Policy on Policies

Policy Name:  Policy on Policies

Policy Number: ADM-2005

Effective:  12/2020


Policy Statement

This policy sets forth Holy Family University’s process for university policy development, renewal, and retirement follow a formal process involving proposal, writing, and approval.

Reason for the Policy

Policies are fundamental to the University’s ability to operate. Well-written policies can clarify expectations, guide actions, provide controls, enhance productivity and efficiency, support compliance with regulatory mandates, ensure accountability, and mitigate risk.

Stakeholders Affected by Policy

  • Contractors
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Students
  • Vendors
  • Visitors
  • Customers
  • Board of Trustees
  • Alumni
  • Donors



The development, renewal, and retirement of university policies follow a formal process that includes a proposal, writing, and approval. The steps of this process are articulated in the process section of this policy.

  • The Policy Owner, under the direction of the Senior Administrator, is responsible for developing and updating policies.
  • Documents that do not qualify as policies (e.g., guidelines, procedure-only documents) should not be referred to as policies, either in their title or their text. 
  • An interim policy can be enacted in a situation that requires it to be established in a time period too short for vetting through the official process (e.g., new legislation, incident on campus).  Interim policies remain in effect for a period determined by Senior Administration.
  • Current policies must be reviewed annually unless warranted sooner.  Details on policy reviews should be documented and saved for auditing purposes.


  • Policy is a statement of the University’s position on a particular issue. A policy is considered a university policy if it meets all of the following criteria:
  • It has broad application or impact across the University.
  • It serves to comply with applicable laws and regulations, promotes operational efficiencies, supports the University’s mission, or reduces institutional risk.
  • It requires actions or constraints and contains specific procedures for compliance.
  • It applies to a subject matter that requires review and approval of the President and, in some cases, other approval authorities.
  • A policy that does not meet all of the above stated criteria would be considered a unit-specific policy (department, college, division).
  • Department Policies are used to inform and provide direction for internal management and operations for a specific department of University. They affect primary or exclusively single departments or divisions
  • Handbooks contains all the policies related to a specific subject such as employee information and student information.
  • Interim Policy is a provisional policy implemented in a situation that requires implementation without going through the official process (e.g., new legislation, incident on campus).
  • Senior Administrator is the highest-ranking administrator who provides oversight of the office proposing a policy for development, revision, or retirement. This is typically the President or Vice President who heads the appropriate division. 
  • Policy Administrator is the individual responsible for managing the development and maintenance including approvals and publication of policies and handbooks.
  • Policy Executive Group, i.e. Senior Administration, is the executive group that the reviews and approves policies, and will determine which policies should be shared, reviewed, and/or approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Policy Library is the central repository for all university policies.
  • Policy Owner is the official representative proposing a policy for development, revision, review or retirement.  The individual(s) is responsible for ensuring that the policy is in compliance with internal and external standards and regulations defined in the policy.
  • Policy Tool Kit is a compilation of materials that guide individuals participating in policy development.


Process on how to create a Policy

The following five-phase process comprise the procedures for development, revision, or retirement of a university policy.


Phase I: Proposing

  • When a department of the University (academic or administrative) determines that a policy should be developed, revised, or retired, the Policy Owner will meet with the Policy Administrator to discuss the policy, and to review current policies at the University to ensure the proposed policy is not redundant and is consistent with existing policies.
  • Approved justifications for developing new or revising existing policies move to Phase II;
  • Approved justifications for retiring policies are forwarded to the President and, if required, the Board of Trustees for approval.

Phase II: Drafting

  • The Policy Owner or Designee drafts the new, change or retirement.
  • The Policy Owner obtains input from other departments, if applicable.

Phase III: Approving

  • The Senior Administrator approves new policies, changes to policies and retirement of policies.
  • The Policy Owner submits the request to the Policy Administrator with Senior Administrator approval.
  • The Policy Administrator logs the requests and performs quality assurance of the request. 
  • The Policy Owner and Senior Administrator present the fully developed policy to the Policy Executive Group for review, feedback and approval.


Phase IV: Implementing

  • The Policy Administrator communicates the approved policy to the campus community via email, assigns the policy an administrative number, and posts it to the Policy Library. If the policy is a revision to an existing policy or if an existing policy is being retired, the Policy Administrator moves the policy to the archives.
  • The Policy Owner educates and trains the campus community as appropriate.


Phase V: Assessing

  • After implementation, if internal requirements or external regulations require policy revision, the Policy Owner schedules a full review of the policy to accommodate the changes.
  • After implementation, if internal circumstances or external regulations do not require policy revision, the Policy Owner schedules a full review of the policy every year after implementation to ensure currency and relevance.


Related Policies and Documents

  • Policy Template