or financial in nature and cover subjects as diverse as governance, academic matters, fiscal management, operating practices, and human resources that affect faculty, students, staff, vendors, and visitors.

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Who makes and approves policies?
Senior executives (e.g., senior vice presidents, vice presidents, chancellors, etc.) provide general oversight of the university unit or department (the responsible office) that will develop a particular policy or revise an existing policy and be accountable for the accuracy of its subject matter, its issuance, and timely updating. This office also will be responsible to ensure that procedures and guidelines necessary to carry out the policy are current and available on the appropriate departmental or unit website. The final approving body will be a senior executive, the Board of Governors, or, in some cases, the Boards of Governors and Trustees.

How long does it take to develop a new policy or revise an existing one?
A policy in development or revision goes through a rigorous review and approval process during which the policy is “fleshed out,” meaning that appropriate university constituents are consulted. Depending on the nature of the policy, these constituents may include senior executives, general counsel, vice presidents, chancellors, provosts, deans, administrators, business managers, faculty, students, and others. The entire process to develop a new policy often takes six months or more. However, revisions to existing policy may take only a few days or weeks, depending on the extent and nature of the modifications.

How can I get a copy of a policy?
The policies that have been issued through the formal policy delegation process are available to read and print online at http://policies.rutgers.edu. Policies that have been standardized are accessible in PDF (portable document format). If you need information on a policy listed in the repository that has not yet been standardized, or if the policy is listed as “in revision,” contact the Responsible Office listed in the policy template. You can also contact the Office of the Secretary of the University at secretary@oq.rutgers.edu for assistance.

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Can I make suggestions to improve a policy that has already been issued?
Absolutely. Feedback about policies may be sent directly to the Responsible Office contact listed in the policy template or the Office of the Secretary of the University at secretary@oq.rutgers.edu.  Typographical or other simple errors that you submit will be changed immediately online. Suggested changes of a more substantive nature will be forwarded to the senior executive responsible for the policy, and revision to the policy will take place when appropriate.

Where do I call if I have a question on a policy?
Policies posted on the University Policy Library website at http://policies.rutgers.edu have a Contacts Section directing you to the appropriate office for answers to your questions. If you are unsure of where to call contact the Responsible Office or email the Office of the Secretary of the University at secretary@oq.rutgers.edu for assistance.

How can I get a university policy started from my office or department?
Please see the How to Develop a New Policy page on this website.  Also, the Office of the Secretary of the University at secretary@oq.rutgers.edu or 848-932-7434 is equipped to assist you with questions you have about the process in general or if you want to know whether a university policy is warranted in a particular situation.