University Policies

Policy number: 1.1

Policy section: Institutional Affairs

Revised Date: January 2, 2019

1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Policy Statement

University Policies are formal policies of Southern Methodist University (“SMU”) that have campus-wide application. This policy establishes a process for proposing, drafting, approving, publishing, revising, and withdrawing University Policies in a consistent, timely, and efficient manner. Only University Policies that have been promulgated in accordance with this policy have the force and effect of official University policy.

3.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, clarify institutional expectations, promote operational efficiencies, reduce institutional risk, and enhance SMU’s mission.

4.  Applicability

All faculty, students, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors are expected to comply with University Policies, as applicable.

5.  Policy Development and Approval Process

  1. Internal policy drafting process coordinated by Responsible Office.
    Once a need is identified, the Responsible Officer is responsible for developing a draft policy or revising a current University Policy using the standard policy template. University Policies should be drafted so they are clear and concise. The standard policy template must be used to achieve consistency, ease of understanding, and compliance with University Policies. The drafting Officer will consult with the other Responsible Officers in order to identify key Stakeholders affected by the draft policy. The Responsible Officer will seek input from Stakeholders as necessary and appropriate. All University Policies are subject to review and approval by the Office of Legal Affairs.
  2. Submission of the draft to PEC for Review.
    Upon completion of the draft, the policy is submitted to the President’s Executive Council (“PEC”) by the Responsible Officer for review and approval. If PEC does not approve the proposed policy, it is returned to the Responsible Officer for additional review.
  3. Approval by PEC and Promulgation of Policy.
    If PEC approves the proposed policy without modification, the approved University Policy shall be published on the University Policy Manual web site. The University Policy Manual is the official repository for University Policies and is maintained by the University Corporate Secretary.
  4. Implementation.
    The Responsible Officer is responsible for determining if special notice or training is required and for implementing the University Policy effectively and consistently. Each Responsible Officer, listed below, is responsible for ensuring that their designated University Policy sections are reviewed and updated regularly.

The SMU University Policy Manual is classified in the following subject areas:

Policy Section Responsible Officer
2.0 ACADEMIC AFFAIRS Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
3.0 ACCESS & EQUITY Executive Director for Institutional Access and Equity
4.0 BUSINESS & FINANCE Vice President for Business and Finance
5.0 DEVELOPMENT AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS Vice President for Development and External Affairs
6.0 FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Vice President for Business and Finance
7.0 HUMAN RESOURCES Vice President for Business and Finance
8.0 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Chief Information Officer
9.0 POLICE & PUBLIC SAFETY Vice President for Business and Finance
10.0 RESEARCH Associate Vice President for Research
11.0 RISK MANAGEMENT Vice President for Business and Finance
12.0 STUDENT AFFAIRS Vice President for Student Affairs


6.  Interim Policies

An Interim Policy may be promulgated by the President in situations where a University Policy must be established in a time period too short to permit the completion of this process.

7.  Exceptions

While University Policies are expected to be followed by University faculty, students, staff and others as applicable, an exception to a University Policy may be granted for good cause shown, by the Responsible Officer. An exception is ordinarily limited to the particular facts and circumstances giving rise to the request.

8.  Questions

Questions about University Policies and proposed revisions may be directed to the Responsible Officer or to the General Counsel. In order to facilitate compliance, Policies may include references to relevant offices and materials that are available to answer policy specific questions.

9.  Incorporated By Reference

The following documents and publications are incorporated into the University Policy Manual by reference and carry the full weight and effect of policy:

  1. The SMU Articles of Incorporation
  2. The SMU Bylaws
  3. The SMU Catalog
  4. The SMU Student Handbook

10.  Departmental Administrative Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines

University Policies are distinguishable from Departmental Administrative Rules, Procedures, and Guidelines, as defined in Appendix A

Appendix A: Definitions

“University Policy” means a statement of management philosophy and direction established to provide assistance to the University community in the conduct of University affairs. University Policies have broad application throughout the university and help promote coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promote operational efficiency, enhance the University’s mission, or reduce institutional risk. Compliance with University Policies is mandatory for all members of the University community, as provided in Section 4.

“Departmental Administrative Rule” means a rule that does not have broad impact on the University community but is limited in scope and application to the college, school, or department for which it is promulgated. In the event of a conflict between a University Policy and a Departmental Administrative Rule or Procedure, the University Policy will supersede.

“Procedure” means a set of statements that prescribe specific actions to be taken to conform to established University Policies or Departmental Administrative Rules.

“Guidelines” means general statements, recommendations, or administrative instructions designed to achieve the objectives of a University Policy or Departmental Administrative Rule. A Guideline may change based on the environment and should be reviewed more frequently than University Policies and Departmental Administrative Rules. A Guideline is not mandatory.  It is a suggestion of a best practice. "Guidelines" and "best practices" are interchangeable.

“Responsible Officer” means the person with administrative responsibility for the development and implementation of a section of the University Policy Manual.

“Stakeholder” means an individual identified by a Responsible Officer for potential contribution to the drafting process.

Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: January 2, 2019