Policy Process

An overview of the policy development process and the guiding principles for developing policy content

A triangle divided into four sections. At the top of the triangle, a section labeled, "Policy. Why it's necessary" On the bottom, left-hand side, a section labeled "Standards. What is required?" On the bottom, in the middle, a section labeled, "Procedures. How it's implemented." On the bottom, right-hand side, a section labeled, "Guidelines. What are best practices?"

What is a policy?

Policies are high-level statements with broad application throughout the university designed to promote operational efficiencies, enhance the university's mission, or reduce institutional risk. Policies state required actions that are defined by standards, procedures, and guidelines.

Read about the Policy Pyramid (PDF)

How are policies developed?

According to Policy on Policies, new policies must be written using the following template:

How are policies approved?

Policies are typically created, reviewed and approved within one of the following pathways:

Vice Presidents -

Responsible for administrative policies under the respective vice president's purview, such as financial or facilities policies.

University Governance -

Responsible for academic and operational policies that deal with the university's missions of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, some of which may require additional approval by the Board of Visitors.

Safety and Security Policy Committee -

Responsible for policies addressing university safety and security and emergency management, with authority delegated from the Board of Visitors.

Board of Visitors -

Responsible for hiring the president; approving salaries, personnel and student conduct policies, awards of tenure, tuition and fees, the university’s budget, new colleges, departments, and degree programs, and commemorative namings and special awards; the physical plant; and safety and security. This is the governing body of the university and operates under the control of the Virginia General Assembly.

Have questions about the policy process?

Reach out to the office of the Vice President for Policy and Governance at vppg@vt.edu for more information.