Policy Development and Implementation

Policy Development, Review, Approval, Adoption, and Post-Adoption Processes

Policy development and implementation follow defined business processes at Colorado State University. For academic policies and those relating to faculty affairs, refer to the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual or contact the Faculty Council. Policies contained in the AF/AP Manual are approved by the Board of Governors and may not be modified or superseded without Board approval. For other policies, development, approval and implementation are accomplished following the process described below.

Phase 1

Developing Policies at Colorado State University

Policy Development and Implementation Process

1) Propose a New Policy or Revise a current Policy:

The Proponent may be any campus unit or constituent with an interest in changing university policy. An Executive Sponsor who is a member of the President’s Cabinet must indicate support for the Proposal.

  • The Proponent notifies the Office of Policy and Compliance (OPC) of their desire to propose a new policy or revise a current policy.
  • The Proponent identifies an Executive Sponsor who will support the policy initiative and works with the OPC to draft a Policy Proposal/Impact Statement (“I/S”). The I/S provides background, general information, and justification for the proposed policy or policy change under consideration, as well as an analysis of the impacts that the new or revised policy will have on the campus community, the resources required to adopt, implement, monitor and enforce it, and its longterm benefits. A copy of the I/S form is available in Forms.
  • If there is another campus unit (or units) that will be responsible for implementing, carrying out, or reporting under the Policy, this is the time to involve those units, as well. (Each of these units may be referred to as a “Sponsoring Office”). The department that has primary responsibility for the policy will be designated as the Policy Owner.
  • The President’s Cabinet reviews the I/S to determine the appropriate next step.

2) Draft and Edit:

Following its review, the Cabinet may request that the Proponent move forward for policy development, may require further information, or may determine that the policy proposal should not be advanced. If further policy development is approved:

  • The OPC works with the Proponent, Policy Owner, and others throughout the entire drafting and editing process.
  • A Policy Template is used in the drafting of the policy. A copy of the Policy Template is available in Forms.
  • University stakeholder input is sought during this critical stage. Stakeholders include anyone identified in the “impact statement” part of the Proposal, as well as anyone that may have been identified by the Cabinet as a stakeholder. In addition, the I/S (and, when ready, the Policy draft) will be posted to the Policies Under Development page on the OPC website, open to the public for anyone to review and submit comments.
  • The Office of General Counsel (OGC) also provides legal review during this stage. If significant changes result from OGC’s review, it may be necessary to again consult with stakeholders to assure that their support (or objections) are still valid.

3) Review:

  • When the draft is considered “final,” it must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Sponsor.
  • The final policy document is presented to Cabinet by the Executive Sponsor. If Cabinet approves it, a recommendation will be made to the President to adopt the Policy. Under most circumstances, policies are presented to the Cabinet at a March or September meeting.
  • If necessary, the Cabinet may also request changes or additional information before making its recommendations.

4) Final Action:

  • The President makes final determination on the proposed policy.

Phase 2


1) Announcing and Implementing:

The Proponent announces and implements the policy with assistance from the OPC and, if appropriate, from Communications and Creative Services (CCS), within the Division of External Relations.

The Proponent, along with any other campus unit that has primary responsibility for the Policy, will then:
  • Announce the new/revised policy
  • Conduct any necessary implementation training
The Office of Policy and Compliance (OPC) will:
  • Assist the Proponent in announcing the new/revised policy
  • Catalog the Policy and post it to the Policy Library

2) Monitoring and Reporting:

After implementation, it may be necessary to monitor compliance with the Policy and note any problems that arise as a result of its implementation. This is primarily the responsibility of the Proponent and Sponsoring Office, though other compliance officials may be involved. This includes:

  • Maintaining and enforcing the Policy through the “internal controls” identified in the Proposal and Policy documents
  • Complying with any review/reporting requirements contained in the Policy

3) Periodic Review and Update

  •  1, 2 or 3-year review cycle applies
  • Proponent and responsible administrators work with OPC to review, revise policies, maintain compliance with changes in the law, and respond to changing campus needs

NOTE: A separate, “fast track” policy development process exists for creating and gaining approval of policy revisions that are non-substantive and policies that are so localized and/or limited in their impact that they are determined not to require the full process noted above. For more information about fast track policies, please contact OPC.