Establishing University Policies


Policy Statement

Washington and Lee University establishes university policies to guide and govern institutional operations and to set standards and expectations across the University. The University seeks to bring consistency to creating and adopting university-wide policies, which will help the University maintain accountability and provide members of the campus community and those doing business with the University a clearer explanation of what governing principles and standards apply University-wide, rather than only to specific departments/schools. 


This Policy applies to creating, adopting, and amending policies that are intended to apply University-wide or that will impact a substantial portion of the University community.


Procedure - a set of detailed rules or specific actions that implement a University Policy.

Related Policies - those policies that are cross-referenced or substantially affected (but not contradicted) by a University policy.

Responsible Office - the University office/department responsible for administering and updating a University policy.

University Policy - a policy that applies University-wide or that impacts a substantial portion of the University community, not including school or department protocols, rules, or guidelines, even if they are labeled "policies." In the event of a conflict between a University policy and a school or department "policy," the University policy will control.


A. All University Policies and Procedures

  1. Should be:
    • Approved according to the process described herein
    • Maintained, regularly reviewed, and updated by the Responsible Office, as necessary
    • Accessible to the W&L community and, when necessary, to those doing business with W&L
    • Posted on the Office of General Counsel's central policy location (all other offices should link to that site rather than posting their own versions of a policy)
  2. Format:

University Policies need not have identical format, but should include the following standard elements:

    • Policy Title
    • The Name of the Office responsible for administering and updating the policy

B. School/Department-Specific Guidelines, Rules, or Protocols

There are department-specific or school-specific internal operating procedures, guidelines, protocols, procedures, and "policies" that do not meet the criteria for a University Policy. These should be identified as only pertaining to a certain department or school and the term "policy" should not be used as a label for them; rather, departments and schools should use terms such as "guidelines," "protocols," or "standard/internal operating procedures." School or department-specific guidance documents should not conflict with University Policies.

Policy-Making Process

A. New Policies

Recommendations for new policies should be made to the President, Provost, or his/her designee(s) for the appropriate areas such as: Academic matters to the Provost; Employment/Fiscal matters to the Vice President for Finance and Administration/Treasurer; and Student Affairs matters to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. New policy drafts (and substantive amendments to existing policies) should be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel before submission to the President, Provost, or designee(s) for approval. Once a proposed policy has been reviewed and received approval from the President, Provost, or designee(s), it will become effective.

B. Interim Policies

The Board of Trustees, President, Provost, or their/his/her designee(s) may establish an Interim Policy where there is a need. The Interim Policy will remain in force as long as necessary or until a final policy replaces it.

C. Revisions/Amendments

Recommendations for revisions/amendments to existing policies should be made to either: 1) the person/entity who approved the most recent version of the policy; or 2) the Responsible Office for the existing policy. Substantive revisions/amendments should be approved using the same process for adoption of new policies described above. Edits that are not material or are non-substantive may be made without further approval. 

D. Notifications

New/revised policies should be sent to the Office of General Counsel to be included on a webpage of University Policies.

Revision History