The Office of The President functions as the Policy Unit for Life University, and this policy unit is responsible for guiding, maintaining and managing all of Life University’s institutional policies. This section provides the resources and materials for developing, writing, approving and maintaining all policies, with several resources available for all interested persons within the University for policy development. More so, all existing and future policies will be archived and accessible from this section.
As an institution with a strong philosophically-backed education and well-grounded principles, a good policy process and framework helps in guiding the whole community toward achieving its goals and objectives, while also acting as key drivers in various facets of our institutional socio-cultural, ethical and professional interactions.
The templates and checklist in this section are downloadable and are to be used for developing policies by all departments/policy areas within the University:
Purpose Of Policies
Convey Life University’s institutional mission/vision
Protect the University and its community, reputation and bottom line
Improve efficiency, productivity, and performance
Prevent, detect and respond to criminal/illegal misconduct
Compliance with regulatory requirements and laws
Set a clear understanding of expectations and consequences
Build and influence management, staff, faculty, and students
Create a positive and respectful workplace for management, staff, faculty, and students
Features Of A Good Policy
Institutional policies, regardless of the intended end users, must be practical, clear and concise. Policy developers must ensure that each and every policy is developed, written and timely reviewed with the end user in mind. Below are the basic features of a good policy:
Establishes and conveys the purpose of a policy without ambiguity
Provides guidance, answers and accurate information for end users seeking clarity on situations or issues
Always written in clear and concise language, with jargons and technical descriptions avoided
Planned reviews as needed to provide the needed guidance with regard to the statement
Life University’s meta-policy is the Institutional policy that helps to guide and reinforce the purpose and need for institutional policy. This policy of policies contains the basic precepts for developing policies University-wide.
The meta-policy contains the development framework for all policies in the University. Please do note that this document applies to all constituents within the community as a whole, without exclusion.
The links below contain the standard template and checklist for all institutional policies. All University policies must use and adhere to this template for consistency and compliance. The associated checklist also acts as a guide which must be completed and attached when submitting a policy proposal for approval.
New Policy Template
Structure of the template
LU Policy Number: A unique identifier composed of the University area/section abbreviation as designated under the new policy numbering system. Existing policies will be categorized with LU Policy Number and appropriate University area/section. For new policy proposals, this section will remain blank until final approval of the policy. For revised policies, this number will also remain unchanged once assigned on first approval.
Effective Date: This will be the date the policy goes into effect or the date it becomes applicable within the University. In some cases, the Effective Date will be the same as the Approved Date.
The date format is as follows: mm/dd/yy.
Approval Date: This date will signify the date the policy was signed/approved by the relevant approval authority.
The date format is as follows: mm/dd/yy.
Revised Date: This will refer to the date a revised policy was approved. Subsequent revisions must also be recorded in this section. For new policies, N/A should be written in this space.
The date format is as follows: mm/dd/yy.
Purpose: A brief statement referring and stating the intent and purpose of the policy. An explanation of the policy may be included if not apparent as written.
Additional Authority: The list of statutes, regulations, federal laws, executive orders or any relevant authority governing the policy as a whole.
Scope: Covers to whom or what the policy applies.
Approval Authority: This authority (Board of Trustees, President, Provost or senior executive) is responsible for final approval of a new or revised policy. In some cases, the “Approval Authority” will be the same as the “Responsible Authority.”
Responsible Authority: This authority is responsible for administering and enforcing the stated policy. The responsible office develops or updates a particular policy and will be accountable for the accuracy of its subject matter, its issuance and timely review. This office is also responsible for ensuring that procedures necessary to carry out the policy are current and available.
Definitions: Uncommon words or phrases unique to higher education and Life University that are stated in the policy statement must be clearly defined and explained in this section.
Policy Title: This should capture and contain the content and essence of the policy. It must be unambiguous. The word “Policy” must come at the end of the title, also the title has to be short and concise conveying the intent of the policy.
Policy Statement: This is the main policy wording, which must include the philosophy, rationale, and principle behind the policy. This section must be clear and unambiguous to any reader. The statement must be understandable and state what the policy is and how it extends to the University as a whole or the scope.
Policy statements must answer some of the following questions as applicable:
Main reason and focus of the policy
Circumstances and situations applicable
Conditions, restrictions, and expectations
This must also include clearly defined permissions, requirements and issues handling/resolutions. Also, the statement may include how this policy is related to Life University’s core mission and values.
Procedures: This will include the steps required to comply with the policy with clear details on how to comply with the policy mandates. Procedures can also be explained in detail with a writing style emphasizing clarity on all the steps necessary.
Other notes: This includes, but is not limited to, pertinent information including dates, references, etc.
The following are the new policy areas where all existing and new policies will be categorized. These policy areas pertain to all University departments/units.
The policy authorities are the key authorities that supersede, develop, approves, manages and enforces all institutional policies.
Are responsible for administering and enforcing all institutional policies as it applies to their policy area/unit, depending on the policy areas. The following positions are the designated responsible authorities for Life University:
Are the final approvers of all institutional policies and are as follows. All policy proposals are considered approved once signature and approval are given by any of these approval authorities. The following positions are the approval authorities for all Life University policies:
Board of Trustees
Are the laws, statutes, regulations, and requirements on federal and state levels applicable to Life University as an institution of higher learning. More so, statutory bodies requirements will also be classified under these authorities.
The following guideline reflects on the policy style, wording, and language expected of all institutional policies. Effort must be made to ensure all policies adhere to this guideline.
Concise and understandable
The use of plain language when writing a policy helps readers to access the relevant information as needed and also understand the intent and content of the policy.
Shorter words and sentences
The use of few words/sentences helps with clarity and conveyance of the subject matter; shorter words help to summarize the information for processing.
Weight of words
The use of certain words conveys the importance of a policy. Avoid the word “shall.” Use the word “must” for an obligation, “Must not” for a prohibition, “Should” for a recommendation and “May” for a discretionary action.
Use of names
Only actual titles of referenced persons or responsible parties are allowed in all policies except for cases where federal regulations specifically states that. Full names are not allowed.
Use of pronouns
Use of pronouns in policy helps to ensure clarity and makes it easy for readers to understand the policy. More so, pronouns make the sentences shorter and help readers relate to policy intent.
Use of jargons within policy writing is highly discouraged, as it convolutes the intent and weight of the information being conveyed.
Words, expressions, and terms must be consistent throughout a policy. Use the same term for the same thing within a policy.
Use of acronyms should be avoided in policy writing. In cases where they are used, the acronyms must be supported by the actual words with the acronyms in parenthesis [e.g. College of Chiropractic (COC)].
All terms defined in the policy must be capitalized, including titles and positions.
Positions versus Names
Always use title, office or department instead of individual’s name (e.g. Office of President handles all …).
Simple words and terms that can be easily understood should be used instead of terminologies. Effort must be made to avoid the use of departmental specific words and terms.
A policy title must be clear and specific in meaning. The title must be different from any other policy already approved.
Active Voice vs. Passive Voice
The use of active voice helps to convey the actions and focus of a policy. In using an active voice sentence, it specifies the subject as carrying or carried out an action. The subject acts upon the verb in this case. Passive voice, on the other hand, does not state nor identify who is performing an action.
The following guideline helps in writing a detailed list of steps/process required for enforcing a policy.
- Steps must be written out in the precise order of occurrence.
- Use of simple, concise and clear language is required to convey the meaning and steps required.
- Start at a high level and drill down.
- Leave a blank space between each action step.
- In cases of exception, indent under an action or step.
- If possible, utilize flowcharts and checklists to enhance the steps.
- All the key decision points must be duly considered.
- All stakeholders must be consulted to ensure the steps are concise and enforceable.