Developing and Maintaining Policies in the Handbook of Operating Procedures

Handbook of Operating Procedures 3-1510

Developing and Maintaining Policies in the Handbook of Operating Procedures

I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) will develop and maintain its governance policies in the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures (“HOP”) in accordance with The University of Texas System (“UT System”) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations and UT System policies. The process used for this purpose will follow principles of transparency and due diligence in policy management.

II. Reason for Policy 

To provide the roles, responsibilities, and process for developing and maintaining HOP policies in accordance with Regents’ Rules 20201 and 40101. This framework supports the goals of the University’s ethics and compliance program.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all University employees and students.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
Administrative/Operational HOP Policies:

University governing policies directing the function of administrative operations or University activities excluding educational policies developed through faculty legislation.

Educational Policy:

University governing policies pertaining to the areas of faculty responsibility as set forth in Regents’ Rule 40101.

Executive Sponsor:

The executive officer, typically a vice president, who officially advances and endorses a HOP policy.

Governance of the Institution:

The manner in which the University directs, administers, and controls the institution, including policies that direct compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, Regents’ Rules and Regulations, and UT System policies with system-wide application.

HOP Amendment:

A change made to the HOP, including the adoption of a new policy, revision to an existing policy, or retirement of a policy.

HOP Policy:

A governing statement and expected behaviors contained in the University’s Handbook of Operating Procedures which support compliance with laws, or rules of UT System; operational efficiency; mitigation of institutional risk; or the core mission and values of the University. The University Policy Office  website contains criteria used for HOP policies.

Policy Impact Statement:

An initiating document proposing a HOP amendment for a new policy or revision to an existing policy. It provides relevant policy related information addressing rationale, scope, and potential impact issues (resource, operational, financial, training).

Policy Management:

The administration of a HOP policy’s lifecycle including the creation, review, approval, communication, periodic review, policy updates, and delivery of associated training. It also includes proper retirement of a policy when no longer relevant.

Policy Office Advisory Group (POAG):

An appointed group of University divisional representatives, including the chairs of Faculty Council, Staff Council, and Student Government, who serve to represent their respective division or governance group on HOP policy matters presented for their review. Membership is approved by the president.

Policy Owner:

The individual responsible for assuring appropriate policy management of a specific HOP policy. The policy owner is considered a subject matter expert on the issue covered by the policy.

Policy Template:

The standardized format used for creating or revising an HOP policy.

Significant Change:

A substantive edit to HOP policy content including changes to essential principle(s), scope, or application. This does not include changes which are: a) editorial, b) related to organizational reporting change, c) reformatting  a policy or paragraph, d) updates to policy related contacts, tools, resources, and reference citations, e) made to bring clarity or grammar improvements, or f) do not materially change the intent of the policy.

Stakeholder Review Plan:

A set of action steps developed for the appropriate review of a proposed HOP administrative/operational policy. The plan develops after review of the policy impact statement form and policy draft with consideration given to rationale, nature, and significance of the HOP amendment being proposed.

V. Website (for policy) 
https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/3-1510
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
University Policy OfficePhone:512-471-0426Fax:512-232-3722Website:
Office of the General FacultyPhone:512-471-5934Website:
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 
  1. General
  1. The University’s president has authority and responsibility to develop and administer plans and policies for the program, organization, and operation of the University as delegated by Regents’ Rule 20201 and in accordance with Regents’ Rule 40101.   
  1. Policies developed by the University may not conflict with federal and state laws and regulations, Regents’ Rules and Regulations, and applicable UT System policies; otherwise, those policies will be invalid.    
  1. Nothing in this policy must conflict with the faculty’s role in educational policy formulation as referenced in Regents’ Rule 40101. 
  1. Presidential consideration will be given only to proposed HOP amendments that follow the process steps outlined in this policy.
  1. Policy owners are responsible for initiating steps to create HOP policy, conduct periodic review of their policies, and take necessary action to update or retire a policy when deemed appropriate. This includes timely action when a policy is affected by applicable changes in federal and state laws or regulations, as Regents’ Rules and UT System policy revisions require, or as deemed appropriate to support the University’s mission and core values.
  1. The president designates the Policy Program Manager (PPM) as the University official responsible for coordination of the HOP policy process.  
  1. The deputy to the president and each vice president will annually provide the PPM with his or her nominee(s) to serve on the Policy Office Advisory Group (POAG) for the coming academic year. The chairpersons of Faculty Council, Staff Council, and Student Government will be standing members of the POAG each year. The president grants final approval for appointments to the POAG.
  1. The University Policy Office (UPO) will retain all HOP policies in accordance with the University’s Records Retention Schedule including policies as they are adopted, revised, and retired.  
  1. HOP Amendments

The president, or designee, will prepare and submit policies constituting the University’s HOP to the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (EVC-AA) for approval. Development of new policies or significant changes made to existing HOP policies will follow the steps outlined in this policy.

 

  1. Administrative/Operational HOP Policy Management
  1. Responsibilities
  1. Policy Program Manager (PPM). The PPM is responsible for
  • facilitating the HOP policy process with key stakeholders to assure compliance with this policy;
  • determining a stakeholder review plan for proposed HOP amendments;
  • ensuring integrity of HOP amendments with regard to format, clarity, content, and writing style;  
  • chairing the POAG;
  • serving as liaison with UT System’s Office of General Counsel during its review of HOP amendments;
  • communicating with executive leaders when HOP amendments are approved by UT System;
  • maintaining the UPO website, including the digital library of current HOP policies; and
  • maintaining archival records of HOP policies.  
  1. POAG. This cross-divisional group serves in an advisory role to the PPM on issues related to HOP policy amendments and policy matters considered administrative/operational.

Responsibilities of POAG members include

  • serving as a representative for their divisional/governance interests during POAG review/comment periods opened for draft HOP policy amendments;
  • consulting on HOP policy related issues as they arise; and
  • serving as communications liaison within their division/governance group for HOP policy related matters. 
  1. Policy Owner (PO). The PO is responsible for
  • developing HOP policies for matters within the scope of his or her responsibility following steps outlined in this policy;
  • initiating proper communication associated with policy rollout;
  • initiating necessary policy related training;
  • providing timely response to policy questions issued via the HOP website;
  • conducting periodic review of his or her HOP policies;
  • initiating timely updates to policies when necessary;
  • serving as key contact for policy interpretation and exception approval; and
  • initiating policy retirement when the policy is no longer relevant.
  1. Executive Sponsor. The executive sponsor officially endorses and/or supports the PO in the advancement of HOP amendments through the policy process.
  1. President. The president has institutional authority for approving or denying any HOP amendment. As may be required, the Office of the President is responsible for advancing the HOP amendment for further review and approval by the UT System EVC-AA.
  1. Process Steps

This process includes an opportunity for faculty, staff, and student governance advisory comment periods regarding proposed significant changes to the HOP. It also includes opportunity for legal and executive leadership review before consideration by the president. The following steps apply to initiating a new policy or revising an existing policy in this category.

 

Step 1 - Initiation of HOP Amendment. A PO or executive sponsor may initiate a HOP amendment or policy removal request following the process outlined on the UPO webpage.

  • The policy draft and policy impact statement must be submitted to the PPM.

Step 2 – Preliminary Review. During this step, the PPM will

  • work with the PO until the policy draft is ready for POAG review; and
  • for removal requests, confirm removal will not conflict with any policy requirements mandated by Regents’ Rules or UT System policy.

Step 3 – Stakeholder Review. This step involves further review as needed, including a POAG review and advisory comment period, a legal sufficiency review, and an executive sponsor endorsement. This occurs before advancing the amendment for presidential consideration.  

  • The PPM will review the initiating documents and develop a stakeholder review plan to ensure compliance with this policy.
  • Advisory input will be sought according to this plan and shared with the PO as needed.
  • Affected governance groups must provide to the PPM written advisory comment for any HOP amendment under POAG review.
  • The executive sponsor retains sole authority for decisions on advancing the policy for presidential consideration following advisory input gained during this stage.

Step 4 - Executive Endorsement and Approval. Following endorsement of the policy by the executive sponsor, the PPM will prepare a policy submission packet for the president’s consideration.

  • The president may seek further executive level advisory input on the HOP amendment as he or she deems necessary.
  • The president will notify the PPM of his or her decision to approve or reject the policy.
  • If approved, the president will advance the policy to the UT System EVC-AA as may be needed for review and approval.
  • The PPM will serve as the liaison with UT System officials to resolve any policy recommendations on behalf of the University’s interests. 

Step 5 - Policy Adoption. The HOP amendment will become effective upon approval by the UT System EVC-AA, or upon approval of the president if UT System approval is not required. Upon notice of approval, the PPM will update the HOP website and notify University officials according to established protocol.

 

  1. Policy Communication & Training

The executive sponsor of the policy, or designee, is responsible for communicating the HOP policy amendment to key stakeholders within the University, and facilitating any training as required for successful policy implementation. 

 

  1. Policy Retirement

A process for rescinding a HOP policy may be found on the UPO website. Before retiring a policy, the president must approve its removal.

 

  1. Educational/Academic HOP Policy Management

In accordance with Regents’ Rules on shared governance, policies pertaining to general academics and welfare, student life and related activities, requirements for admission and graduation, honors and scholastic performance, approval of candidates for degrees, and faculty rules of procedure must be approved by either the University’s Faculty Council or its General Faculty, or both. Faculty Council must make a reasonable effort to gain advisory input from staff and students on those governance policies under Faculty Council’s consideration that affect those constituents. The proposed policy, or policy revision, must receive the approval of the president, or designee, and the UT System EVC-AA, if needed. The the executive vice president and provost is the executive sponsor for all educational/academic policies contained in the HOP. 

 

  1. Responsibilities  
  1. Executive Vice President and Provost (Provost). The provost is the executive sponsor of all educational/academic policies contained in the HOP. He or she may initiate the creation, revision, or retirement of such policies.
  1. General Faculty and Faculty Council. As delegated by the General Faculty, Faculty Council has regular responsibility for proposing amendments to HOP policies concerning faculty governance. Faculty Council may also initiate faculty legislation related to the areas referenced in Regents’ Rule 40101 following procedures and rules set forth in HOP 2-1110 – Faculty Council. The secretary to the General Faculty is responsible for submitting proposed HOP amendments to the president with notification to the PPM.
  1. President. The president, or designee, has institutional authority for approving or denying a HOP amendment advanced by the leadership of Faculty Council. The president will advance a HOP amendment for further review and approval by UT System, as needed. Institutional interpretation of HOP policies rests with the president.
  1. Process Steps    

Step 1 – Educational Policy Formulation Governance. The faculty legislative process amending HOP policy is outlined in HOP 2-1010 – General Faculty and further clarified in HOP 2-1030-PM – By-Laws of the Faculty Council. Further detail on the process may be found on Faculty Council’s website.

 

Step 2 – Executive Endorsement and Approval. Faculty Council will submit the proposed HOP amendment to the president, or designee, for consideration.

  • The president, or designee, may seek further executive level advisory input on the HOP amendment, as needed.
  • The president, or designee, will advance the policy to the UT System EVC-AA for further UT System consideration and approval, as needed.
  • The PPM may serve as the liaison with UT System officials to resolve any policy recommendations on behalf of the University’s interests. 

Step 3 – Policy Adoption. The HOP amendment will become effective upon approval of the UT System EVC-AA, or upon approval of the president if UT System approval is not required. Following notice of approval, the PPM will update the HOP website and notify University officials according to established protocol.

 

  1. Policy Communication & Training

The Office of the General Faculty (OGF) is responsible for notification to the University’s faculty of the approval, or other outcome, of the HOP amendment.  This is done through its website and other appropriate channels. The OGF's website will be maintained to show the status of faculty legislation affecting the HOP.

 

  1. Policy Retirement

A process for rescinding a HOP policy may be found on the UPO website. Before retiring a policy from the HOP, the president must approve its removal.

 

  1. Interpretation of HOP Policies. The president is the institutional authority responsible for interpreting policies contained in the HOP.
  1. Non-significant Changes to HOP Policies. HOP amendments which are not deemed a significant change by PPM will result in limited review to affect the change to the HOP. The PPM is responsible for updating the UPO website for changes of this nature.
  1. Interim Policy. At the discretion of the president, an interim HOP policy may be implemented when federal or state laws, regulatory actions, or compelling circumstances make expedited policy implementation prudent.
  • Using standard initiating forms, a vice president or other executive sponsor may request an interim policy for consideration by the president. Upon the president’s approval, the PPM will be notified to publish the interim policy to the UPO website.
  • An interim policy is effective for a period of up to six months from the date of presidential approval assuming steps are initiated to seek normal review and approval in a timely manner. The interim policy is subject to renewal for good cause upon the president’s approval.  
  1. Periodic Review. The PO and executive sponsor are responsible for conducting periodic review of HOP policies contained in their portfolio and taking appropriate action to make timely updates to policy content as deemed necessary.  

 

XI. History 

Last review date: June 10, 2015
Next scheduled review date: June 2017

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