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Syracuse University Policies

Welcome to the Syracuse University Policies web site.

The policies on this web site, including others that the University may add from time to time, are the official policies of Syracuse University. To the extent that different versions of these policies may appear elsewhere, the version set forth here shall be the official version and take priority over any inconsistent or conflicting version appearing elsewhere.

These policies are intended to support a safe, respectful, and ethical living, learning and work environment in compliance with the University's mission and values and applicable state, local, and federal law. All Syracuse University faculty, staff and students are expected to be familiar with and abide by the University's policies; and should be aware that there may be consequences associated with violation of policy.

Syracuse University reserves the right to exercise its judgment in establishing and administering policies, and retains the discretion to interpret any ambiguous or disputed provision. The University also reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures, in whole or in part, at any time and from time to time, without notice.

Individual schools, colleges, non-academic divisions, or operating units may develop, publish and enforce their own policies and/or guidelines for administering their areas of responsibility; however they must be consistent with official University policy. Such policies and/or guidelines are not maintained on this website. To the extent that any such policies and/or guidelines are inconsistent with University policy, the official University policy set forth here shall take priority.

What is a University Policy?

Syracuse University policies are statements of commitment to institutional principles, or mandates that respond to legal or regulatory statutes, address issues of behavior and interaction, or govern use of University resources. A policy typically:

  1. has broad institutional application;
  2. enhances the University's mission and provides operational efficiencies;
  3. mandates action or constraints and establishes boundaries for conduct;
  4. helps ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and reduces institutional risk
  5. changes infrequently and sets a course for the foreseeable future; and
  6. requires approval at the highest administrative levels of the University.
Policy Administration

Each University policy has one or more principle ‘owner’ (typically a specific department or office) responsible for responding to questions regarding procedures or compliance with the policy, enforcement monitoring, and updating the policy as necessary. Standard procedures, business forms or other incidental information associated with a specific policy are subject to change more frequently than the general policy and therefore are maintained by the policy ‘owner’ separate from this policy website. As appropriate, the policy document will contain hyperlinks to the procedures, forms, etc., along with contact information and links to other related policies, definitions, and frequently asked questions.

The University maintains a Policy Administration function as part of the Office of University Counsel, which exists to assist in the policy development process, communicate new and revised policies to the University community, and to ensure the policy website is accurate and current. Contact information for any questions related to policy administration is as follows:

Name: Ellen Hemmerlein
Title: Associate general Counsel
E-mail address:
Telephone: 315.443.9057

New or Recently Updated Policies

As new or revised/updated University policies are approved, they will be communicated to the campus community in a variety of ways to provide ample opportunity for all those affected by the policies to become aware of them. One method of communication is the “Repository of Recently Approved Policies” found on this website, which contains all Syracuse University policies that have been approved by the University within the last 6 months.

Organization and Search Feature

The policies are organized in eight (8) categories as noted in the menu on the left. Some policies may be listed in multiple categories depending on the nature of the policy. The website is fully searchable to assist the user in locating any University policy using specific key words or according to constituent populations to whom the policies may apply (i.e.; faculty, staff, students, etc.). Each policy may have links to related policies, forms, procedures, web sites, or other information relevant to the policy and its application. Questions about individual policies should be directed to the responsible unit noted under the “Policy Administration” section in each policy.

Reporting Violations of University Policies

Faculty, staff and volunteers are encouraged to report suspected violations of University policy to their immediate supervisors for resolution. If that is not a viable option, concerns should be reported by utilizing the web-based Confidential Hotline service administered by the Office of Audit and Management Advisory Services (AMAS). Click here for more information on reporting violations of University policy.

Other Authoritative Documents

Policy Development, Approval, and Communication Process

  • Policy Development
    • 1. The need for a new or revised University policy becomes apparent to a member of the University community who then identifies and communicates with the head of an academic or administrative unit to sponsor and draft a proposal for a new or revised policy.
    • 2. The sponsor consults with the Policy Administrator to obtain guidance on the policy development process and to complete a Policy Template form (located elsewhere on this website). The completed template form is submitted electronically to the Policy Administrator.
    • 3. The Policy Administrator will review the policy template form for completeness and correspond with the sponsor as needed to obtain any missing/incomplete information.
    • 4. The Policy Administrator will inform the members of the Policy Advisory Committee of the new/revised policy proposal and consult with the Committee as necessary throughout the policy development process (see item 6c below). The Policy Committee is composed of 6-8 members representing faculty, staff, and students.
    • 5. If the proposed policy is being submitted as a new policy, a review of all existing policies will be made by the Policy Administrator to determine whether a similar policy already exists that could be submitted for revision instead.
    • 6. Once all required information has been received, the Policy Administrator will obtain sponsor (Dean, Director, or Department Head) sign-off and review the proposed policy for the following attributes:
      1. Is the proposed policy in direct response to federal, state, or local legislation requiring the University to be in compliance?
        1. If yes, the proposed policy will be put on a ‘fast track’ to be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor’s Executive Team (or designee). The Executive Team may request guidance and consultation from the University’s General Counsel or other parties before acting on the proposed policy; but is not obligated to submit the proposal to a full evaluation or vetting process with constituent groups. Such policies will, however, be made available to the full university community during a general comment period prior to the policy’s effective date
        2. If no, continue to step 6b.
      2. Is the proposed policy considered to be a correction or revision of technical information contained in an existing policy and is not deemed controversial or contentious, nor does it modify the essence of the existing policy?
        1. If yes, the Policy Administrator is authorized to make the corrections and/or revisions.
        2. If no, continue to step 6c.
      3. Does the proposed policy apply to the institution as a whole or to a broad population of University faculty, staff and/or students requiring a University-wide policy? If not readily discernable, the Policy Administrator will consult with the Policy Advisory Committee and proceed as follows based on the Committee’s guidance:
        1. If yes, the Policy Administrator will seek guidance from the Chancellor’s Executive Team (or designee) as to which constituents should be given the opportunity to participate in a vetting process or comment on the proposal before the University Executive Team considers it for approval.
        2. If no, the Policy Administrator will advise the sponsor of the decision to not advance the proposed policy at the University-wide level, and advise the sponsor of other possible options.
    • 7. When a proposed policy has been authorized by the University Executive Team (or designee) for vetting and/or comment by constituent groups, that process will be facilitated by the Policy Administrator with assistance from the Policy Advisory Committee. The vetting/comment process may take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, those listed below and may include a timeframe window or deadline for completion of the process.
      1. General email/survey/questionnaire to all faculty, staff and students
      2. Live open forums
      3. Meetings with selected constituent groups or individuals
      4. Standing advisory committees (e.g., University Senate committees)
      5. Ad hoc committee to study the proposed policy
    • 8. The results of the constituent vetting/comment phase will be analyzed and integrated into the draft proposal as appropriate by the sponsor and/or the Policy Administrator which will then be presented to the Chancellor’s Executive Team (or designee) which will determine the next appropriate course of action, such as:
      1. Further edit the proposed policy in response to the constituent comments
      2. Terminate further consideration of the proposed policy
      3. Proceed to approve the proposed policy, subject to a 30-day public comment period
  • Policy Approval
    • 9. Adoption of a proposed new or revised University policy (other than the technical revisions discussed above in section 6.b.i) requires the approval of the Chancellor’s Executive Team. Such approval shall be communicated to the Policy Administrator via written communication from the Chancellor’s Office.
  • Communication of Policy Approval to the University Community
    • 10. The Policy Administrator will coordinate with the SU News Services and the sponsor of the policy to determine the constituencies to be reached, the most appropriate/effective type(s) of communication to utilize, and the timing of such communication, consistent with the written Policy Communications Plan developed by the Fast Forward Syracuse Policy Team.
    • 11. The Policy Administrator will be responsible for updating the SU policy website to include:
      1. The correct policy category
      2. The policy statement
      3. Verification that all hyperlinks to associated detailed procedures, forms, related policies, FAQs, etc. are correct, operational, and accessible
      4. The appropriate dates (i.e.; established, effective, revised, next review)
    • 12. The Policy Administrator will respond, with the assistance of the policy sponsor as needed, to questions or concerns of members of the University Community to any issues related to the interpretation of, or compliance with, the policy.

Policy Template

Pursuant to the process described above, proposals for new policies, substantial revisions, and/or technical modifications to existing policies may be submitted to the University Policy Administrator using the following standard template form. Upon submission of the completed form, the Policy Administrator will guide the proposal through the policy development process described above.

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