University Policy Management
Date of Current Revision: March, 2011
Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources
This policy outlines the process of policy management at the university, primarily by the University Policy Committee (UPC). The UPC is a team that is responsible for assisting the president and division heads with the oversight and management of those policies that have wide university impact.
University policies fall within a greater hierarchy of laws, statutes and regulations. The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. (See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3.) The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president. As a part of that management, the president has directed the development and implementation of university policies and procedures.
University policies fall within the following framework and therefore, are subject to compliance with laws and regulations instituted by higher levels of authority:
A statement of management philosophy and a general statement of a rule, established to provide direction and assistance to the university community in the conduct of university affairs.
A statement that prescribes specific actions to be taken to conform to established policies, allowing for the orderly implementation of those policies.
University Policy Committee:
The group designated and appointed by division heads to act as the central body for making recommendations regarding the creation, updating, and management of university-wide policies. Members of this committee include the Director of Human Resources, a representative of Audit and Management Services and at least one representative from each of the major units of the university – chosen by the appropriate senior vice president (also referred to in this policy as a division head) or the head of the unit, such as the President’s Office. University Counsel is an ex officio member of the committee. The committee is chaired by the Assistant Vice President for HR, Training, and Performance.
The largest subgroup of the university. The four divisions are:
The President’s Office, while not considered a division, includes such units as Admissions, Financial Aid, and Diversity and is also represented on the University Policy Committee.
The division heads are the four senior vice presidents.
University policies and procedures are applicable to all members of the university community, unless the specific policy states otherwise.
The Manual of Policies and Procedures includes only those policies and procedures that are generally applicable to more than one division of the university. Matters pertaining to one division or to the internal procedures of a given division, department or office are not considered to be within the scope of this policy or the purview of the University Policy Committee.
The Manual of Policies and Procedures is the official repository of university policies and is available electronically by accessing http://www.jmu.edu/JMUpolicy/.
Each policy will include the following information:
The Director of Human Resources will maintain the master list of policies within the Manual of Policies and Procedures website. An approved hard copy of each policy will be kept on file. The policies will be maintained on the university web site and users may print copies directly from the system.
The procedures to initiate, review, and approve new or revised policies, and to eliminate policies, are as follows.
The University Policy Committee conducts a regular cyclical review of all university policies, resulting in a review of each policy approximately every 18-24 months.
The University Policy Committee may make changes to policies in the process of updating them. When these changes are considered by the committee to be minor, cosmetic, and/or related to form and style, the committee may decide to forego the staffing process described above and update the policies on the web-based Manual of Policies and Procedures directly without the approval of the senior vice presidents or president.
The Director of Human Resources has been identified as the manager responsible for the collection, review, and distribution of new and revised policies.
The University Policy Committee has been designated to assist in this process. Members of this committee are responsible for identifying areas within their divisions that are in need of new or revised policies, for recommending appropriate policies, and for reviewing university-wide policies.
The heads of units are responsible for assuring adherence to established policies in the conduct of their unit’s affairs. They are also responsible for directing the appropriate individuals on their staffs to the University Policy Committee.
Only the President has the authority to issue university policies.
Directors and department heads may issue procedures associated with a policy within their areas or departments and are responsible for the accuracy and timeliness of policies and procedures relating to their areas or departments. This responsibility includes proper notification of changes and updates to these policies and procedures, and conducting a review of policies annually.
Any sanction for violation of a policy should be listed in that policy.
Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.
The President has the authority to sign into effect, waive or temporarily alter any policy necessary to address an emergency or temporary situation, without utilizing the procedures outlined in this policy.
In the absence of the President and with the support of the other senior vice presidents, the senior vice president who is in supervisor or reviewer status over the responsible officer listed for the policy may temporarily sign a policy into effect in an emergency, subject to ratification by the President. If the President fails to ratify the temporary policy by signing it within three months, it will automatically become void.
The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.
Previous Version: March, 2010
Approved by the President: April, 2002
Template for Policies