Policy on Institute Policies

Type of Policy: 
Effective Date: 
October 2012
Last Revised: 
February 2015
Review Date: 
January 2019
Policy Owner: 
Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Contact Title: 
Policy Specialist
Contact Email: 
Reason for Policy: 

Recognizing the need for a common, consistent, and transparent process for Institute policies to be thoroughly reviewed, maintained, and made available to the campus community, Georgia Tech has adopted this Policy on Institute Policies (also known as the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process) to promote policy awareness, compliance, and accountability.

Policy Statement: 

Institute policies at Georgia Tech must have Institute level approval. In order to do this, Institute policies need to be reviewed and approved by the appropriate committees and authorizing bodies. All Institute policies will be reviewed and approved as described below (Procedures: Institute Policy Development & Life Cycle Process).

As part of this process, each Institute policy will be made available in the appropriate forum for comment from the campus community. The Policy Steering Committee will ensure that Institute policies that affect both academic and administrative constituents receive cross-comment from those constituents.

Once an Institute policy has been approved, it will be published and made publically available on the Policy Library. Campus-wide announcements will be made for new policies or changes to policy, when appropriate.

All Institute policies will be subject to review by the Policy Owner every three years after adoption or substantial revision, or when there is a change in applicable law, regulation, or Board of Regents policy, whichever comes first.


This policy applies to all Georgia Tech faculty and staff members.


Academic Policy

Institute policies that provide requirements for faculty governance and for student life relating to the educational process, including admission, student discipline, classes, courses of study, and requirements for graduation.

Administrative Policy

Institute policies that establish and align administrative operations, set behavioral expectations across the Institute, and communicate multiple division, department, or office roles and responsibilities.

Department Policy

Department or division policies that are internal to an organizational group and are solely applicable to that department or division within a college, school, institute, lab, center or administrative unit at Georgia Tech. Department policies complement Institute policies. Where a conflict may exist, Institute policies supersede department policies.

Editorial Revision

Grammar, title, typographical error, or other minor changes to an Institute policy or procedure that will not require campus-wide review and communication.

Expedited Policy

Minor policy revisions or substantive changes to policies that are required due to change in law or compliance obligation may undergo an expedited review. Like regular policies, expedited policies will receive full review and approval; it will just be in a more condensed time frame. The ultimate decision if a policy qualifies for expedited review will be made by the Policy Steering Committee.

Institute Policy

An Institute policy is a governing principle that mandates or constrains actions at Georgia Tech, supports the Institute’s mission and strategic goals, has Institute-wide application, and impacts a substantial number of members of the campus community (usually all students, all faculty and/or all staff). There are two types of Institute policy: Academic Policy and Administrative Policy.

Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process

The standard process by which Institute policies gain Institute level review and approval. Within this standard process, there are three separate approval tracks for Faculty Handbook, Student Regulations, and Administrative Policies.

Interim Policy

Interim policies may be approved by the President to address matters that require immediate attention. Interim policies do not initially utilize the full Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process, but should undergo the full review process within one year of going into effect.


Policies are statements that reflect the philosophies, attitudes, or values of Georgia Tech related to a specific issue. They are generally represented in a paragraph or two, not pages. They might say "what" but not "how." Procedures, standards, and guidelines all must implement, reflect, and support the applicable policy or policies.

Policy Champion

A Georgia Tech faculty member, student, or staff member who proposes a new Institute policy or a change to an existing Institute policy.

Policy Owner

The Georgia Tech faculty governance body or administrative unit primarily responsible for the implementation of an Institute policy. All policies are ultimately subject to the approval of the President and the authority of the Board of Regents.

Policy Steering Committee

A Georgia Tech committee of faculty, students, and administrators appointed by the President who oversee the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process, review all new or substantially revised administrative policies, and provide comments on academic policies.


Procedures are a series of consecutive action steps related to a policy that specifies how a particular process should be completed. Procedures include information on who, what, when, and where of the policy.

Substantial Revision

Any change to an Institute policy or procedure that will require campus-wide review and communication is a substantial revision to that policy or procedure.

Step 1. Determine Policy Scope and Type
Policy Scope and Type

Scope: The Policy Steering Committee can help a Policy Owner or Champion determine if a policy is an Institute or a department policy. Only Institute policies are approved using the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process. Departments have their own procedures for approving their department policies.

Type: The Policy Steering Committee determines whether an Institute policy is Academic or Administrative.


Step 2. Initiate Policy Development
For new or substantial revision to Institute Policy only

If the proposed policy is either a new Institute policy or a substantial revision to an existing Institute policy then:


Step 3. Policy Process Tracks
Academic Policy Tracks

The policy review process for Academic Policies is established and administered by the Faculty of Georgia Tech. There are two standard policy approval tracks for Academic Policies:

Administrative Policy Track

The policy review process for Administrative Policies is established and administered by the Institute Policy Steering Committee. There is one standard policy approval track for Administrative Policies:

Flow Chart

For information on how all three of these Institute policy approval tracks interact with one another, please see the complete Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process flowchart.


Step 4. Policy Publication and Communication
Policy PublicationOnce adopted, Institute policies are published in the relevant section of the Policy Library, as well as highlighted in the Policy Library’s Recently Updated Policies section.
Policy Communication

All new or substantial revisions to Institute policies are communicated to the campus community through a standard policy communication plan that includes various print and electronic publications.

While it is primarily the responsibility of the Faculty Statutes Committee, the Student Policy Owner, or the Administrative Policy Owner to identify if more targeted policy communications are needed, Institute Communications and the Institute Policy Specialist will work closely with these groups to develop more targeted communications strategies, if needed.


Step 5. Policy Review
Review Cycle

All Institute policies should be reviewed by the Policy Owner every three years after adoption or substantial revision, or when there is a change in applicable law, regulation, or Board of Regents policy, whichever comes first.

The Policy Steering Committee will coordinate three year policy reviews to be conducted by the Faculty Statutes Committee, Student Policy Owner, or the Administrative Policy Owner. This does not prevent more frequent review of policy by the above individuals, if desired.

After review, if a substantial revision must be made to a policy, begin again at Step 2.



Legal Affairs and Risk Management
Legal Affairs and Risk Management is responsible for maintaining the Policy Library.

Policy Steering Committee
The Policy Steering Committee is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process.
  • Determining Institute policy need and type (Academic or Administrative) and whether revisions are editorial or substantive.
  • Reviewing and approving new Administrative Policies and changes to current Administrative Policies, as described in the Institute Policy Development and Life Cycle Process.
  • Facilitating communication between Academic and Administrative Policy stakeholders during policy review.
  • Ensuring that there is an effective and appropriate communication plan in place to make the affected campus constituents aware of Institute policy changes.

All faculty and staff members must abide by this policy in the development of Institute policy. If a faculty or staff member violates this policy, the member must begin work with the Institute’s Policy Specialist to correct the policy violation within three months of awareness or notice of violation.

Policy History: 
 Revision Date Author Description
 01-07-2015 Legal Affairs and Risk ManagementRevisions
 10-01-2012 Legal Affairs and Risk Management New Institute Policy
Map of Georgia Tech

Compliance and Policy Management
760 Spring Street N.W. Suite 324
Phone: 404-385-0731