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Policy Development Process

This Policy addresses the process for developing, issuing, revising and maintaining all American University policies and applies to all university departments, faculty, staff and students. Internal policies that apply to the operations of individual units or departments may not conflict with a University Policy, but may be more restrictive.

The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that the American University community has ready access to well-developed and understandable University Policies. University Policies must be aligned with the university’s mission, values, and goals while enhancing operational efficiency and governance. American University formally approves, issues and maintains in a consistent format, official University Policies in a central Policy library. Individuals engaged in developing and maintaining University Policies must follow the requirements outlined in this document.

The Responsible Office will identify University community members who will be affected by the policy under development and who will help the Responsible Office craft the language for the policy (see Formulation and Issuance of University Policies, Sec. III (F)). These University community members are often referred to as “statekholders”.

Once the execution copy of the policy reaches the Office of General Counsel, it is routed to “Stakeholder Groups”, which are “specific university committees and representative organizations that are routinely provided with formal notice of Policy changes. Stakeholder Groups include, but are not limited to President’s Council, American University Student Government (AUSG), Washington College of Law Student Bar Association (SBA), Graduate Leadership Council (GLC), President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion (PCDI), Faculty Senate, and Staff Council. 

The purpose of routing the policy to these groups, is to inform them of the finalization of the policy and allow them the opportunity to provide any relevant feedback. 

The comments gathered from the Stakeholder Groups are sent to the Responsible Executive, who reviews the feedback provided, and determines whether changes should be made to the policy. The amount of time it takes to make this decision can vary depending on the department reviewing the comments. However, the goal is to update and finalize the policy within two weeks of receiving comments.  Once OGC receives the final executed version of the policy, it is posted to the University Policy Library, and an announcement is sent out to the Stakeholder Groups notifying them of the policy posting.

Most policies require only the approval of the Responsible Executive to become effective.  However, certain Policies that have broad institutional impact, may require the preparation and submission of a decision memo to the President prior to finalization. When the draft Policy is ready for final review and approval, the Responsible Executive will submit the draft Policy along with a decision memo to the President. A select few Policies require Board of Trustee approval, such as the Faculty Manual and the Gift Policy, will be forwarded by the Responsible Executive to the Board Secretary for placement on the Board’s meeting agenda.