Create a New Policy
Any Cornell individual or unit may identify the need for a new university policy to connect the university’s mission to individual conduct, clarify institutional expectations, support compliance with laws and regulation, mitigate institutional risk, and/or enhance productivity and efficiency in the university’s operations.
What qualifies as a new policy?
A new policy can be created to address an institutional risk, a university mission or value, and/or legal or regulatory requirements that cannot be covered by revising or consolidating any existing university policies.
The new policy is sponsored by at least one responsible executive (vice president, dean, or unit head), who designates a responsible office to be accountable for the content, management, and enforcement of the policy. If approved, the new policy is given a university policy number and added to the university policy library.
Timeline and process overview
Note: If circumstances do not allow sufficient time to complete the standard university policy review process, the interim policy process is used in approved circumstances.
|Responsible Party||Task||Typical Turnaround Times
(4-7 months total)
|1||Unit||Provide high-level description of need for new policy to University Policy Office||1 day|
|2||University Policy Office||Review high-level description, set up consultation, and provide Impact Statement template and policy template||5 days|
|2||Unit||Prepare Impact Statement and standard slide deck (provided by University Policy Office) and submit to University Policy Office||2-4 weeks|
|3||University Policy Office||Coordinate EPRG review of Impact Statement||2-4 weeks|
|4||Unit||Draft new policy and submit to University Policy Office||4-8 weeks|
|5||University Policy Office||Coordinate PAG review of new policy||2-4 weeks|
|6||Unit||Revise new policy per PAG recommendations and submit to University Policy Office||2-4 weeks|
|7||University Policy Office||Coordinate EPRG review of new policy||2 weeks|
|8||Unit||Finalize new policy, resubmit to EPRG for approval if needed, then submit to University Policy Office||2 weeks|
|9||University Policy Office||Prepare new policy for publishing and publish||1 week|
|10||Unit||Initiate communication and training plan||(not included in timeline)|
- Engage leadership
A responsible office, responsible executive, or individual determines that existing university policies cannot be appropriately revised or consolidated to address an institutional risk, a university mission or value, and/or legal or regulatory requirements. The relevant university leadership (including vice presidents, deans, or unit heads) discusses the need for a new university policy. If it is agreed that a new policy is warranted, they identify the appropriate responsible executive to sponsor the new policy, who names a responsible office to develop the new policy.
- A policy owner (one individual designated by the responsible office) is named to coordinate the policy development process, which typically involves getting input from multiple units and stakeholders. The policy owner also serves as the primary point of contact for the University Policy Office.
- Consult with the University Policy Office (UPO)
The policy owner contacts the University Policy Office (UPO) about the intent to develop a new policy. The UPO consults with the policy owner regarding the need, and then discusses the policy development process, reviews the timeline, and develops an action plan with the policy owner.
- The UPO provides the Impact Statement template, the university policy template, and the standard slide deck templates to be completed by the policy owner and presented to the Executive Policy Review Group and the Policy Advisory Group.
- Draft the Impact Statement
The policy owner develops the Impact Statement, with participation and review from the stakeholders, including the responsible office(s), responsible executive(s), and the Office of General Counsel. Focusing on the Impact Statement first allows for stronger planning and input upfront, leading to a better first draft of the policy.
- Present the Impact Statement to the Executive Policy Review Group
The UPO arranges with the policy owner to present the Impact Statement to the Executive Policy Review Group (EPRG) for discussion and approval.
- Draft the new policy
The policy owner drafts the new policy with participation and review from stakeholders, responsible office(s), responsible executive(s), and the Office of General Counsel.
- Present the draft of the new policy to the Policy Advisory Group
The UPO arranges with the policy owner to present the draft of the new policy to the Policy Advisory Group (PAG). PAG reviews and provides recommendations for improvement and clarification. The policy owner, in collaboration with the stakeholders, revises as needed.
- Present the revised draft of the new policy to the Executive Policy Review Group
The UPO arranges with the policy owner to present the revised draft of the new policy to the Executive Policy Review Group (EPRG). EPRG reviews and either approves the new policy or provides recommendations for improvement and clarification.
- If recommendations are provided without approval to publish, the policy owner, in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders, revises and resubmits to the UPO to provide to EPRG for approval.
- Send the approved new policy to the UPO
The policy owner provides the approved new policy to the UPO. The policy owner also specifies the date (and time, if necessary) to publish the new policy.
- Typically, the policy owner does not review the new policy again prior to publication. If the policy owner wants to review again, that request is made as part of this step.
- The UPO responds to the policy owner confirming the requested date and noting how the UPO will announce the new policy.
- The UPO prepares the new policy for publishing and publishes
- Additional editing may be conducted by the UPO to comply with university formatting and editorial style conventions.
- The UPO notifies the policy owner and responsible executive when the new policy is published.
- Initiate communication and training plans
- The UPO announces the new policy through standard university communication channels, unless the responsible office specifies that they will take this action.
- The responsible office is accountable for determining the need for additional communication and training to constituents covered by the new policy, and carrying out those activities.