EWU 201-01: Policy Management

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University Operations – Administration

EWU Policy 201-01 Authority: EWU Board of Trustees
Effective:  May 19, 2023 Proponent: Vice President for Business & Finance

This policy prescribes standards for administration of policies and procedures at Eastern Washington University. It includes guidance for management of other regulatory documents related to university operations.

History: This policy revises the previous version dated February 22, 2019, with updates to the appendices on August 1, 2019. It was approved by the Board of Trustees on May 19, 2023.

Applicability:  This policy pertains to all functions and operations at Eastern Washington University.


1-1. Goals

The primary goals of policy management at Eastern Washington University are:

  • to provide a comprehensive source for policies and procedures relevant to the organization and operation of the university
  • to provide open access to those policies
  • to provide standards and procedures for managing University Governance Provisions
1-2. University Governance Provisions

Throughout this policy, University Governance Provisions refers to any authoritative item related to the organization or operation of EWU and includes the following. All policies must conform to all higher legal authorities and are listed below in order of their level of authority.

a. Laws: Rules developed by the state or federal legislature that have a binding legal force on the governance and operations of the university and its constituents. Title 28B (Higher Education) of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) establishes all Washington State public institutions of higher education and prescribes state laws relative to institutional governance and operations. Laws are the highest legal authority governing university operations.

b. Regulations: Rules and regulations adopted by state and federal agencies. This includes legislatively required or authorized rules enacted by the university which are subject to a legally mandated review process prior to implementation and which have the force of law following Board of Trustee approval. Title 172 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) contains the regulations expressly enacted by the university. Washington Administrative Codes, along with other federal and
Washington State regulations, are the second highest legal authority governing university operations.

c. University Policies: Official policies of the university adopted under the authority of the Board of Trustees. These policies establish standards for the organization and operation of the university. University Policies are the third highest authority governing the university.

d. Academic Policies: Official policies recommended by the Academic Senate and approved under the authority of the university president. These policies relate to academic standards and procedures of the university and are the fourth highest authority.

e. Annual Catalog: The catalog is published each academic year and contains detailed information related to admissions, academic programs, degree requirements, and student resources and support services. Although much of the catalog’s contents are reprinted from other documents, some items are unique, particularly provisions relating to admissions, applications, and academic program details.

f. College Policies & Procedures: operational procedures and standards developed at the college level.

g. Department Policies & Procedures: operational procedures and standards developed at the department level.

h. Department Handbooks: Colleges, departments, and administrative or academic units may publish handbooks for employees or students as needed to provide updated information. Such publications shall be in accord with existing policies and may not establish regulations or procedures contrary to higher authority.

i. University Guidelines: University Guidelines are standard procedures of the university which are published under the authority of the university president. University Guidelines are not binding; they contain guidance related to specific functions and are intended to enhance efficiency. Guidelines are not intended to, do not, and may not be relied on to create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party in legal proceedings limited to arbitration or litigation.


2-1. Structure

University Governance Provisions will be functionally organized within a Policy Framework. Primary functions, designated as “Parts”, are as follows:

Part 1 – Organization
Part 2 – University Operations
Part 3 – Academics & Research
Part 4 – Personnel & Civil Rights
Part 5 – Students
Part 6 – Health & Safety
Part 7 – Colleges & Departments
Part 8 – Athletics
Part 9 – Standards of Conduct

Each ‘Part’ may be broken down into “Sections”. The Policy Framework will be maintained through the policy management website.

2-2. Contents

The Policy Framework will include all University Policies, Academic Policies, Title 172 WAC, and, as much as possible, required Unit Policies such as college, department, and unit plans. The framework will include other Unit Policies as needed/appropriate.

Items will appear in the Policy Framework in the most relevant section. If appropriate, items may appear in more than one section.

The policy management website will provide access to items in the framework either as hosted documents or as links to documents.


3-1. Policy and Procedures

A policy is an official statement that details the requirements applicable to specific events and circumstances. For University Policies, the actual ‘policy’ is contained within the body of the document. Procedures are established methods of carrying out policy requirements. For University Policies, procedural tasks, forms, guidelines, etc., may be contained within the appendices to the policy. In this way, procedural information is not only maintained with the policy it supports, but it may also be easily modified by the proponent. Time specific information, i.e. tuition rates, course fees, etc., may also be contained in appendices.

3-2. Content

Policy details: University Policies and Academic Policies will, as much as possible, include the following details.

a. Purpose: Briefly states the intent of the policy.

b. History: The history will state if a policy is new or a revision and should identify any superseded policies. It should also state when, and by whom, the policy was adopted. The history may also include information relative to what created the need for the policy, i.e. a law, regulation, or other external requirement.

c. Applicability: Identifies to what persons, colleges, offices, units, and/or activities the policy applies.

d. Proponent: Identifies the organization having overall responsibility for development and management of the policy. The proponent is also responsible for policy revisions and periodic review.

e. Authority: The authority is the entity which formally approves policy adoption. Changes to the policy must also be approved by the designated authority. The only exception is the authority delegated to the proponent for changes to appendices and for housekeeping corrections (see Delegation in chapter 4).

f. Identification: Each University/Academic Policy will be identified with a unique number consisting of the Part number, Section number, a dash, and a 2-digit number. For example, EWU Policy 201-01 refers to Part 2 ‘University Operations’, Section 01 ‘Administration’, and Policy 01 ‘Policy Management’. An Academic Policy would take the form, “Academic Policy 201-01”.

3-3. Style and Format

a. University Policies and associated procedures will be written as clearly and concisely as possible. The average reader should be able to easily understand the policy’s requirements. Policies and procedures should include sufficient detail to avoid confusion.

b. University Policies: For consistency, ease-of-use, and readability, University Policies will follow the formatting example in Appendix B. The Policy Administrator is responsible for ensuring compliance.

3-4. University Guidelines

University Guidelines will, as much as possible, conform to the content and formatting requirements for University Policies. Identification will include ‘University Guideline’, followed by an identification number determined in the same manner as specified for University Policies.

3-5. Unit Policies

There is no prescribed format for Unit policies.


4-1. General

This chapter prescribes standards for adopting, revising, repealing, and reviewing University Policies. It also prescribes standards for managing other University Governance Provisions.

4-2. Adoption and Revision of University Policies

a. Authority: The Board of Trustees has the authority to adopt or revise University Policies.

b. Procedures: Detailed procedures for adopting or revising University Policies are included at Appendix B. At a minimum, procedures for proposed University Policies will:

  1. Include coordination with the president, relevant executive leaders,, and university stakeholders (e.g. departments, faculty organization, ASEWU, unions, etc.) directly affected by a proposed policy;
  2. Include a review by the Assistant Attorney General where deemed appropriate;
  3. Allow feedback from all other university constituents and interested parties who post comments or contact the Policy Administrator;
  4. Encourage open discussion of proposed policies;
  5. Include presentation to the Board of Trustees; and,
  6. Include a vetting process consisting of a comment and input period of at least 20 days.
4-3. Interim Policies

The adoption and revision process may be adjusted by the Board of Trustees or university president if deemed in the best interest of the university. In such cases, a policy may be immediately adopted as an ‘Interim’ policy under the authority of the university president or designee.

Whenever possible, interim policies will be published using the formatting standards prescribed in Appendix A. Interim policies will be clearly identified by adding ‘Interim’ to the policy number or title and by including an expiration date in the policy history statement.

Interim policies will expire 180 days following the date of issuance. During this time, the policy will be vetted through the standard procedure (Appendix B) unless the policy proposal is withdrawn.

4-4. Housekeeping Changes

When making housekeeping changes to existing policies, policy proponents may forego the standard procedures of Appendix B and may execute such changes without the need for formal approval by the policy authority.

Changes authorized under this section include:

a. Changes to appendices
b. Changes to the table of ‘Contents’
c. Changes which do not constitute a material change in policy. Housekeeping may include simple corrections in spelling or grammar, modifications in formatting, updating titles of departments or personnel to coincide with current organizational structures, or similar changes.

Changes made under this section must be approved by the Policy Administrator before they are posted to the Policy Framework.

4-5. Repeal

To be repealed, existing policies which include any material provisions that have not been superseded or made otherwise obsolete, will follow the standard procedures of Appendix B.

Existing policies that include no material provisions which have not been superseded or made otherwise obsolete, may be repealed with approval of the university president.

4-6. Periodic Review

In order to remain current and pertinent, policies must be periodically reviewed. At a minimum, University Policies should be reviewed every five years by the policy proponent. The University Policy Administrator will work with proponents to identify when policy reviews are needed and will keep a record of review actions.

4-7. Supplementation

Supplementation of laws, regulations, and university policies and establishment of related local guidance and procedures is granted to colleges and departments, so long as any such supplementation does not conflict with university level policy or higher authority.

4-8. Washington Administrative Codes

Additions or changes to existing WACs will be managed by the Policy Administrator and processed in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW and WAC Title 1, Office of the Code Reviser.

4-9. Conflicting Provisions

When a conflict exists between University Governance Provisions, the highest authority provision takes precedence. Subordinate provisions must be modified to conform to the higher authority.

4-10. Academic Policies

Academic Policies are developed by the academic community through the processes of the Academic Senate. These policies become official policies of the university upon recommendation from the Academic Senate and approval by the university president.

4-11. University Guidelines

University Guidelines are published under the authority of the university president. The procedures in Appendix B are not required. Instead, management of University Guidelines will conform to the following basic process:

a. Proponents coordinate proposed guidelines with departments responsible for implementing the guidelines as appropriate.

b. The Policy Administrator ensures proposals are consistent with content and format standards.

c. Completed proposals are forwarded to the university president for action.

d. Approved items are incorporated into the Policy Framework as described for University Policies.

POLICY ADMINISTRATOR’S NOTE:  Appendices for this policy include: Appendix A (Policy Format), Appendix B (Procedures), and Appendix C (Timeline).  These appendices may be viewed in the PDF version of the policy.