Policy on University Policies and Procedures
March 19, 2020
Date of Last Review/Revision:
March 19, 2020
Policy Authority: University Secretary
1.1 University Policies establish the rules by which the University, through its Board of Governors and Senate, has decided to govern its affairs. University policies assign roles and responsibilities, provide guidance for the actions of members of the University Community, contribute to openness and transparency, facilitate operational continuity and consistency of decision-making, and reduce institutional risk. To be effective, University policies and their related procedures must comply with applicable law, be current, practical and useful, and readily accessible.
2.1 The purpose of this policy is to:
2.1.1 Establish a consistent approach to create new and amend existing University Policies whose subject matter is within the jurisdiction of the Board of Governors and to establish a procedure to develop, review, approve, amend and repeal those University Policies in a consistent, collaborative and coordinated manner;
2.1.2 Facilitate the writing of clear, coherent, accessible and effective policies and procedures; and
2.1.3 Assign responsibility for developing and approving University Policies and Procedures.
3.1 This policy applies to University Policies and Procedures as defined in sections 4.9 and 4.10 and to all members of the University Community who play a role in their development, approval, maintenance, review, amendment and repeal.
4.1 Board means the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University.
4.2 Editorial Amendment means a housekeeping or minor amendment to a University Policy; it does not require Board approval and includes but is not limited to formatting changes, language changes to improve clarity without changing the meaning, name changes, removing references to defunct policies, and updating references to organizational structures, programs, or positions.
4.3 Mandated Periodic Review means the date by which a University Policy approved by the Board must undergo substantive review to determine whether any changes are needed. Where this date is not specified within the policy, it is the date established by the University Secretary.
4.4 Policy Authority means the President and Vice Chancellor, a Vice President, the University Secretary or the General Counsel who sponsors a policy that falls under their jurisdiction.
4.5 Policy Gazette means Simon Fraser University’s website that serves as the repository for University Policies and Procedures and is maintained by the Office of the University Secretary.
4.6 Responsible Authority means the head of an academic or administrative unit responsible and accountable for the development, implementation, maintenance, and review of a University Policy.
4.7 Substantive Amendment means a significant amendment to a University Policy and includes: any change to the role or responsibilities assigned to an office, a unit, or a position; any change to the actions that are permitted or prohibited; any change to the rights or responsibilities of an individual; and any change to the Policy Authority. This type of amendment requires Board approval.
4.8 University Community means all students and employees of the University and all people who have a status at the University mandated by legislation or other University policies, including: research assistants, post-doctoral fellows, members of Senate and the Board of Governors, volunteers, visiting and emeritus faculty, and visiting researchers.
4.9 University Policy means, for the purposes of this policy and its associated procedures, an official document on a subject matter within the Board’s jurisdiction that establishes key requirements and responsibilities and guides or directs the actions of members of the University Community regarding a particular matter but does not include policies whose subject matter is within the authority delegated by the Board to its Human Resources Committee pursuant to that Committee’s terms of reference. For further clarity, this policy and its associated procedures do not apply to policies whose subject matter is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the University’s Senate.
5.1.1 University Policies will advance the University’s mission, be consistent with the University’s core principles, and will promote good governance and management practices.
5.1.2 University Policies must be developed, approved, amended, reviewed or repealed pursuant to this Policy.
5.1.3 University Policies must be current, compliant with applicable law, and consistent with other related legal and policy authorities.
5.1.4 University Policies and Procedures must be presented in a common, standardized format using the approved University Policy or Procedure Template and written with inclusive, plain language. See section 13 Forms and Templates for the SFU Policy Template.
5.1.5 University Policies must be made publicly accessible electronically on the Policy Gazette and will normally be linked electronically to the associated University Procedure.
5.2 New Policies and Substantive Amendments to Existing Policies
5.2.1 New University Policies and substantive amendments to existing University Policies must be formally approved by the Board.
5.2.2 The Policy Authority is responsible for proposing new policies or amendments to existing University Policies in accordance with the processes described in B 10.00 Procedure to Develop, Amend, Repeal and Approve University Policies.
5.3 Editorial Amendments
5.3.1 Editorial amendments to University Policies do not require Board approval.
5.3.2 The Responsible Authority is responsible for proposing and the University Secretary is responsible for approving editorial amendments to University Policies in accordance with the processes described in B 10.00 Procedure to Develop, Amend, Repeal and Approve University Policies.
5.4 Repealing Policies
5.4.1 Repeal of a University Policy must be formally approved by the Board.
5.4.2. The Policy Authority is responsible for initiating the repeal of a University Policy in accordance with the processes described in B 10.00 Procedure to Develop, Amend, Repeal and Approve University Policies.
5.5 Development of Procedures and other documents related to University Policies
5.5.1 University Procedures and any revisions to them must be approved by the Policy Authority.
5.5.2 The Responsible Authority is responsible for developing University Procedures to give effect to the University Policy.
5.5.3 University Procedures, or a summary of those procedures, should be available for information at each stage of the policy approval process.
5.6 Effective Date
5.6.1 A University Policy takes effect on the date it is formally approved by the Board or at a later date specified by the Board.
5.6.2 University Procedures take effect on the same date as the University Policy with which they are associated. If the University Procedures are subsequently reviewed and revised separately from the University Policy with which they are associated, the revised University Procedures take effect on the date the revised Procedures are posted on the Policy Gazette or at a later date specified in those procedures.
5.6.3 A University Policy approved by the Board prior to the effective date of this policy remains in effect until it is amended or repealed.
5.7 Mandated Periodic Review of University Policies
5.7.1 A University Policy must normally undergo a substantive review at least once every five years to determine whether any changes are needed but may be reviewed at any time.
5.7.2 The University Secretary will establish the Mandated Periodic Review date for any policy approved by the Board that does not specify a date for review.
5.7.3. The Policy Authority must keep University Policies current by requiring the Responsible Authority to review them in accordance with the Mandated Periodic Review date specified within the policy or as established by the University Secretary.
5.7.4 Procedures associated with a University Policy must be reviewed whenever the University Policy is reviewed, but may be reviewed separately at any time.
5.8 Other Policies and Agreements
5.8.1 Faculties, other academic units, and administrative units may establish local policies and procedures for matters within their purview, but these are always subject to and must not contradict University Policies. Where there is a contradiction, the University Policy will prevail.
5.8.2 Where a University Policy directly contradicts a provision in a collective agreement between the University and a union, the collective agreement provision will prevail with respect to the members of the bargaining unit covered by that collective agreement.
5.8.3 In the event of a contradiction between two or more University Policies:
a. where each policy has an interpretation section, the matter will be referred to the persons named in the interpretation sections who will jointly make a decision which shall be final;
b. where some but not all of the policies have an interpretation section, the matter will be referred to the persons named in the interpretation sections and the President who will jointly make a decision which shall be final;
c. where none of the policies have an interpretation section, the matter will be referred to the President who will make a decision which shall be final.
6.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
6.1 The Policy Authority is responsible for initiating University Policy development and review, for drafting proposed policies and amendments, and for developing and approving associated procedures. The Policy Authority is also responsible for initiating repeal of University Policies.
6.2 The University Secretary and the Governance and Nominating Committee of the Board are responsible for recommending to the Board the approval of new University Policies, the approval of substantive amendments to existing University Policies, and the repeal of University Policies.
6.3 The Board is responsible for approving new University Policies, substantive amendments to existing University Policies, and the repeal of University Policies.
6.4 The University Secretary is responsible for approving editorial amendments to University Policies and for making those amendments.
6.5 After a University Policy is approved by the Board the Policy Authority is responsible for implementing it through the Responsible Authority and for monitoring compliance.
6.6 The Office of the University Secretary is responsible for publishing University Policies and Procedures in the Policy Gazette, for removing Policies that have been repealed, for keeping the Policy Gazette current, and for maintaining related records.
7.0 RELATED LEGAL, POLICY AUTHORITIES AND AGREEMENT S
7.1 The legal and other University Policy authorities and agreements that may bear on the administration of this policy and may be consulted as needed include but are not limited to:
7.1.1 University Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 468
7.1.2 GP 30 Interpretation Policy.
8.0 RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS
8.1 Information and records made and received to administer this policy are evidence of the University’s actions to manage the development, amendment, approval, and repeal of University Policies. Information and records must be retained and disposed of in accordance with a records retention schedule approved by the University Archivist.
9.0 POLICY REVIEW
9.1 The University Secretary will review this policy at least once every five years.
10.1 This policy is administered under the authority of the University Secretary.
11.1 Questions of interpretation or application of this policy or its procedures shall be referred to the President and the Chair of the Board of Governors, who will jointly make a decision which shall be final.
12.0 ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES
12.1 The procedure for this policy are:
13.0 FORMS AND TEMPLATES
13.1 The forms and templates that must be used for a University Policy and University Procedures are:
13.1.1 SFU Policy Template
13.1.2 SFU Procedure Template