PS-01.A.01 - University of Houston-Downtown Policy and Procedure System
EFFECTIVE DATE: February 17, 2023
PRESIDENT: Dr. Loren J. Blanchard
This policy statement establishes a system for developing, organizing, maintaining, and distributing University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) policies and procedures. This policy and procedure system complies with all federal and state laws and regulations, UH System Board of Regents bylaws and policies, UH System Administrative Memorandum 01.A.01, and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) policies.
2.1 Purpose: The rationale for the policy.
2.2 Definitions: Defines the meanings of words and/or terms used within the context of the policy and/or procedures.
2.3 Policy: The description of what is to occur under the policy.
2.4 Procedures: The methods/steps employed to enact the policy.
2.5 Review Process: The responsible party and frequency with which the policy should be reviewed.
2.6 Policy History: A listing of issue dates of policy creations, revisions, and reaffirmations.
2.7 References: Any authority or other information pertinent to the contents of the policy, such as UH System Administrative Memoranda, state or federal legislation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules, etc.
2.8 Responsible party(ies): The executive officer(s) who has ultimate or delegated authority over and/or responsibility for a given policy area.
2.9 Exhibits: Any supporting materials that help clarify or enact the policy and are considered part of the policy for purposes of revision, such as forms, charts or correspondence.
3.1.1 All UHD Policy Statements shall be developed or revised in the format indicated by this policy. Following the heading, there shall be seven major sections labeled as follows:
There may be instances in which policies require exhibits. In such cases, the policy-writing body may add an eighth section labeled "Exhibits."
Any section that has no content shall contain a statement to that effect, except the Exhibits section, which should be omitted if there are no exhibits. The other exception is in cases where official policy-writing bodies for academic policies determine that policy and procedures are best presented in a single section; in those cases, Section 3 would be labeled "Policy/Procedures" and Section 4 would be labeled "See Section 3 for Procedures." In this event, the policy-writing body is encouraged to clearly articulate procedural steps in the Policy/Procedures section as and where appropriate.
3.1.2 The Purpose section of each PS should provide a rationale for the policy or procedure outlined in the PS. The rationale may be a reference to a legal requirement, a statement of the goals which the PS is attempting to facilitate, or some other description of the reasons for the implementation of the policy or procedure.
3.1.3 The Definitions section of each PS should provide a glossary of specialized terms and their meanings to help the reader understand uncommon vocabulary or references.
3.1.4 The Policy section of the PS should explain in clear, concise language what the policy entails and its objectives.
3.1.5 The Procedures section should explain the steps, forms, or methods to achieve the objectives of the policy. If procedures for the policy are incorporated in the Policy section, the following statement shall be added under the Procedures section: "See Section 3 for Procedures."
3.1.6 The Review Process designates the executive officer(s) who has ultimate or delegated authority over and/or responsibility for a given policy area and defines the review frequency.
3.1.7 The Policy History section is a list of previous issues and revision and reaffirmation dates of the policy. Reaffirmation dates will be placed below the issue number to which they correspond. For the first issue of the policy, the following statement shall be added under the Policy History section: "No prior issues of this policy."
3.1.8 The References section identifies any authority or other information pertinent to the contents of the policy, such as state or federal legislation, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board rules, UH System Administrative Memoranda, etc. If there are no references in the policy, the following statement shall be added under the References section: "There are no references associated with this policy."
3.1.9 The Exhibits section should provide examples of supporting materials that may demonstrate procedures or provide examples to assist in applying the policy such as forms, charts and correspondence. Exhibits are understood to be part of the policy and edits to exhibits must go through the appropriate policy approval process. If there are no exhibits in the policy, this section should not be included at all.
3.1.10 The following formatting style must be applied to all Policy Statements:
A. Font: Times New Roman, 12 point
B. Margins: One inch top, bottom, left and right
3.1.11 The heading format of all Policy Statements must follow the style as the header of this PS.
3.1.12 The footer format of all Policy Statements must contain the policy number in the left corner and the page number of total number of pages in the right corner on all pages contained in the policy. If a policy is reaffirmed without revisions or amendments, the date of reaffirmation will be added to the Policy History section below the issue number to which it corresponds.
3.1.13 Hyperlinks should be created to point to the information and/or forms referenced in the policy. Exhibits attached to a policy are not permitted.
3.2 Policy Numbering System
3.2.1 UHD Policy Statements will employ a NN.A.NN category-area-section numbering system where:
NN represents two digits indicating CATEGORY
A represents an alphabetic character for AREA
NN represents two digits indicating SECTION
3.2.2 The following codes will be used to represent respective categories and areas:
3 ACADEMIC MATTERS
A—Academic Matters, General
4 STUDENT AFFAIRS
A—Student Affairs, General
5 FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
6 GRANT ADMINISTRATION
A—Grant Administration, General
7 PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
A—Property Management, General
8 INFORMATION SYSTEMS
A—Information Systems, General
9 ADVANCEMENT/UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
3.2.3 Human Resources (HR) is responsible for assigning numbers to all new Policy Statements.
3.2.4 Human Resources is responsible for maintaining an index of all PS documents and for making new and revised administrative policies available online within two weeks of their final approval by the President.
3.2.5 The Office of the Provost is responsible for making new and revised academic affairs and faculty policies available online on HR's policy website within two weeks of their final approval by the President.
3.2.6 The final electronic and signed versions of all new or newly revised academic affairs and faculty policies will be forwarded to HR for archiving in the UHD Policy Statements repository.
3.2.7 HR will ensure all new or newly revised institutional policies are widely publicized to the university community.
3.3 Development, Review, and Approval of Policies
3.3.1 All academic policies will be developed, reviewed, and approved according to the provisions of PS 01.A.03, Academic Shared Governance Policy.
3.3.2 Other University policies will be developed through the office(s) of the senior administrator(s) responsible for the area(s) covered by the policy.
3.3.3 The approval of the President, as indicated by his/her signature on the approval line, must be given in order for any draft policy to become an official policy of the University.
3.3.4 The President may, at his/her discretion, authorize appropriate administrative officers to develop and implement new policies and procedures or to revise established policies and procedures on a provisional basis until such time that they complete the normal review process provided for in the above sections (3.3.1 or 3.3.2). Such authorization is granted, however, only for clear and compelling reasons.
3.3.5 Each policy will contain a section titled Review Process that states the name of the administrator/party responsible for review and the frequency with which the policy will be reviewed.
3.4 Policy Review
3.4.1 UHD Policy Statements will be updated, revised, or rescinded following already established procedures at any time when discussion indicates that such action is required.
3.4.2 The major review responsibility for Policy Statements lies with the responsible party identified in the "Review Process" section of the PS, although proposals to revise or update policies may be made at any time by any member of the University community. Updating, revising, and rescinding policies require the same authority and the same procedure as described in section 3.3 of this statement.
3.4.3 A current revision schedule for non-academic policies designating the responsible parties will be sent to the President's Cabinet each September by the Vice President for Human Resources. The schedule will also provide a tracking mechanism and include revisions not yet competed.
3.4.4 If during the official review period the Responsible Party considers no revisions or amendments are needed, the policy will be reaffirmed without revision or amendments as provided in this Policy. If the President's Cabinet concurs with the recommendation to reaffirm the policy, the reaffirmation date will be noted on the footer, and the Effective Date will remain unchanged.
3.5.1 Human Resources shall prepare and make available all approved Policy Statements online and notify the university community of all updates.
3.5.2 Human Resources maintains one historic set of UHD Policy Statements, which includes all official versions of each policy.
3.6 Authority of UHD Policy Statements
3.6.1 If any conflict arises between a UHD policy statement and any other departmental, divisional, or organizational policy or procedure, the authority of the UHD policy statement must take precedence.
3.6.2 If any conflict arises between a UHD policy statement and any policy or procedure of the University of Houston System, Board of Regents, state, or federal law, the UHD policy statement must be revised, according to section 3.3 of this policy, immediately to bring it into accord with the higher authority.
3.6.3 Through proper consultation, smaller units of the University may develop those policies and procedures which apply solely to their operations so long as those policies and procedures do not contradict a higher authority UHD policy statement, state law, etc. Only UHD policy statements, however, represent official UHD policy. Policies and procedures of smaller units may be developed and distributed in any manner consistent with the University's commitment to shared governance and efficient and effective functioning.
3.6.4 When a University policy question arises, the official UHD Policy Statements must be consulted. If the question is treated there, those guidelines take precedence. If not, those practices which have guided such situations in the past at UHD and are consistent with principles of shared governance should be followed, and the steps outlined in this policy statement should be taken to initiate or revise a UHD policy to cover the question or situation.
4.1 Review and Approval
4.1.1 After a draft of a non-academic policy has been developed, it will be reviewed by the President's Cabinet. The VP for Human Resources will simultaneously circulate the policy to the Faculty Senate, Staff Council, and Student Government Association as an information item with each group given two weeks to make comments. The senior administrator responsible for the draft policy may agree to modifications, which are suggested during this review period.
188.8.131.52 Senior administration is responsible for reviewing SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy to ensure that new policy proposals and policy changes adhere to SACSCOC substantive change policy in accordance with PS 03.A.32, Monitoring and Reporting of Substantive Changes and submitting a completed UHD Required Compliance Change Form to the SACSCOC liaison, if applicable.
4.1.2 Upon approval of the President's Cabinet and President's signature, Human Resources will post administrative policies online at HR Resources and notify the university community and Academic and Student Affairs will post academic and faculty policies online at HR Resources.
4.1.3 Unless otherwise specified, a policy becomes effective the date the President signs it.
4.1.4 The VP for Human Resources will initiate the review process of non-academic policies and the Senior VP for Academic Affairs and Provost will initiate the review of academic affairs and faculty policies by notifying the responsible party.
4.2 Policy Tracking
4.2.1 The VP for Human Resources will track the status of non- academic policies and the Senior VP for Academic Affairs and Provost will track the status of academic affairs and faculty policies under review and/or revision.
5. REVIEW PROCESS
Responsible Party (Reviewer): President
Review: Every three years on or before May 1st.
Signed original on file in Human Resources.
6. POLICY HISTORY
Issue #1: 08/11/81 (as Policy #01.01)
Issue #2: 08/11/83
Issue #3: 01/16/85
Issue #4: 07/15/86
Issue #5: 10/13/89
Issue #6: 04/25/94
Issue #7: 08/01/96
Issue #8: 07/24/00
Issue #9: 10/10/07
Issue #10: 02/07/11
Issue #11: 03/18/14
Issue #12: 08/15/16
Issue #13: 05/10/18
Issue #14: 05/15/19
NOTE: This section is included in this policy as a sample. If a policy does not have any exhibits, this section should be left out entirely.