Frequently Asked Questions

How do I initiate a policy action?

A policy action is a request to create, review, revise, delete, or change ownership of a policy.

  1. A review of a policy is automatically triggered every six (6) years and may lead to any three outcomes: review without revision, revision, or deletion.
  2. In case you would like to create a new policy or initiate a policy action prior to the review deadline, follow the steps in the Policy Development Guide.
What is the difference between policy and procedure?

A quick tip for distinguishing a policy from a procedure is that a policy explicitly states “what” the institutional position is on an issue, and a procedure outlines “how” the institution will implement this policy position. There are common characteristics that can help discern policy from procedures (or the practices used to implement policy).  These are as follows:



Widespread application

Narrow application

Changes less frequently

Prone to change

Usually expressed in broad terms

Often stated in detail

Statements of “what” and/or “why”

Statements of “how,” “when” and/or “who”

Answers major operational issue(s)

Describes process

On average, how long does it take to complete a policy action?

The UNT Policy process is complex and involves a collaborative effort of multiple stakeholders. A typical review cycle for an uncomplicated policy action (ex: deletion, or review without revision) may take twelve (12) weeks or more. The more complex the action the longer the process will take. Occasionally, there might be a system, state or federal regulation that will require a deadline by which a policy action must be complete. In that case, the UPO will elevate the policy status to “high” and put “all hands on deck” to meet the required timeline.

Exception: Ownership change usually takes about 2 days for the UPO to process upon receiving a completed, signed form.

What happens to the policy once I submit all documentation to UPO?

The UPO will review completed packets and provide feedback if necessary. The UPO will initiate the routing process after confirming all items have been submitted according to prescribed standards and addressing any feedback concerns with the owner. The process is outlined in the Policy Development Guide under the “Policy Process at UNT” heading.

Who do I talk to if I have a question about the content in the policy?

The best person to address your questions pertaining policy content is the policy contact listed on the page associated with the policy.

Where do I find the previously approved versions of the policy?

UPO works closely with the Records Management Program and the University Archives to maintain the older versions of UNT policies. The University Archives should be your first stop as you look for older versions of the policy. If for some reason the University Archives cannot produce the requested materials, please contact UPO staff using address, and they will check their internal records in order to accommodate your request.

What is the legal sufficiency review?

The legal sufficiency review is a process by which UNT Office of General Counsel (OGC) evaluates policies to determine consistency with applicable law, identify and address legal risks, and improve legal defensibility. OGC conducts legal sufficiency reviews for all UNT policies. Please refer to OGC Legal Sufficiency Review Guide for more information on the requirements and steps of the process.

Substantive vs. non-substantive change?

  1. A substantive change means a change that affects the substance of the policy in a way that modifies meaning and interpretation of the policy. Examples of a substantive change include, but are not limited to: addition or deletion of a definition, change in a responsible party, change in applicability of policy, revision of text in the policy body.
  2. Non-substantive change means a change that does not affect the meaning and interpretation of policy. Examples of non-substantive change can include, but are not limited to: font and paragraph adjustments, page numbering, and policy number change.
How do I know when the policy was last updated?

Each policy contains the initial approval date and revision history at the bottom of the document. If you would like to learn about recent policy updates, you may also go to the Policy updates page. There, you will find a list of all recent policy actions.

Are there any rules about posting UNT policy on our departmental web page?

In order to ensure proper updating of policies, and consistency in presentation, only one version of a University-wide policy may exist. That version resides within the University Policy Manual on the official policy page. If you would like to reference a UNT policy on your department’s web page, please link back to the policy that resides within the University Policy Manual on the official policy page.

I understand that this policy is under revision. May I have a copy of the draft with the proposed revisions?

The UPO does not distribute drafts of unapproved policies. Please direct your request to the policy contact listed for information regarding the revisions.