Improvement in Transmission System of Policy Review and Approval Process

Policy Memorandum No. 22

Recommended by the Faculty Senate
Approved by University Council: February 18, 1980
Approved by the President: March 31, 1980
Effective: September 1, 1980

This policy, a substantial revision in the procedure for communicating proposed policy changes within the University's governance structure, requires "that all commissions and other governance units forwarding materials relating to anticipated policy recommendations by the receiving unit to differnentiate the materials into:

(a) minutes subject to acceptance and confirmation (routine transactions of business); and

(b) resolutions providing the information essential for the debate and policy decision for which the receiving unit has responsibility."

Under current policy, the four commissions in the University's governance structure have forwarded their actions to University Council in the form of minutes of their meetings; Council may approve those minutes, thereby approving all actions within them; if, however, there is objection to any item or action reported in the minutes, any Council member may "except" such item, which then is discusssed on its merits and acted upon. This procedure has been criticized because it is sometimes difficult to identify proposed policy changes within minutes of lengthy discussions and routine actions and because the minutes at times do not state proposed policy changes clearly or furnish the information necessary for adequate review.

Under the change, minutes will continue to be forwarded to University Council for information and approval. In addition, each commission or other governance unit, beginning with the 1980-81 academic year, will be asked to forward separate resolutions concerning proposed policy changes. These resolutions should state the proposed policy change clearly and should include sufficient information for consideration and review by others in the governance system. The identification of an item as a "proposed policy change" is to be done by the chairman or secretary of each commission at the time the item is forwarded to University Council or other unit of the governance system.

The Faculty Senate has approved and currently operates a communications procedure using resolutions to express proposed policy changes. Other units in the governance system, such as committees, college faculty associations and the Student Government Association, also are asked to communicate proposed policy changes in the form of resolutions, beginning September 1, 1980.

More detailed information about this procedure will be furnished to appropriate officers of the governance units at a later date.


President's Policy Memorandum

URL: http://purl.vt.edu/vtdocs/policies/ppm22