University of Maine System Policy Proposal Guidelines

All University of Maine System (UMS) policies are classified as Board of Trustees Policies and are accessed on the Board of Trustees website under the Policy Manual section.  This APL supplements the information outlined in Board of Trustee Policy 216 Policy on Policies to provide additional details on the information required to submit a proposal for a new Board of Trustees Policy.  Board Policy 216 and this APL do not apply to administrative or departmental procedures or guidelines or administrative practice letters.

Below is a description of the information that should be included in the proposal.

Policy Proposal Format

Section Category:

The section category will be preliminarily assigned by the Policy Initiator and confirmed by the Clerk of the Board and will be one of the follow areas:

Section 100:  Introduction
Section 200:  Governance & Legal
Section 300:  Academic Affairs
Section 400:  Human Resources & Labor Relations
Section 500:  Student Affairs
Section 600:  Research & Public Service
Section 700:  Financial Affairs
Section 800:  Facilities
Section 900:  Information Technology
Section 1000:  Other

Policy Number & Title:

The policy number will refer to the appropriate section within the Board of Trustees Policy Manual. The policy number will be preliminarily assigned by the Policy Initiator and confirmed by the Clerk of the Board.  The policy title is the primary means of identifying, locating and referring to a policy.  It should be clear and concise and accurately represent the policy content.

Proposal Date:

The date the policy proposal was initiated.

Responsible Official:

The responsible official is the office who will be responsible for maintaining the policy.


The policy contact staff member will serve as the primary person to respond to comments and specific questions about the policy.  Provide an email address, preferably an office email rather than an individual’s personal emailPlease include telephone numbers and URLs if appropriate.

Review Cycle:

The review cycle refers to the frequency with which the policy will be reviewed for relevance or revision.  Policies should be reviewed no less than every three years.

Policy Initiator:

The policy initiator is any administrator, faculty, staff member, Trustee or Board Committee who identifies an issue and develops a policy proposal. 

Stakeholder Group(s):

Stakeholders are UMS community members who are affected by the policy being developed.

Proposed Effective Date:

The date the policy initiator is proposing as the effective date of the policy.  This needs to take into consideration the Board Policy Approval process before establishing the proposed effective date for the policy.

Policy Statement:

This section broadly describes the policy’s core provisions or requirements.  This section should generally be very brief.


Define any specialized terms used in the policy proposal.  List terms alphabetically using a standard outline format (i.e., I.A.1.a)


This should include all details of the policy being proposed.  Please use a standard outline format (i.e., I.A.1.a).

Related Documents & Resources:

This section may list resources including links to related documents, resources or contacts in addition to the one listed in the header under “Contact” from Responsible Office.  These can include, but not limited to:

  • Documents such as policies, guidelines, manuals, contracts, APLs etc.
  • Other documents such as laws, regulations, statutes, etc.
  • Departmental websites where procedures are maintained
  • Contact information for relevant subject matter experts

Policy Proposal Process

A Policy Initiator identifies a policy issue and develops it into a policy proposal with the written approval of the Responsible Official after consulting with the Clerk of the Board.  The Policy Initiator may establishment a working group to assist with research, data gathering and development of the policy proposal.  The Policy Initiator will submit the policy proposal to the Responsible Official for review.

The Responsible Official will socialize the policy proposal with the appropriate content-area stakeholder(s) and leadership groups for review, feedback, information sharing and impact on members of the UMS community.  The Responsible Official and the Clerk of the Board will determine the appropriate content-area stakeholder(s) and leadership groups required to be consulted, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • General Counsel, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, Presidents Council and key campus stakeholders,
  • Campus-level departmental leadership groups such as Chief Academic Officers, Enrollment Managers, Chief Student Affairs Officers, etc., and
  • Campus foundation and/or advancement staff

If the policy is endorsed by these appropriate content-area stakeholder and leadership groups and by the Clerk of the Board, the Responsible Official will submit the signed policy proposal to the Vice Chancellor responsible for the content area.  Once a policy proposal is approved and signed by a Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor, the Responsible Official will develop the draft policy from the policy proposal and submit it to the Vice Chancellor who will provide it to the Clerk of the Board for review prior to submission and review by the appropriate Board Committee.

If the policy is not endorsed by these appropriate content-area stakeholder and leadership groups, the Policy Initiator will confer with the Responsible Official, the Clerk of the Board and other applicable UMS leadership to determine how to proceed:

  • proceed with the proposed policy as presented,
  • modify the proposed policy and resubmit,
  • do not proceed with the proposed policy, or
  • develop the information as an APL or internal administrative/departmental guideline or procedure.

Stakeholder Groups

Appropriate stakeholder and leadership groups may include, but are not limited to, to the following individuals or departments:

  • subject-matter experts,
  • operational groups affected by the policy, and
  • those responsibility to fund, implement, oversee or establish compliance with policy provisions.

The Responsible Official will work closely with the Office of General Counsel to address legal, regulatory and compliance concerns prior to finalizing a draft policy that will be circulated to others, including stakeholders and leadership, for review.

Policy Approval

The Vice Chancellor, in consultation with the Clerk of the Board, will determine whether a draft policy is ready to present to the Board of Trustees.  The Clerk will discuss the policy proposal with Board Leadership.  If the draft policy and the final policy proposal is ready to move forward, the documents will be submitted to the Board of Trustees Office to include in the meeting materials for the appropriate Board of Trustees Committee and full Board of Trustees for a first read (an information sharing agenda item).  Following any substantive revisions, the policy and the final policy proposal will be presented to the appropriate Board of Trustees Committee and full Board of Trustees for a second read (an actionable agenda item) at the next regularly scheduled Committee and Board of Trustees meetings.

The Responsible Official will maintain the official copy of the policy proposal.  Draft policies that are approved by the Board of Trustees become active UMS Board of Trustees policies and will be updated with the appropriate effective date.  The Board of Trustees Office will maintain a historic record of all versions of approved Board policies and will post an electronic version of current policies on the Board of Trustees website under the Policy Manual section.

The Responsible Official will be responsible for educating applicable UMS groups about any such policy; such education is to be guided by recommendations from the Clerk of the Board.

Policy Review Cycle

The Clerk of the Board will notify the Responsible Officials when policies are scheduled for review or revision and is available to work with the Responsible Official during all phases of the policy review process, including, if applicable, implementation of a training schedule.  This notification will be done by using a Review Cycle Tracking Sheet initiated by the Clerk of the Board to the Responsible Official.  The Responsible Official will complete the Review Cycle Tracking Sheet and return it to the Clerk of the Board by the deadline date indicated on the form.

The Responsible Official is responsible for monitoring compliance and facilitating remedies for noncompliance as directed by the policy and as informed by conversations with appropriate leadership.  Legal, regulatory and compliance concerns regarding policy noncompliance are required to be sent to the Office of General Counsel for advice and counsel.

Below is a sample:

Section Category:  Academic Affairs
Policy Number & Title:  320 Academic Classroom Materials
Proposal Date:  November 16, 2022
Contact:  Jane Jones, Office Manager, UMS Academic Affairs Office, 581-XXX,
Review Cycle:  every three years
Policy Initiator:  Professor John Smith, Department of Biology, University of Maine
Stakeholder Group(s):  UMS Faculty and Adjunct Professors
Proposed Effective Date:  September 2023

Policy Statement:



Related Documents & Resources:

            Policy 301 Mission Policy

Policy Initiator’s Name

Policy Initiator’s Signature


Responsible Official’s Name

Responsible Official’s Signature


Chancellor’s Name

Chancellor’s Signature