Policies review underway, panel named to advise on process

UO seal in stained glass

The university is close to having all the puzzle pieces in place to embark on a major review of all its policies.

The UO is undertaking the mammoth task of reviewing hundreds of policies inherited during the shift in governance from the State Board of Higher Education to the UO Board of Trustees. The university is also working on a new set of rules about how policies are developed and reviewed under the new institutional board.

The new Policy Advisory Council appointed by interim President Scott Coltrane will meet for the first time on Feb. 2. The group is made up of faculty, staff and students, as well as the University Senate president.  The membership is listed here.

The policy council will advise the president on how to prioritize and organize the policy review process in cooperation with the various departments and people on campus who are affected by the policies. See the charge here. The council will also ensure the campus community has ample time to provide feedback and input on the creation or revision of policies.

Coltrane said he is also close to finalizing the language of a new policy on university policies after working with the board of trustees, the University Senate and administrative staff.

“We have worked really hard to come to an agreement that ensures that the Senate has input on academic matters, and which also allows the university to be efficient and organized in its work going forward,” Coltrane said. “I think we’ve made incredible progress, and I appreciate the way everyone has cooperated and stepped up to the workload.”

The issue of a new policymaking process was before the board in December but was postponed after the University Senate expressed concern about the proposal. In response to those concerns and to allow additional time for the Senate to assist in drafting, Coltrane requested, and the board agreed, to delay its vote on a proposal.

Coltrane is expected to send the new draft to the board for consideration at its March meeting.

In the meantime, the University Senate has begun reviewing more than 300 policies. At the Senate meetings on Jan. 14 and Jan. 21 the senate discussed dozens of policies; of those, they identified 31 policies for repeal or amendment. Those recommendations now go to the president.  

With more than 700 policies to review, the Policy Advisory Committee has its work cut out for it, but members are committed to a consultative process and will work as expeditiously as possible.

—By Jennifer Winters, Public Affairs Communications