University Policies Posted To New
Chancellor John Petersen had heard it too many times: trying to find a specific University or state policy was harder than it had to be.
So he asked the human resources staff to come up with a solution.
The result will be unveiled July 1, when the Policy Management Committee officially launches a new website, the University Policies E-Library, that brings the University's policies together in one place and is accessible from the UConn home page.
Update: The e-library is now available online here.
"The committee did an excellent job," Petersen says. "The site is easy to navigate, the profile of each policy is clear and concise and, by July 1, more than 100 policies applicable to our constituents, internal and external, will be there for the asking. This is long overdue, but I couldn't be more pleased with the results."
Ultimately, nearly 200 policies - on topics ranging from consulting to PTR to voluntary leave - will be posted on the site, says Mary Ann Lally, a specialist in the human resources department who was charged with coordinating the project.
More will be added as they are developed, and those already posted will be updated, if necessary, annually.
A menu on the site's home page allows visitors to browse the policies by title, effective date, department, or constituency: faculty, employee, student, or "other." Each listing is linked to a separate webpage for the specific policy.
On each page, the particular policy is preceded by a brief profile that gives the policy's title, author, effective date, to whom it applies, when it was last reviewed, and a phone number for more information. The profile is followed by the full text.
Because of the complexity of gathering the information, Lally says, not all existing policies will be on-line by July 1, including some that are pertinent to the University's research mission, where University, state, and federal policies are involved. And policies the committee deemed to be specific to departments, offices, or units will not be included.
"Vice Chancellor Fred Maryanski (who chaired the committee and is responsible for the overall process) only wanted University-wide policies on the list," says Lally, "so the group's first task was deciding what constituted a University-wide policy."
To pass that threshold, the committee decided, a policy must be one that is sanctioned by the administrative authority of the University or its governing boards; have a broad institution-wide application; be a governing principle for both established and future activities of the University;
and exist to ensure consistency in University practice to conform with UConn's mission and goals, federal and state legislation, collective bargaining agreements, and other legal requirements.
There will be few if any new policies on the site, although they could be easily added as they are developed. Rather, Lally says, the site brings together the vast number of policies that already exist at UConn, but have been maintained in different offices, in different forms, designed for different groups of people.
That method, however, has often proved unworkable since many policies affect a broad range of constituencies. Consequently, the committee created by Petersen brought together representatives from all of UConn's divisions as well as representatives from the University Senate and the Department of Human Resources.
"Another positive outcome of the project is that we were able to update a number of policies that hadn't been reviewed for years," says Lally. "And now that we have a dedicated individual in each division responsible for that division's policies, we will be able to review them annually."
Lally says the format also will allow administrators from other universities or state agencies to easily review UConn's policies when reviewing their own rules or researching how UConn handles certain activities. She said the policy committee took advantage of other sites, nationwide, when researching ways to make the UConn site easy to access and use.
Starting July 1, that effort should pay off.