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What is policy?

Policy represents the university's official vision, intention, and direction regarding any topic. Policy is generally very broad, allowing for the creation of standards, guidelines, and procedures. Here you can learn more about how these governance documents relate to each other.

  • Policies are university-wide rules established at the executive level.  They represent the intention and direction of the university, formally expressed by the administration and management.
  • Standards are university-wide rules established by those authorities who are designated in university policy.  These tend to be broad, setting standards for conduct and process within the OUs.  Standards must always conform to applicable policies.
  • Guidelines are documents created by subject-matter authorities who are designated in university policy.  These documents contain recommendations to assist in the creation of related procedures.  Guidelines must conform to applicable policies and standards.
  • Procedures are documents created or adopted by OU administrators, with specific directions for conducting business and operations at the university.  Procedures must conform to applicable policies and standards, and should also adhere to applicable guidelines, where practical.