Approved by: The President
History: Issued              -- April 4, 2006
Revised            -- August 24, 2022
Last Reviewed -- August 24, 2022
Related Policies:
Additional References: Policy Process at the University; University Policy Website

Policy Owner:

Contact Person:

The President

Director of Compliance (Policy Committee Chair), tel. (202) 319-6170


I. Policy Statement


Policies of the Catholic University of America serve the important purpose of communicating the University’s values and expectations to members of the University community, and provide guidance as to their observance. The development, approval, and management of University policies should be consistent with the guidelines described in this policy.

II. Definitions


A. University Policy: A policy with broad application throughout the University that helps to ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations, promotes the University’s mission, or reduces institutional risk. The development of school, academic department, or administrative office policies is not covered by these policy guidelines, but such policies may not conflict with University Policies.

B. The Policy CommitteeProvides oversight for the development, approval, and management of University policies. The President has delegated responsibility for administrative management of the Policy Committee and internal policy process to the Chair of the Policy Committee, who also serves as the Director of Compliance. Members of the Policy Committee are selected by the President, and typically represent key segments of the University. In managing University policies, the Policy Committee should ensure that: (i) all policies required by law or other external regulation are in place and up to date; (ii) a periodic review process is in place; (iii) there is proper archiving of policies; (iv) the policies are consistent with the Mission of the University; and (v) controls are in place to prevent unauthorized access to the policies webpage editing platform.

C. Procedures: Statements that provide for the implementation of established University policies through specific, prescribed actions, and are more detailed than a policy. Procedures can be established by the Policy Owner without the formal review and approval process described in this policy. However, the Policy Owner may seek input from the Policy Committee.

D. Policy Owner: The University official, typically at the Vice President level or above, charged with overseeing administration of the policy, including a periodic review of the policy.

E. Contact Person: The individual within the organization of the Policy Owner who carries out the administration of the policy and is the initial point of contact for those with questions about the policy.

F. Academic PoliciesPolicies which directly affect the pedagogical and research missions of the University.

G. Administrative Offices: Offices that are essential to supporting the operations and mission of the University, including advancement, student affairs, enrollment management and marketing, finance, general counsel, compliance, public safety, and campus ministry.

H. Administrative or Operational Rules: Provide for the general administration, operations, and oversight of the University. Generally, these relate to routine matters within the purview of an Administrative Office of the University, e.g. parking passes, operating hours, library use, fitness facility use, campus dining, student housing requirements, chapel mass schedules, conference facilities. Administrative and operational rules are not University Policies, and can be adopted by the President, Provost, or a Vice President or his or her designee. However, they should relate to matters within their jurisdiction and not conflict with University Policies. 


III. Policy Approval Process

A.  Academic Policies


1. University Academic Policies 

Per the Bylaws of the University, the Academic Senate shares with the President responsibility for establishing, maintaining and supervising the academic policies of the University.

Proposed new University academic policies or proposed changes to existing University academic policies may be initiated by the Academic Senate or one of its committees, the Provost, or the President. The actions of the Academic Senate require the President's approval for validity. All University academic policies are ordinarily reviewed by the Provost and the Academic Senate, prior to final approval by the President. Where required in the Bylaws of the University or otherwise determined either by established policy, legitimate past practice, or decision of the President, some policies may also require the approval of the Board of Trustees. Those policies that do not require review or approval by the Academic Senate are ordinarily reported to the Senate by the Provost.

A new or amended University academic policy should be consistent in format and presentation with other University policies. Care should be exercised to prevent potential conflicts with other policies or inconsistency with applicable laws and external regulations. On these issues, a proponent of a new or revised academic policy should consult with the Policy Committee.

2. School or Department Policies

A School or Department of the University may develop additional academic policies that pertain only to the affairs of that School or Department, and need not follow the review and approval process detailed in this policy. Academic policies specific to a School or Department do not substitute for University academic policies, but may include additional regulations or provisions. All academic policies specific to a School or Department must not conflict with the appropriate University academic policy. The Dean of the relevant School or Department Chair should communicate such policies to the Provost, and consider whether review by the Office of General Counsel is necessary for any potential legal issues.

B. Implementation of Non-Academic Policies

  1. Proposing and Developing Policies

Policies may be recommended by any member of the University community. However, a formal proposal for adoption of a policy must come from  the President, the Provost, or by any Vice President. The proposal should be submitted to the Policy Committee Chair, who will coordinate with the Office of General Counsel for legal review. The Policy Committee Chair then will forward the policy to the Policy Committee.

New policy proposals should (i) explain the reasons for the proposed policy; (ii) summarize the content of the proposed policy; (iii) identify the stakeholders from the University community impacted by the policy, and whether they were consulted; (iv) identify any cost or resource requirements of the proposed policy, and any budgetary impact. The proposed policy should follow the format described in the Guidelines for Drafting and Editing University Policies.

  1. Review and approvals

The Policy Committee will review proposed policies and consider the following:

  • There is consistency in format and presentation;
  • No conflicts exist between a proposed policy and an existing policy;
  • There is a need for a University policy on the subject matter, or whether the aim can be accomplished in some other manner, including the adoption of procedures, or administrative or operational rules;
  • Whether the policy should be posted on the public webpages of the University or by internal means available only to faculty, staff, and employees;
  • The interests of stakeholders who will be impacted;
  • The cost or resource requirements of the proposed policy, including any budgetary impact; and
  • Consistency with the mission of The Catholic University of America.

Once the policy has been reviewed by the Policy Committee, the Policy Committee Chair will seek approval for the policy from the President. After approval by the President, the Policy Committee Chair will be responsible for posting the policy to the University Policy Website and for coordinating dissemination of the policy in coordination with the Policy Owner.

Notwithstanding the other provisions of this policy, some policies are approved by the Board of Trustees directly (e.g. the Investment Policy) and do not go through the policy process. In such instances, the Policy Committee Chair and Policy Owner remain responsible for coordinating dissemination of the policy as set forth above.


IV. Amendment and Rescission


Amendments to, or rescission of existing policies are subject to the procedures above for adopting new policies. Routine revisions that do not change the substance of a policy (such as changing hyperlinks, cross-references, position titles, or contact information in a policy) can be implemented by the Policy Committee Chair after consultation with the Policy Owner.

V. Periodic Review of Policies


It is the responsibility of each Policy Owner to ensure that their policies are reviewed on a set schedule. Policies need not be on the same review schedule. It is anticipated that some policies may require annual review, and others may not need an annual review and can be reviewed on a different schedule or as circumstances dictate. However, a policy should be reviewed  immediately if there is a change in the law or other circumstances that necessitate review or potential revision. Policy owners should provide their review schedule to the Policy Committee.

VI. Interim Policies


The President, Provost or a Vice President may adopt an interim policy, or amend or rescind an existing policy, in situations where such action cannot await  the development and approval  process delineated in this policy. An interim policy is generally effective for up to six months, but in any event will continue in effect until a determination is made to adopt, revise, or rescind the policy under the formal process described in this policy.

VII. Posting of Policies


All University-wide policies will be posted on the official University Policy Website. Where circumstances dictate that public access to a policy is not necessary, the policy may be made accessible only to faculty, staff, and employees. All school and departmental web pages must link to the official University Policy Website instead of posting their own versions of the approved policy.

Disseminating printed versions of policies is disfavored because policies are often updated, leading to potential inconsistency between print versions and the most current approved version published on the University Policy Website. In the event a policy must be printed it must include a disclaimer that the official University Policy Website should be consulted for the latest version. Note, however, that the disclaimer language should not appear on the printed version of a policy pertaining to academic requirements that is included in the University's Catalog Announcements.

VIII. Related Procedures and Guidelines


Policies may be supplemented by school or departmental procedures or guidelines that describe policy implementation practices. These supplemental procedures may be referenced in, and/or linked from, the relevant policy, as appropriate. The Policy Committee may review procedures and guidelines to assure consistency with University-wide policies.

IX. Archiving of Policies


The Policy Committee Chair, on behalf of the Policy Committee, will keep an archive of University policies. When a policy is revised or rescinded, the original policy must be archived, noting the effective dates of the original policy.