Streamlining Policy Development and Management at Drexel
November 3, 2021
Drexel’s Official University Policies (“Policies”) provide a framework of shared expectations, best practices and governance that supports the integrity and fulfillment of Drexel University’s mission and values. They are the guiding principles and rules that help us navigate challenging issues, manage institutional risk, and remain in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. As important as policies are to the way we function as an institution, it is just as important to make sure that the way we make policy reflects our values as a university community. And so I am pleased to announce that we are undertaking an ambitious project to overhaul and streamline Drexel’s policymaking process to better promote shared governance, standardization, transparency, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
The major changes that will be refined and rolled out through a phased implementation over the coming months include:
- Introduction of Drexel’s new centralized Policy Compliance Program, led by the Director of Policy Compliance under the Office of Compliance, Privacy and Internal Audit;
- Creation of a Policy Council made up of a diverse group of students, faculty and professional staff charged with advising units and ensuring that an equity lens is applied throughout key steps of the policy review process;
- Review, vetting and implementation of a new policy and process governing policy management and development – Official University Policies, DU-01 – that will supersede the former Authorizing Official University Policies, OGC-05;
- Increased community engagement in the policymaking process, including a standardized stakeholder engagement framework and a public comment period for all new Policies;
- Standardized policy template, definitions and other resources to support those responsible for drafting and revising policies; and
- Implementation of a new centralized policy-management software system that will support all of the initiatives above.
The Office of Compliance, Privacy and Internal Audit, under the leadership of Vice President and Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer Kim Upshaw, as well as our new Director of Policy Compliance Priscilla Wood, will be leading this effort and providing details in the coming weeks and months as the phased implementation unfolds. The next steps are to stand up the Policy Council (please see call for nominations below) and to begin vetting the new Official University Policies policy through the proposed compliance process.
For those who are currently in the middle of drafting or developing a new Policy or material changes of an existing Policy, please contact the Director of Policy Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. While the new process and Official University Policies (DU-01) are being vetted, you may begin to use the tools that are already available on the new Policy Compliance website, including the template and Intake Form [PDF]. But please know that these changes are being phased in, and they should not significantly impact your current work.
This new process will apply only to Official University Policies – those that are ultimately approved by the University President – not policies, procedures or guidelines that are established internally by individual schools, colleges or units.
Policy Council: Call for Nominations
The Policy Council will provide a voice for Drexel University community members in assessing and providing recommendations to Official University Policies. The Council will support shared governance; facilitate the review, recommendation and maintenance of policies; assist in making policies accessible to all members of the University community; help ensure an efficient and transparent policy development and compliance process through a more open review; and foster collaboration by engaging stakeholders across the University community.
The Policy Council will consist of up to 15 members, including up to five (5) representatives each from Drexel University’s student body, faculty and professional staff. We are seeking a diverse and inclusive group that includes, among other considerations, Drexel community members who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, as well as members of similarly underrepresented groups. Students, faculty members and professional staff members with an interest in University policymaking may nominate themselves or another member of the Drexel community to serve on the Policy Council by completing the Policy Council Nomination form. Nominations must be received by Thursday, November 18, 11:59 p.m. EST.
Please visit the Policy Compliance website for complete details on the Policy Council, including its full charge, deadlines and steps for the nomination and selection process, and time commitments associated with serving on the Council. Please direct any questions to email@example.com.
I want to acknowledge that these changes represent a significant and positive culture shift in the way we approach policymaking at Drexel and are the result of over two years of thoughtful work by three key committees:
- The University Advisory Committee (UAC) on Policy Process and Standardization, chaired by Associate Clinical Professor Theresa Fay-Hillier, DrPH, of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement and Undergraduate Affairs Erin McNamara Horvat, PhD, which laid the groundwork for this project;
- The Institutional Effectiveness Committee on Policies, chaired by Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Megan Weyler, which refined and fleshed out the UAC’s framework; and
- The Anti-Racism Task Force Subcommittee on Policies and Processes, chaired by Kim Upshaw and Associate Vice President and Dean of Student Life Katie Zamulinsky, which applied a diversity, equity and inclusion lens to the policymaking process.
Many thanks to the students, faculty and professional staff members who served on these committees or otherwise contributed to the work that led to the draft Official University Policies policy and process, which will be further vetted by the University community over the coming months.
Please look for ongoing communications from the Policy Compliance Program to keep you updated on the next phases of this project and how it will impact you. If you are working on a policy, are interested in joining the Policy Council, or have any questions about policymaking at Drexel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.