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Institutional Policies

This site provides a central reference for Smith’s institutional policies. The policies can be accessed alphabetically. 

Any institutional policies written after December 21, 2015, must follow the workflow and policy template below.

What is an Institutional Policy?

An institutional policy is defined as any policy that meets most of the following criteria:
has broad application or impact throughout the college;

  • involves a subject matter specific to one area that has direct financial or operational influence to the work of other offices across the college;
  • has budgetary impact and requires review and approval by a member of the senior staff;
  • seeks to ensure compliance with applicable laws, ethical norms, accepted best practices, promotion of operational efficiencies, enhancement of the college’s mission, and/or reduction of institutional risks; and
  • mandates or constrains actions.

Policy Applicability

College policies can apply to some or all members of the college community, including: (a) the Board of Trustees; (b) faculty, including visiting faculty; (c) employees; (d) volunteers; (e) students; and (f) others who are performing activities or providing services at or under the auspices of the college, including consultants, vendors, and contractors.

What is a Procedure?

A procedure can be defined as the operational processes required to implement institutional policy. Operating practices can be formal or informal, specific to a department or applicable across the entire institution. If policy is “what” the institution does operationally, then its procedures are “how” it intends to carry out those operating policy expressions.

Identifying a Policy vs. Procedure

Institutional Policy Procedure
Widespread application Narrow application
Changes less frequently Prone to changes
Uses language such as “required,” “mandated” or “must” Uses language such as “should,” “could” or “may”
Statements of “what” or “why” Statements of “how,” “when” or “who”
Usually expressed in broad terms Often stated in detail