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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Policy and Procedure Development and Maintenance

Policy Number: 128

Subject:

University policies and procedures

Scope:

All policies and procedures adopted by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Date Reviewed:
June 2022
Responsible Office:
Office of Legal Affairs
Responsible Executive:
Vice President and Chief Legal Officer

I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“university”) has a uniform and systematic procedure for creating and maintaining policies within the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOOP). This process includes an opportunity for faculty, staff, student governance bodies and others to provide advisory input regarding proposed changes to policies that may impact their respective groups or the university community. The HOOP contains the official policies for the governance of the university.

This policy must be followed to create or change HOOP policies. Policies developed or changed in violation of this policy will not be published in the HOOP.

University policies and procedures (including school, unit, department and office policies and procedures) shall not conflict with the Regents’ Rules and Regulations. Any university policy or procedure that is in conflict with any rule or regulation in the Regents’ Rules and Regulations is null and void and has no effect.

All exhibits attached or linked to a HOOP policy or a procedure are extensions of that policy and have the same effect as if incorporated directly into the policy itself.

II. DEFINITIONS

Educational Policy: Policy that pertains to the areas of faculty responsibility as set forth in Regents’ Rule 40101.

Governance of the University: Policies and procedures, except medical procedures or protocols, affecting the way university officials direct, administer or control the university. This includes policies and procedures:

  • Directing compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, Regents’ Rules and Regulations, and UT System policies with System-wide application;
  • Addressing or affecting the responsibility and/or authority of the various offices and bodies that make up the university; and
  • Addressing the relationship between administration, faculty, students, and staff and university values and/or goals.

HOOP Review Committee: The Committee appointed by the President to review and make recommendations regarding policies to the Executive Council. The HOOP Review Committee membership includes the President or designee; the Executive Vice Presidents or respective designees; the Senior Vice-President, Finance & Business Services or designee; the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee; the Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs or designee; the Chairs of the Interfaculty Council, the Student InterCouncil, the University Classified Staff Council, and the University’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, or respective designees; an Associate Dean for Management (or equivalent title) who will be selected by the group of deans holding that title; and a member of management from The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center. The Associate Vice President of Auditing & Advisory Services or designee is an ex-officio, non-voting member. The committee is chaired by the Policy Coordinator.

Policy Coordinator: The Chief Legal Officer is appointed by the President to ensure compliance with this policy. The Chief Legal Officer may delegate this responsibility.

Responsible Executive: University executive responsible for the programmatic, functional or administrative areas affected by a policy.

Significant change: A change in the scope or application of a policy that has a significant impact on daily operations, responsibilities, procedures or expectations for one or more key university communities.

Stakeholder Review Plan: A plan for obtaining advisory input from faculty, staff and student governance bodies and others that may be affected by changes in policies.

III. PROCEDURE

A. Designation of Responsible Executive(s), Responsible Office(s), Educational Policy and Next Scheduled Review: For each HOOP policy, the Policy Coordinator will designate one or more Responsible Executives, Responsible Offices, determine if the policy is educational, and determine a periodic review schedule.

B. Creating and Maintaining HOOP Policies:

  1. New HOOP Policies: A university office proposing a new HOOP policy will draft the policy in correct HOOP format as shown in Exhibit A.  The university office will also provide a rationale for the new policy as well as a list of departments or groups that should have input.  The Proposal and Stakeholder Review Plan as shown in Exhibit B may be used. Offices proposing amendments to the HOOP also will prepare a draft clearly delineating the changes from the current version. All documents will be routed through the appropriate Responsible Executive or designee. The Policy Coordinator will provide assistance upon request.
  2. The Responsible Executive or designee will submit the proposal to the Policy Coordinator for distribution to the HOOP Review Committee for review and approval. The Policy Coordinator will distribute proposed new HOOP policies and proposed revisions that contain significant changes to the appropriate stakeholders.
  3. Advisory input from stakeholders returned timely to the Policy Coordinator will be provided to the Responsible Executive or designee for consideration.
  4. The Responsible Executive or designee will resubmit the proposal with any incorporated changes to the HOOP Review Committee through the Policy Coordinator.
  5. The HOOP Review Committee will develop a review timeline that takes into consideration the best interests of the University regarding timely implementation of the proposed HOOP policy or proposed significant changes including, but not limited to, legal or otherwise mandated deadlines for implementation. The HOOP Review Committee is authorized to deny or make edits to a proposal for a new policy or a proposal for amendment to an existing policy.
  6. Once the HOOP Review Committee has approved the proposed HOOP policy or proposed significant changes, it will be submitted to the Executive Council for review and approval.
  7. Upon approval by the Executive Council, the Policy Coordinator will post the approved policy to the HOOP. At the election of the President, the policy may be submitted to the UT System Vice Chancellor and General Counsel for review and approval.  In certain circumstances, the Board of Regents or UT System may require that a particular policy be submitted to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and/or the Vice Chancellor and General Counsel.
  8. Recommendations and comments from university attorneys on HOOP policies are legal advice provided to university administration and are to be treated as privileged and confidential attorney-client communications.
  9. For Educational Policies, the following additional step is required: The Interfaculty Council must be given the opportunity to review.  The review timeline for the Interfaculty Council must be no more than 60 calendar days.
  10. HOOP Policies with No Significant Changes: Proposed changes to HOOP policies that are not significant changes may be approved by the Policy Coordinator. The Policy Coordinator shall determine whether a proposed change meets the definition of significant change. 
  11. Maintenance: The Responsible Executive or designee must review and recommend revisions to HOOP policies as necessary or not later than five years after the most recent update using the applicable process in Section III.B.

C. Creation and Maintenance of School, Unit, Department, and Office Policies and Procedures: Policies and procedures adopted by individual schools, units, departments and offices of the university shall not conflict with, and are subordinate to, the policies published in the HOOP. These policies and procedures must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate authorities within the school, unit, department or office and must be made readily accessible to those who are affected by them. These policies and procedures must be reviewed and revised regularly by the appropriate authorities.

IV. CONTACTS

    • Office of Legal Affairs
    • 713-500-3268
    • https://www.uth.edu/legal/contact-us.htm

V. EXHIBITS