Policy on Policies

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Approved By:
Effective Date:
Revised Date:
General College
Policy Owner:
Office of the President
Office Number:


This policy outlines the procedure for developing, approving, issuing, and maintaining all institutional policies at SUNY Geneseo and applies to all departments, faculty, staff, and students at the College.

Policy Statement

  1. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that institutional policies support the mission and values of the College. To this end, SUNY Geneseo’s Policy on Policies provides all campus constituencies with clear guidelines for policy development, approval, and implementation, and the criteria and standards that apply across the institution. This policy is a supplement to SUNY Policies and Procedures and does not supersede it. An administrative unit, department, or individual may not create and/or implement a policy, procedure, or practice that interferes with the obligations of the College.
  2. SUNY Geneseo’s Policy on Policies is meant to:
    • provide guidance, consistency and transparency to the practice of developing institutional policies;
    • ensure policies affecting college operations are presented in a consistent format;
    • and promote accountability and compliance in all areas.
  3. Policies are distinguished from procedures based on the definitions provided in the “Definitions” section of this document. Individuals responsible for developing, disseminating and maintaining institutional policies must comply with this policy.


In order to ensure that all institutional policies remain consistent and accessible to the campus community, a standard format will be used in the development of all policies. The policy template is available at Policy Procedures


All institutional policies should adhere to the following format:

  • Header: Include policy name, policy category, policy owner, and office number.
  • Scope: Identify parties governed by the policy.
  • Policy Statement: The policy statement should answer the following question: what is the purpose of the policy?
  • Definitions: (as needed) Define terms that need explanation or that will aid interpretation of the policy.
  • Policy: Describe the policy in detail.
  • Effective Date: Identify the date the policy goes into effect.
  • Revision Date(s): Dates when the policy was revised, if applicable.
  • Periodic Review Date: Identify the date the policy was reviewed, if applicable.
  • Frequency of review and update: Describe the review process. It is recommended that a policy be reviewed every five years unless circumstances prompt a different review or revision schedule.
  • Signature, title, and date of approval: Required for initial approvals and all subsequent reviews and updates.


  1. The policy owner should schedule regular review and/or revision of the policy to ensure, where appropriate, compliance with current regulations and practices, and to confirm that the policy remains relevant and consistent with federal, state and SUNY policies. Generally, this review should not exceed five (5) years, but the timeline is at the discretion of the relevant cabinet member.
  2. If the Cabinet determines that a policy requires modification or revision, then the policy owner will draft the necessary changes. If there is no obvious policy owner, then the President, in consultation with the Cabinet, will identify and appoint someone to assume this role.
  3. If an administrative unit, department, faculty/staff member, or student wishes to recommend that an existing policy be revised, then the recommendation should be made to the policy owner for the existing policy.

*Substantial revisions to an existing policy are subject to the same process for adoption of new policies as described below.


  1. Once a policy owner determines that a college policy (either new or revised) is needed, or is directed to establish or revise a policy, the individual should submit a proposal to the President’s Office for consideration by the Cabinet. If any other member of the campus community wishes to propose a policy, the individual should consult with the appropriate Cabinet member (who is also a responsible officer) in their area, who may then take the proposal to the full Cabinet for consideration.
  2. If a proposal is approved, the policy owner should initiate the drafting process and consult with other relevant stakeholders who can inform the process.
  3. After appropriate consultation, the policy owner should submit the draft proposal to the responsible officer for review at the Cabinet level.
  4. The Cabinet may approve a draft proposal in its original form, or return the draft for further revision. The Cabinet has the authority to withdraw its approval of a proposed policy.
  5. Prior to adoption, all final, drafted College policies should be submitted to the Office of General Counsel (OGC) by the relevant cabinet member to ensure compliance with laws and existing SUNY policies and procedures.
  6. All College policies require the approval of the President’s Cabinet. If the policy materially affects an aspect of student life, it must be approved by the College Council. Such approval should be obtained after the policy is approved by the Cabinet and OGC.
  7. Once a College policy is approved and adopted by the President’s Cabinet and/or College Council, the Responsible Officer/Policy Owner should send it to the Office of the President to publish and share in the web-based central College Policy Library, as well as disseminate the policy to the campus community.


  1. Cabinet members, with the approval of the President, may develop an interim College policy (where a College policy is needed) if circumstances make such a step necessary. In such cases, the interim College policy will be in effect until a formally approved policy becomes effective.

Frequency of Review and Update

This policy will be reviewed for updates every 5 years.

Periodic Review Completed:  


Signed By  
Denise A. Battles

Denise A. Battles

Date of Approval