Resources for Policy Writers

The following documents are designed to assist policy and procedure owners as they navigate the process of formulating, documenting, and promulgating campus wide policies and procedures at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Campus Policy on Policies This draft policy statement (December 2008) provides an overview of the campus policy affecting the formulation and approval of campus wide policies and procedures, a description of the documentation requirements, the responsibilities of policy and process "owners", and the role of Policy Coordination.

Policy and Procedure Transmittal Sheet This transmittal sheet helps policy and process owners document the review and approval process of new and revised policies and procedures.

Policy Template This policy template is a predesigned fixed format structure used to provide guidance and facilitate easy, consistent capture of all required policy components.

Campus Policy Approval Flowchart This draft process (2008) documents the steps involved in the campus policy approval process.

Guide to Writing Policies and Procedures  Written in 1994, this guide is designed to explain the campus' policy and procedure framework, to help policy and procedure owners organize their written documentation, and to act as a resource as they navigate the approval process.  Writing policies and procedures is not as difficult as one might think...information in this "how to" guide is intended for individuals who are responsible for formulating or documenting new or existing policies and procedures.

These guidelines resulted from the work of a Policies and Procedures Team that concluded that improvements in the campus' process for documenting policies, procedures, and delegations of authority were desirable.  Their report, University Policy and Procedure Formulation, Approval, and Dissemination (October 1994), articulated the need for clear authority for policy formulation (e.g., campus delegations of authority); provided specific guidance concerning the responsibilities of policy owners and how policy is formulated, approved, and disseminated; and recommended the creation of a Policy Coordinator.

UC Systemwide Policies
University Policy Office in the Office of the President is the office of record for Presidential delegations of authority and Presidential policies.  The process of development, coordination, review and issuance of these documents is the responsibility of that office; legal review is the responsibility of the General Counsel of The Regents.  Presidential policies may be issued in the form of letters, statements, delegations of authority, or as policy manuals.

UC System Policy Toolkit offers additional resources for policy writers, including the UC Policy Style Guide.

Non-UC Resources
Occasionally this site provides a link to an important non-UC resource (e.g., Federal regulations). 

Policies and Procedures


Policy.  A University policy is a written statement that meets all four of the following conditions:

  1. It has general applicability to members of the University community (and is not specific to a particular division, department, or office).

  2. It addresses basic values of the University, or supports the teaching, research, and public service mission of the University, or promotes efficient operations, or ensures compliance with laws or regulations, or reduces institutional risk.

  3. It mandates or constrains certain actions and may contain specific requirements for compliance.

  4. It requires formal approval by the highest executive or academic authorities of the institution (e.g., The Regents, the UC President, the Chancellor, the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, an officer of the University specifically designated by the President or Chancellor, or the Academic Senate).

Procedure.  A procedure is a set of guidelines or a description of a set of steps or a process which, if followed, implements policy.

UC Santa Cruz' on-line policy and procedures system was developed and designed to assist the campus in its goal of providing tools needed to effectively move decision-making to more appropriate levels within the campus' organization and to streamline its processes.

Delegations of Authority

Delegation of authority letters assign formal authority and responsibility for actions and activities to specific campus administrators.  This authority is usually originated by the President of the University.  In addition, campus administrators have certain responsibilities inherent to their job responsibilities.


  • Align authority with effective organization levels of responsibility; i.e., place delegation (authority) where actual decision responsibility, financial accountability, and the most information necessary to make decisions rests.
  • Localize decision-making as much as is reasonably possible within the constraints of the Presidential delegation; i.e., place authority at lowest reasonable level consistent with campus decentralization philosophy.
  • Ensure consistency; i.e., ensure that delegations are consistent with current policy; place authority for decisions that affect a unit's budget--such as personnel actions--at the same level as authority for management of resources, whenever possible.

Policy Coordination

Policy Coordination (, x9-4003), on behalf of the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor and Chancellor's Offices, is responsible for coordinating campus delegations of authority and policy development.  The Office is also responsible for maintenance of this web site and for serving as a central consulting resource to campus administrative officers and policy and procedure owners.

Office of Record

The Office of the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor is the office of record for the official version of all campus delegations of authority and of all campus administrative policies.