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Comprehensive Policy Review Process and Recommendations

Background

Upon his arrival in January, President Daniels requested a comprehensive review of all system-wide policies at Purdue.  Reflecting input he had received from faculty and other Purdue stakeholders in the six-month period prior to his taking office, the President’s threefold mandate was to ensure that the policies were:  (1) reasonable, (2) internally consistent and (3) necessary in the first place. 

To lead this effort, the President commissioned a team consisting of Alysa Rollock, Vice President for Ethics and Compliance, Jessica Teets, University Policy Office Coordinator, and Steve Schultz, University Legal Counsel.  After establishing a methodology for the review project and identifying a number of enhancements to Purdue’s policy framework to help guide its work, the team launched the comprehensive review of all 127 system-wide policies on May 1. Concurrently, the Executive Policy Review Group (EPRG) adopted a moratorium on the approval of any new policies or revisions to existing policies until August 31 to allow those involved in the policy review to focus on that process. 

The review process, which is explained in more detail below, revolved around a needs assessment that ultimately sought to determine whether a given policy should be rescinded, retained, retained but revised, or consolidated with another policy and/or recast as an alternative type of guidance. The comprehensive review process concluded on September 24.  

Overview of Recommendations

Number of Policies

Recommendation

8

Rescind

6

Retain as Is

55

Retain, but Revise

58

Consolidate and/or recast as a Standard, Guideline and/or Procedure (Net number of policies = 10)

Policy Hierarchy

Prior to commencement of the review process, the project team, in consultation with the EPRG and other stakeholders, developed a new policy hierarchy by which policies and supporting documents will be structured going forward. This hierarchy brought guidance to the reviewers when deciding whether a policy was needed to address a topic or whether another vehicle would be better suited. This hierarchy is depicted in the graphic below.

I. Board of Trustees Code II. System-wide Policy II.A System-wide Standard II.B System-wide Guideline III. Campus Policy IV. Operating Procedures V. Unit-level Standard

Needs Assessment

The needs assessment for each policy asked the following key questions:

  1. Is the policy necessary to promote the university's mission or relationships with stakeholders?
  2. Is the policy necessary to advance a university-wide risk management or operational efficiency objective?
  3. Is the policy necessary to implement a legal requirement?

The final portion of the needs assessment required a recommendation for the disposition of the policy.

The options given were:

  1. Retain the policy in its current form.
  2. Retain the policy, but make revisions.
  3. Consolidate the policy with another.
  4. Rescind the policy and manage the issue through other means (e.g., standard, guideline, procedure, training).
  5. Rescind the policy.

Review Process

The flowchart below depicts the process described in this section.

Flowchart depicting steps outlined below

Step 1

The process began with each office responsible for one or more policies completing the needs assessment for each of its policies. In total, 21 offices were involved in this step of the process. Deadlines for completion of the assessments were staggered, according to the number of policies each office had to review, with a final deadline of June 28.

Step 2

Following the responsible office’s completion of the needs assessments, the project team examined the assessments and added its comments to the document. This step in the process was completed August 19.

Step 3

The University Policy Committee (UPC), which is a standing committee charged with providing feedback on policy drafts, was the next group to review the assessments. In the interest of reducing time spent in meetings, they were given spreadsheets in advance of their meetings with the responsible office’s and project team’s responses and asked to complete a poll on whether they agreed with the proposed disposition for each policy or wanted to discuss it with the committee. The agenda for each UPC meeting focused on those policies where individuals had questions or concerns. Comments from the group were added to the document. This step in the process was completed on September 18.

UPC Membership

  • APSAC: Robin Cunningham
  • CSSAC: Gary Carter
  • Faculty, Calumet: David Pick
  • Faculty, Fort Wayne: Robert Barrett
  • Faculty, North Central: Janusz Duzinkiewicz
  • Faculty, West Lafayette: Patricia Hart, University Senate Vice Chair
  • Business Services: Sharon Steen
  • HR, Calumet: Michelle Clauss
  • HR, Fort Wayne: Rose Costello and Carolyn Ladd
  • HR, North Central: Sue Miller
  • HR, West Lafayette: Trent Klingerman and Sharon Williams
  • IT: David Shaw
  • Student Affairs: Jeffery Stefancic
  • University Policy Office: Jessica Teets

Step 4

The Executive Policy Review Group (EPRG), a standing committee that reviews final drafts of policies for approval, followed the same process as the UPC of reviewing documents ahead of time and using polls to determine what to focus discussion on during meetings. This step in the process was completed September 24.

EPRG Membership

  • Alysa Christmas Rollock, Vice President for Ethics and Compliance and EPRG chair
  • Al Diaz, Executive Vice President for Business and Finance and Treasurer
  • Laurel Weldon, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (designee for the Provost)
  • Thomas Keon, Chancellor
  • Vicki Carwein, Chancellor
  • James Dworkin, Chancellor
  • Luis Lewin, Vice President for Human Resources
  • David Williams, University Senate Chair

Recommendations and Results

The graphs below depict the recommendations from the EPRG for the dispositions of each of the 127 administrative policies reviewed and what the proposed reorganization would look like.

Revise: 55, Retain As Is: 6, Rescind: 8, Consolidate or Recast as Standard, Guideline and/or Procedure: 58

Policies: 71, System-wide Standards: 20, System-wide Guidelines: 1, Operating Procedures: 23