The University of Memphis

Formulation and Issuance of University Policies


Issued: March 13, 2015
Responsible Official: President
Responsible Office: President's Office

Policy Statement

Policy Statement

The University of Memphis community should have access to well-articulated and comprehensive University policies that describe the University’s functions and guide its operations; promote consistent and sound management decisions; and assist faculty, staff, and students with performing their duties and responsibilities.

Overall, the policies and procedures should support sound and effective business practices and be compatible with the values and strategic priorities of the University.

The policies and procedures also provide an internal control framework to assist University management in the following key areas:

  • Safeguard University Assets
  • Ensure the reliability and integrity of financial information
  • Ensure compliance with the many federal, state, and local laws and regulations affecting the operations of the University




To outline procedures for establishing, reviewing, and updating University policies and procedures so that they will be:

  • Presented in a standard format
  • Approved formally
  • Maintained centrally
  • Revised appropriately
  • Distributed promptly
  • Reviewed periodically


University Policy

A University policy is defined by all of the following criteria:

  • It has broad application throughout the University.
  • It helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) policies and guidelines; promotes operational efficiencies; and reduces institutional risks.
  • It has been approved by the President.

Subject Areas

University policies are listed in 6 subject areas: 

  • Academic, Finance, General, Human Resources, Research, Information Technology, and Student Affairs

Responsible Official

For purposes of policy making, the Responsible Officials include the President, Provost, Vice Presidents for Business & Finance, Student Affairs, Research, and External Relations, the Chief Information Officer, the Associate Vice President for Development, and the Athletic Director.

Responsible OfficeThe primary area responsible for issuing and enforcing the policy.  

Policy Administrators

Representatives from each Responsible Official/Responsible Office on the Policy Review Board (PRB), who shall coordinate the drafting of policies within their area, and the feedback from their area on the policies from other areas.


Establishing Policies - The Responsible Office

The need for new university policies or revisions to existing policies may arise anywhere (i.e., individual department, division, committee, council), but every policy must fall within the jurisdiction of a Responsible Official, and that area becomes the Responsible Office for the policy. That office develops and administers the particular policy and any associated procedures, and is accountable to the Responsible Official for accurate formulation and timely updating of the policy.

When formulating a new policy, the Responsible Office will be responsible for:

  • Confirming the need for the policy with appropriate Responsible Official(s), and receiving authorization to proceed with policy formulation;
  • Conferring with the appropriate Policy Administrator to receive non-substantive guidance on process, formatting requirements and other editorial guidance;
  • Ensuring consultation and coordination with other offices and administrators if a proposed policy involves matters within the purview of more than one Responsible Official or function;
  • Communicating with and gathering input from University governance groups, University officials with expertise in the subject matter of the policy or whose operations will be significantly impacted by the policy, or as otherwise appropriate and desirable based on the nature of the proposed policy;
  • Preparing final draft of proposed policy, with the approval of the appropriate Responsible Official;
  • Submitting the draft to the Policy Administrator for the area, who will coordinate PRB review of the proposed policy;
  • Responding to comments and questions received during the review process;
  • Revising the proposed policy as appropriate.

Responsible Offices are required to ensure the periodic review of policies relating to their area of responsibility.


Establishing Policies - The Policy Review Board

The Policy Review Board shall consist of the Policy Administrators from each area of the University, as well as representatives from the Offices of Legal Counsel, Internal Audit, Human Resources and the Faculty and Staff Senates. 

Step 1  Where a Responsible Office wishes to propose a new policy, or revise an existing policy, that area’s  Policy Administrator will guide the draft policy and operating procedures through the formulation process. 

Step 2  The Policy Administrator will present the draft policy to the Policy Review Board (PRB). The Policy Review Board will ensure that each policy is written clearly, in the standard format, and is compatible with values and strategic priorities of the University. The Policy Administrator for the Responsible Office will be responsible for:

  • Scheduling policy on agenda.
  • Distributing policy before the scheduled meeting to other members of the PRB.
  • Communicating new or revised policy within his/her area of responsibility and collecting feedback from his/her area.
  • Providing feedback to parties associated with the policy.
  • Discussing major changes/provisions impacting operations.
  • Completing the PRB Request for Action form.  

Step 3  All Policy Administrators must inform, notify, and discuss all policy action items with the appropriate people in his/her respective area, including the Responsible Official, and provide feedback to the Responsible Office. The Policy Administrator then acknowledges acceptance of the specific requested action by signature on the PRB Request for Action form.  The President may request an acknowledgment by each Responsible Official before approving a policy. 

Step 4  If the President approves the policy, the signed original is sent to Internal Audit.  If the President does not approve the policy, it is returned to the office of the Responsible Official or to the PRB for appropriate changes.

Step 5 Internal Audit retains the signed original and notifies the PRB and Information Technology Services for campus notification and web publication.    

Procedures for Revising Approved Policies

To revise or correct University of Memphis’ policies use the following procedure: 

1. If the revisions are typographical errors, broken or revised links, or changes/updates to the name of departments, the co-chairs of the PRB in communication with the Responsible Office will contact Information Technology Services to make the corrections. The co-chairs will notify the PRB by email or at the next scheduled meeting of the corrections.

2. All other revisions should be brought before the PRB for their review and determination of the course of action. If the revision is considered substantive, the normal review process will take place following the procedures outlined above for establishing policies. 

Interim Policies

On occasion, when necessary to meet urgent needs or in special circumstances, Responsible Officials can issue Interim Policies pending final approval pursuant to this policy.  These circumstances include instances when the University is mandated by federal, state or local law or regulation to adopt a new policy.  An Interim Policy has the full authority of a University policy.  An Interim Policy must be approved by the President and will be effective until superceded by the revised or newly issued policy.

Related Forms

Policy Review Board - Request for Action Form  

University of Memphis Policy Template  


Who makes University Policy?

The University is bound by federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the policies and guidelines established by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). The TBR has granted authority to the President of the University of Memphis to establish policies necessary for the governance of the institution. The President has delegated responsible officers/councils within the University to develop and recommend policy, but all University policies must be approved by the President to be effective. 

What is an Internal Operating Procedure?The internal operating procedures comprise specific instructions within a particular area or function. Such effective operating procedures serve as a control that helps management ensure directives are carried out, necessary actions are taken to address risks, compliance with laws and regulations are validated, and processes are reviewed for continuous improvement. Departmental procedures and forms can be linked to University policies.  

Are there other sources of official University policies and procedures?

Yes. The Faculty, Student and Employee Handbooks and the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Law Catalogs also contain University policies. 

How can I create policies that comply with the standard template?The University of Memphis Policy Editor website can help you to create new policies using the current University policy template, and view and print policies that are under construction.  The address is  Consult the online Help section for instructions on gaining access to and using the secure system.     

Whom do I contact with questions about establishing, revising, or deleting a University policy or procedure?Contact the Policy Administrator for the area in which you have a question. The Policy Administrators and their contact information are available on-line at:  


University of Memphis Policy Editor Website

Revision Dates

  UM1348 -- updated March 13, 2015
UM1348 Rev.2 -- updated April 27, 2010
UM1348 Rev.1 -- updated January 25, 2008
July 12, 2002 (Working Policy Number: 1348)

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyResearchStudent Affairs