Development of Operational Definitions for University Senate

An Ongoing History

Terms: Policy, Procedure, Guideline, Practice, Information, Concern, Resolution

Last Updated 03-25-2008


1. Operational Definition of Policy

A policy is a statement of record that governs the conduct of the university community and/or embodies a general principle that guides university affairs.


Contextual Information on the development of this operational definition

   The Institutional Statutes state that the University Senate is the policy-recommending assembly of the University.


Section 1. The University Senate is endowed with all the legislative powers and authority of the University Faculty and shall be the policy-making assembly at the Institution.

Section 2. The University Senate shall have the responsibility for establishing committees, including any committees required to remain in compliance with policies of the Board of Regents, federal or state law, and accreditation or certification organizations that are needed for orderly and efficient governance.

Section 3. The University Senate shall not adopt any regulations affecting curricula, or the internal affairs of an academic unit except insofar as such action may be necessary to protect the interests of the Institution as a whole, but it may make recommendations to the faculty of an academic unit concerning matters within their jurisdiction.

Section 4. The University President shall have fifteen (15) calendar days to decide whether to accept or veto an action taken by the University Senate.  Should the President veto the action(s), the President shall provide the University Senate a written statement of the reason(s) for the veto. The University Senate shall have the right to (a) accept the veto; (b) confer with the President to construct a compromise action; or (c) reject the veto requesting that the President reconsider.  The decision of which action to take must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the voting membership of the University Senate.  If the University Senate or University President refuses to recede, and if agreement cannot be reached, the matter shall be referred to the Board of Regents through the Chancellor for review pursuant to the pertinent policies of the Board of Regents.

The University Senate Bylaws repeat this language quoting it in Article I.  This is the source of the idea of policy. Over the three years 2003-2006 there were conversations among Executive Committee (ECUS) members and the longitudinal ECUS (aggregate members of all ECUS up to a certain year) committees that have taken various names such as University Policy Committee, Statutes and Bylaws Team, and University Senate Bylaws and Governing Concepts Committee. These discussions have been informed by a combination of sources such as Black's Law Dictionary, Educational Leadership jargon, and good ol' Webster's Dictionary to produce what is being called the "operational definition of policy".


This operational definition of policy was developed in three drafts

2. Other terms