This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.
Approving Authority: President
Original Approval Date: September 9, 1998
Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: November 30, 2020
Office of Accountability: University Secretariat
Administrative Responsibility: University Secretariat
1.01 The purpose of this policy is to support good governance and effective oversight of the University by establishing a clear framework, consistent approach and a set of standards for the development, approval, administration, and review of all University Policies and Procedures.
2.01 Approving Authority: body or position that has authority to approve, amend, review and revoke a University Policy as specified in section 5.01.01.
2.02 Associated Policy: the University Policy to which a University Procedure pertains.
2.03 Departmental Guideline: a set of standards or criteria guiding or directing action that applies to a specific academic or administrative department or unit of the university, and is created to regulate the operations, activity, and/or structure of that specific department.
2.04 Departmental Process: a set of steps required to operationalize a departmental guideline, which may include manuals, projects, plans or programs.
2.05 Employee: a person who performs work for wages in any capacity for the University.
2.06 Member(s) of the University Community: persons who currently live, work, or study on any Laurier campus. Members include students (including student groups), Employees, adjunct and visiting faculty, and volunteers at Laurier.
2.07 Office of Accountability: the office designated as responsible for the development, implementation, communication, maintenance and review of a University Policy and approval of related Procedures; education of Members of the University Community about a University Policy; and monitoring of compliance with a University Policy and relevant legislation.
2.08 Office of Administrative Responsibility: the office responsible for drafting, reviewing, or amending a University Policy and Procedures and for facilitating consultation throughout the development and approval process.
2.09 President's Cabinet/Cabinet: includes the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) comprised of the President and Vice-Chancellor (the President), all Vice-Presidents (or equivalent level positions), Chief of Staff and Director, Strategic Institutional Initiatives, and Legal Counsel, University Secretary, Associate Vice-President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Assistant Vice-President Indigenous Initiatives.
2.10 University Policy: a principle-based statement pertaining to Wilfrid Laurier University that has broad application throughout the university community, is binding on Members of the University Community, is to be followed in conducting relevant university business, establishes key requirements and responsibilities, and has subject matter that requires review and approval by one or more Approving Authorities.
2.11 University Procedure: a process or set of steps to be followed to implement a University Policy.
3.01 This policy applies to all Employees who are responsible for developing, approving, administering, and reviewing University Policies and Procedures of Wilfrid Laurier University.
3.02 Subject to any legal requirements, where a University Policy or Procedure conflicts with the framework documents or any existing collective agreement between the university and its Employees, the provisions of the framework document or collective agreement will prevail. Framework documents include the Wilfrid Laurier University Act of 1973 and as amended in 2001 and 2016 (hereafter known as the Act); the Board of Governors By-laws; the Senate By-laws; Laurier Strategy; and the Strategic Mandate Agreement.
4.01 University Policies and Procedures should be current, clear in intent and meaning, functional, in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and readily accessible to the university community.
4.02 University Policies and Procedures should advance the university’s mission, vision, and values, reduce institutional risk, and promote good governance, management practices, and operational efficiencies consistent with the university’s core principles and the Laurier strategy.
4.02.01 Members of the University Community are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and complying with all University Policies and Procedures.
4.02.02 Individuals in senior administrative and management positions are responsible for making a reasonable effort to ensure that Members of the University Community in their areas and units are informed of the University Policies and Procedures that govern their activities.
4.03 A University Policy becomes enforceable upon date of approval or as otherwise specified by the Approving Authority. A University Procedure becomes enforceable when its Associated Policy becomes enforceable, or upon date of approval by the Office of Accountability.
4.04 Academic and administrative units may establish Departmental Guidelines and Processes. Departmental Guidelines and Processes may not contradict University Policies and should not be referred to as University Policies.
4.05 The University Secretariat Office is the official repository for all University Policies and Procedures and will make them publically accessible.
4.05.01 The Office of Accountability may display copies of approved and up-to-date University Policies and Procedures on its website by providing electronic linkages to the policy and/or procedure on the University Secretariat website.
4.05.02 The Office of Administrative Responsibility is the official repository for departmental guidelines and processes.
5.01 A University Policy will specify the Approving Authority, Office of Accountability, Office of Administrative Responsibility, original approval date, and date of most recent review. A University Procedure will specify the Office of Accountability, Office of Administrative Responsibility, Associated Policy, original approval date, and date of most recent review.
5.01.01 The Approving Authority is one (or more) of the following authorities:
a. the Board of Governors, which approves University Policies relating to the control of university property and revenues and the conduct of its business and affairs pursuant to Section 12 of the Act;
b. the Senate, which establishes and approves educational policies relating to the academic governance and educational matters of the university, pursuant to Section 19 of the Act; and/or
c. the President, who approves University Policies in their capacity as Chief Executive Officer of the university, pursuant to section 27 (2) of the Act, or with authority as delegated by the Board of Governors or the Senate.
5.01.02 The Office of Accountability is assigned to at least one of the following authorities, where multiple offices may be assigned depending on the nature of the University Policy and/or Procedure:
a. the Office of a Vice-President, Assistant Vice-President, Associate Vice-President, or University Secretary for a University Policy and/or Procedure within the scope of their portfolio;
b. the President for a University Policy and/or Procedure that is institutional in nature and transcends vice-presidential portfolios, or which relates to a non-vice-presidential direct report.
5.01.03 The Office of Administrative Responsibility is assigned to an office within the Office of Accountability. Where appropriate, the Office of Accountability may also be the Office of Administrative Responsibility.
5.01.04 For University Procedures, the Office of Accountability has final approval authority and therefore assumes the responsibilities and authority of Approving Authority.
5.01.05 Cabinet review and endorsement is required for all Board and Senate approved University Policies and may be required for president approved policies that have a wide reach as outlined in Procedures Relating to the Policy on University Policies and Procedures.
6.01 All University Policies and Procedures will be structured according to the format outlined in Procedures Relating to the Policy on University Policies and Procedures.
6.02 Large and lengthy policies
6.02.01 The University Secretariat shall be consulted to determine whether a large document is to be considered a University Policy, University Procedure, Departmental Guideline, or Departmental Process.
6.02.02 Large and lengthy documents, such as manuals and handbooks that apply to a specific department or area will be considered and treated as a departmental guideline for the purposes of this policy.
6.02.03 Lengthy documents that have broad application throughout the university may be considered either University Policies or Procedures, as indicated by the University Secretariat, and exempt from the standard policy/procedure format requirements. Procedures exempt from the standard format must follow all other procedure guidelines as described within this policy, and must be linked electronically to the appropriate section of the University Secretariat web site.
6.02.04 Exempt University Policies may include:
a. Collective Agreements;
b. Non-union Employee Group Handbooks;
c. University Academic Calendars;
d. Statement of Investment Principles & Procedures (SIPP); and
e. Asset Mix/Investment Manager Rebalancng Policies & Procedures
6.02.05 Exempt University Procedures may include safety manuals, handbooks, and guides.
7.01 New University Policies and Procedures are developed and approved according to the process described in Procedures Relating to Policy on University Policies & Procedures.
7.02 A University Procedure, where applicable, must be developed with the establishment of the University Policy or subsequently shortly thereafter. Not all policies will require a procedures document, while others may require more than one.
7.03 Each University Policy is assigned a number (1.00 - 99.99) specified by the University Secretary.
7.04 University Policies are classified as academic, development, financial, governance, operational, or research policies.
8.01 Review and re-approval processes for University Policies and Procedures are to be followed as described in Procedures Relating to Policy on University Policies & Procedures.
8.01.01 All University Policies should undergo a substantive review and re-approval at least every five years. A University Policy may also be reviewed in the interim as needed. The Office of Accountability for a University Policy is responsible for the review and recommendation of revisions to its Approving Authority.
8.01.02 A University Procedure must be reviewed when its Associated Policy is reviewed. It may be reviewed in the interim as needed. The Office of Administrative Responsibility for a university procedure is responsible for the review and recommendation of revisions to its Approving Authority.
8.02 The University Secretary may make editorial changes to a University Policy or Procedure, provided that such changes to not substantively affect the policy or procedure. Editorial changes to a University Policy and/or Procedure are subject to approval by the Office of Accountability.
Subject to legislative requirements or collective agreements, a University Policy or Procedure remains in force unless formally revoked by the Approval Authority.
University Secretariat Office will report annually to the Board of Governors on University Policies developed and reviewed during the year.
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