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Policy 1 – Initiation and Review of University Policies

Established: 26 May 1961 

Last updated: 1 July 1991 

Class: FS

1. Preamble

University policies document the principles and procedures to be followed in numerous aspects of University life and, as such, are binding on members of the University community. University policies become operational upon approval:

  • by the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo, or
  • by University Officers under authority delegated by the Board of Governors, or
  • by the Senate of the University of Waterloo (University of Waterloo Act, section 22) in the case of academic policies dealing with educational or academic matters.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe the procedures to be followed in the development, amendment and review of all University policies, other than academic policies which fall under the jurisdiction of the University Senate. Class F and Class A policies (defined below) concerning terms and conditions of employment of faculty and faculty administration have academic implications. Therefore, Senate is explicitly involved in the drafting and consultation process, and the approval of such policies. Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted in any way as limiting the powers conferred upon the Senate or the Board of Governors under the provisions of the University of Waterloo Act, 1972.

3. Classification

The University policies dealt with in this document belong to the following classifications:

Class F

University policies that concern exclusively the terms or conditions of employment of faculty members

 

Class S

University policies that concern exclusively the terms or conditions of employment of staff members

 

Class FS

University policies that concern terms or conditions of employment of both faculty and staff members

 

Class A

University policies that concern the appointment, promotion or removal of University academic administrative officers, including the President, Vice-President, Academic & Provost, Deans, Associate Deans, Chairs, Associate Chairs, Directors and Associate Directors of academic units

 

Class G

University policies that concern the use of buildings, grounds and physical plant, the conduct of persons (students, staff, faculty and visitors) on University premises, and other matters of a general nature

 

Class Z

University policies that cover the terms and conditions of employment of graduate and undergraduate students as Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants or undergraduate assistants by the University. (Other forms of employment of students are governed by staff employment policies.)

 

4. Jurisdiction, Initiation and Development

Class F

Jurisdiction

The responsibility for policy development is vested in the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC) (see appendix A).

Initiation

A request for initiation of a new policy or amendment of an existing policy may come from any member of the University community and shall be reviewed by the FRC, which will decide whether to proceed with the request. The decision will be to proceed if a majority (i.e., three) of the members appointed by each of the Administration and the Faculty Association is in favour, except that if the request comes from Senate or the Board of Governors, then the decision automatically will be to proceed. If the decision is to proceed, the process to be employed is described in detail in the following sections.

Development

A Faculty Policy Drafting Committee (FPDC) will be formed to develop new policies or to consider substantial amendments to old policies; its terms of reference will be provided by the FRC. Minor amendments may be dealt with directly by the FRC. A Faculty Policy Drafting Committee shall be composed of a minimum of three (maximum of six) members, one (or two) appointed by the President of the University, one (or two) members appointed by the President of the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) and one (or two) faculty members appointed by Senate. The Chair of the committee will be determined by the two Presidents.

The draft policy shall be sent by the FPDC to the Faculty Relations Committee. The FRC will then either return the policy to the FPDC for revision (if it determines that the draft has serious flaws in it or that the terms of reference have not been satisfied) or forward it as received (or with minor revisions) to the Senate, the Provost, and the Board of Directors of the FAUW for comment. It is expected that they will consult widely in their respective constituencies. The FRC will review any comments received via this process and, if necessary, instruct the FPDC on the preparation of a second draft. The FRC shall then make any revisions that it deems necessary to the second draft and send the policy forth for approval if it has support from a majority (i.e., three) of the members appointed by each of the Administration and Faculty Association. Should such majority support not be obtainable, the FRC shall shelve the draft policy and inform Senate and/or the Board of Governors.

Approvals

The approval process is a collegial one in which the approval by each of the Senate, the Administration, the Faculty Association and the Board of Governors, is required. The approval route is from the FRC to the President, then to Senate, and finally to the Board of Governors. Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from the FRC, the President will approve it and recommend it to Senate, or return it to the FRC with accompanying reasons for its return.

Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from the President, Senate will approve it and recommend it to the Board of Governors, or return it to the FRC with accompanying reasons for its return.

Upon receipt of the new or amended policy from Senate, the Board of Governors will approve it and the policy will be in force, or return it to the FRC with accompanying reasons for its return.

If the policy is returned at any stage, the FRC will review the reasons given for its return, make any revisions that it deems necessary, and return the (amended) policy for approval so long as it continues to have majority support from members appointed by each of the Administration and Faculty Association. If that support is lost, the draft policy will be shelved and Senate so informed.

Class S

Initiation

A request to initiate a new policy or to amend an existing policy shall be reviewed by the Staff Relations Committee (SRC) (see appendix B) which will decide whether to proceed.

Development

The SRC normally will act as the Class S policy development and amendment committee although it may appoint a sub-committee to prepare a preliminary draft.

Approvals

The SRC shall recommend the new or amended policy to the President if it has support from a majority of each of the Staff Association appointees and President's appointees. The President may then return the policy to the SRC or issue it as a University Policy, or recommend it to the Board of Governors for approval.

Class FS

Initiation

A request to initiate a new policy or to amend an existing policy can be considered by the FRC, by the SRC, or by the two committees. Either committee may decide to proceed. However, if the request to initiate comes from Senate or the Board of Governors, the decision will be to proceed.

Development

A Faculty/Staff Policy Drafting Committee (FSPDC) will be established with two members appointed by the President, two by the Faculty Association, and two by the Staff Association (and, if considered necessary by the President, one by CUPE Local 793 and/or one by the Federation of Students and/or one by the Graduate Student Association). The Chair will be appointed by the President in consultation with the Presidents of FAUW and the Staff Association (UWSA). Terms of reference for the FSPDC will be set by a joint meeting of the FRC and the SRC.

The draft policy will be sent to both the FRC and the SRC, who will send it through their usual consultative processes for feedback. If necessary, the policy will be sent back to the FSPDC for a second draft.

The FRC and the SRC will consider the draft policy. If approved by each, then the draft policy will be sent to the appropriate bodies for approval. If the draft policy is approved by one of the committees but not by the other, then a joint meeting shall be held in an attempt to reach a consensus. In the event that consensus cannot be reached, the joint committee shall consider whether the subject matter of the draft policy could be and perhaps should be split, and covered by separate Class F and Class S policies.

Approvals

Depending upon the nature of the policy, Senate and the Board of Governors may or may not be involved in the approval process. The terms of reference of the FSPDC shall specify the approval process to be used in each case.

Class A

Initiation, Development and Approval

As for Class F, except that the Policy Drafting Committee may be differently constituted. Membership in the committee shall be as for Class F policies, except that the President may appoint up to two additional members so that other constituent groups (i.e., students, staff) would be represented. Such appointments will be made in accordance with the procedures in agreements, if any, between the President and the constituent groups.

Class G

Initiation, Development and Approval

A request to initiate a Class G policy can be made to the President by any member of the University community. The initiation and development of Class G policies will be decided case by case by the President. When a Class G policy has been developed, it may be referred to any or all of the FRC, SRC and the Union/Management Committee for comment before being accepted or rejected by the President.

Class Z

Initiation

A request for initiation of a new policy or amendment of an existing policy shall be reviewed by the Graduate or Undergraduate Student Relations Committee (see appendices C and D) which will decide whether to proceed with the request. The decision will be to proceed if a majority of the members appointed by each of the Administration and the relevant student body is in favour, except that if the request comes from the Senate, Board of Governors, Federation of Students or the Graduate Student Association, then the decision automatically will be to proceed.

Development

A Policy Drafting Committee will be formed to develop new policies or to consider substantial amendments to existing policies; its terms of reference will be provided by USRC or GSRC. The PDC shall be composed of three students chosen from the constituency (i.e., graduate or undergraduate) affected by the proposed policy, and three non students appointed by the USRC or GSRC. The PDC shall choose a Chair from amongst its members.

Draft policies shall be reviewed by the relevant Student Relations Committee. The Student Relations Committee will either return the draft for revision or forward it for approval as outlined below. A decision to forward a draft policy requires a majority of both Administration and student members.

Approvals

Draft policies shall be submitted for approval to the Provost of the University. The Provost may return the new or amended policy to the Student Relations Committee, or refer it to the Senate Graduate & Research or Undergraduate Council, or issue it as a University Policy, or recommend it to the Senate and/or Board of Governors for approval.

5. Periodic Review of Policies

All policies should be reviewed at least every five years by the relevant Relations Committee(s) or, in the case of Class G policies, by the President or her/his delegate, to determine whether revisions or amendments are required.

Appendix A

Faculty Relations Committee (FRC)

The Faculty Relations Committee (FRC) is a consultative committee with equal representation from the Administration of the University and the Board of Directors of the Faculty Association of the University.

Purpose

The FRC has two roles, one general and not related to University policies, the other specific and related to University policies via Policy 1.

The general role of the FRC is to provide a regular forum for discussion of matters of mutual interest to the Faculty Association and the University Administration, namely, issues which affect faculty members.

The specific role of the FRC is to serve as the body with responsibility for the development of policies which concern terms and conditions of employment of faculty members. It has the drafting responsibility for Class F and Class A policies. Approval authority for these policies is joint between the Senate and the FRC, as approval by both bodies is required. The FRC has joint responsibility with the SRC for Class FS policies.

Membership

the University Officer responsible for day-to-day operation of the University (currently the Vice-President, Academic & Provost) and four senior administrators appointed by, and possibly including, the President.

There shall be five members representing the Faculty Association of the University (and all regular University faculty members, in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement between the Board of Governors of the University of Waterloo and the FAUW), including:

  • the President of the Faculty Association,
  • the Vice-President of the Faculty Association, and
  • three members of the Faculty Association Board of Directors, appointed by the FAUW President.

Chair

The Chair of the FRC shall alternate, from meeting to meeting, between the University Officer responsible for day-to-day operation of the University (currently the Vice-President, Academic & Provost) and the President of the Faculty Association. The person who is Chair designate for a particular meeting, if unable to be present at the meeting, will delegate.

Number of Meetings

The FRC shall meet on a regular basis, usually every two weeks, although meetings may be held more or less frequently, if agreed mutually, between the two alternating Chairs.

Conduct of Meetings, Rules of Order, Voting

It is expected that the FRC will operate in a collegial manner, with most decisions made by consensus, rather than by formal vote; however, when formal procedures are required, they shall be in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.

Secretary

The University Secretariat shall provide a Secretary for meetings of the FRC. Minutes of the meetings are confidential to the Committee.

Appendix B

Staf​f Relations Committee (SRC)

The Staff Relations Committee has been established with the following:

Terms of Reference

To serve as a mechanism for communication between those responsible for the staff relations function of the University and the University staff.

  • To discuss any matters of concern in respect to staff-University relations or staff working conditions.
  • To forward any suggestions arising from discussions to the appropriate University deliberative body or administrative unit.
  • In accordance with Policy #1, policies affecting staff exclusively will be developed by the Staff Relations Committee. The Committee may appoint sub-committees to prepare preliminary drafts of new or amended policies. The Staff Relations Committee will recommend new or amended policies to the President of the University. Drafts of policies affecting staff and faculty will also be considered by the Committee, according to Policy #1.

Membership: [revised 30 April 2012]

Vice-President, Academic & Provost*
Associate Provost, Resources*
Associate Provost, Human Resources*
Director, Human Resources*
Assistant Director, Client Services, Human Resources*
Faculty Dean - two-year appointment*
Senior Manager - appointed by the President for two-years*
Six members of the Staff Association Executive
One at-large member of the Staff Association
Total of 14 members.

*President’s appointee for the purposes of the subsection titled “Class S” under the section titled “Jurisdiction, Initiation and Development”

Number of Meetings

It is intended that this Committee will be a continuing one and that it will meet as often as necessary but, in any event, not less than ten times per year.

Chair

The Associate Provost, Human Resources and the Past-President of the Staff Association will serve as co-chairs, alternating meeting to meeting.

Appendix C ​

Undergraduate Student Relations Committee (USR)

Terms of Reference and Membership [revised February 2008]

The Committee will:

  1. Be a forum for communication between representatives of the undergraduate students and senior University officers with responsibility for student relations, and address matters of concern relating to University-student relations and/or student life.
  2. Inform, monitor and coordinate campus-wide efforts to implement Sixth Decade Plan goals relating to student engagement. The Committee will be informed by the results of survey instruments such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and by addressing issues and concerns referred to it from other deliberative bodies, University administrative units and student groups.
  3. Review and recommend to the Provost new incidental fees and changes to existing incidental fees assessed to undergraduate students (except for fees determined by the Federation of Students, committees on which the Federation of Students’ Executive officers sit, and those prescribed by contractual agreements between UW and the Federation of Students) (incidental fees are listed in the Undergraduate calendar and include health insurance, student societies, student government, voluntary student contributions, etc.).
  4. Receive, for information and comment, proposed changes in tuition and co-op fees.
  5. In accordance with Policy #1, be responsible for the initiation, development and review of Class Z polices, and be consulted on policies that affect undergraduate students, in general.

Membership [revised 10 April 2015]

Meetings are limited to members; however, resource people, or those with special interests or concerns, may be invited, at the Committee's discretion.

University

Associate Vice-President, Academic
Associate Provost, Students

Students

President, Federation of Students
Vice-President, Administration & Finance, Federation of Students
Vice-President, Education, Federation of Students
Vice-President, Internal, Federation of Students
Three students appointed by the Federation of Students, two of whom will be undergraduate student senators

Resource

Director, Institutional Analysis & Planning, or his or her delegate

Student membership on the Committee may change on April 30th each year as a result of student elections. A new cycle of meetings will normally begin on May 1st of each year. During any official presidential transition period, both the outgoing and new presidents may attend meetings to assure an orderly transition.

Chair: Alternating meeting to meeting between the Associate Vice-President, Academic and the President of the Federation of Students. 

Appendix D

Graduate Student ​Relations Committee (GSR)

Terms of R​eference and Membership [revised May 2018]

The Committee will:

  1. Be a forum for communication between representatives of the graduate students and senior University officers with responsibility for student relations and address matters of concern relating to University-student relations and/or student life.
  2. Inform, monitor and coordinate campus-wide efforts to implement Sixth Decade Plan goals relating to student engagement. The Committee will be informed by the results of survey instruments such as the Graduate & Professional Student Survey (GPSS) and by addressing issues and concerns referred to it from other deliberative bodies, University administrative units and student groups.
  3. Receive, for information and comment, proposed changes in tuition and co-op fees.
  4. Review and recommend to the Provost new incidental fees and changes to existing incidental fees assessed to graduate students (except for fees determined by the GSA, committees on which the GSA Executive officers sit, and those prescribed by contractual agreements between UW and the GSA.)
  5. In accordance with Policy #1, be responsible for the initiation, development and review of Class Z policies, and be consulted on policies that affect graduate students, in general.

Memb​ership

Meetings are limited to members; however, resource people, or those with special interests or concerns, may be invited to meet with the Committee, at the Committee's discretion.

Univ​ersity

Associate Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs
Deputy Provost
Associate Provost, Students

Stude​nts

President, Graduate Student Association
Four students appointed by the Graduate Student Association

R​esource

Assistant Director, Institutional Analysis and Planning
Director, Graduate Studies Academic Services

During any presidential transition period, both the outgoing and new presidents may attend meetings to assure an orderly transition.

Chair: Alternating meeting to meeting between the Associate Provost Graduate Studies and the President of the Graduate Student Association.

*NOTE: The Graduate Student Support Advisory Committee meets during the Winter term each year to prepare a recommendation to the Provost on increases in the TA rate, the recommended RA rate, the graduate scholarship fund, and the Graduate Student Millennium Bursary Fund. The Advisory Committee is chaired by the Associate Provost, Resources; other members are:

  • One Faculty Dean appointed by the Provost;
  • Two Associate Deans for Graduate Studies appointed by the Provost;
  • Three graduate students chosen by the GSA President, one of whom normally would be the GSA President [revised June 1997].