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 Policies contained in the AF/AP Manual are approved by the Board of Governors and may not be modified or superseded without Board approval.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

1) Propose a new policy

The Proponent for a new policy 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 Executive Leadership Team must indicate support for the Proposal. 

  • The Proponent notifies the UPO 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 UPO 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 long term benefits. 
  • 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 UPO works with the Proponent, Policy Owner, and others throughout the entire drafting and editing process.
  • 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 UPO website, open to the public for anyone to review and submit comments. A feedback form will be provided with the draft policy to encourage reviewers to consider how the policy might better meet the University’s mission and Principles of Community.
  • 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) Revew:

  • When the draft is considered “final,” it must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Sponsor.
  • The final policy document is presented to the Cabinet by the Executive Sponsor. If the Cabinet approves it, a recommendation will be made to the President to adopt the Policy. 
  • 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


Policy approval starts the next phase of the process that includes disseminating the policy to the university, implementation, training and posting the policy to the Policy Library. A communication plan may be recommended for this step.

  1. The Proponent and Policy owner is responsible for implementation. The UPO will assist as needed.
  2. If compliance measures are required, they should be reflected in a compliance plan or program.

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 UPO to review, revise policies, seek stakeholder input on policy revisions, maintain compliance with changes in the law, and respond to changing university needs.

NOTE: A separate, “fast track” policy development process exists for creating and gaining approval of policy revisions that the President and the Vice President for University Operations determine do not require the full process noted above. For more information about fast track policies, please contact UPO.