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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a policy at the College?

A policy advances our academic mission as an institution of higher education by helping to ensure compliance with applicable laws, ethical norms, and accepted best practices; promoting operational efficiencies; and enhancing the opportunities to achieve the College's goals and reducing institutional risks. Policies are classified as "Board of Trustees Policies", "College Operating Policies" or "Unit Policies." Definitions for those terms have been excerpted from The College of New Jersey Policy Framework, December 8, 2009, and presented below.

What is a Board of Trustees Policy?

"Board of Trustees Policies are issued by the Board in accordance with applicable New Jersey law and the Bylaws of the Board. They include policies that relate to the organization, administration, and development of the College as a whole and overarching rules, regulations and orders issued by the Board that are necessary and proper for the administration and operation of the College. They establish fundamental principles as a basis and guide for mandating or constraining action by College administrators, employees, students, and other members of the College community." (Policy Framework)

What is a College Operating Policy?

"College Operating Policies are issued by the President for the executive management and conduct of the College in all Units and for the execution and enforcement of the Bylaws, rules, regulations and orders governing the management, conduct and administration of the College in accordance with applicable law and consistent with Board of Trustees Policies and delegations of authority." (Policy Framework)

What is a Unit Policy?

"Unit Policies generally do not have the broad scope or significant impact of College Operating Policies, but instead may apply to only a single or several units and are established by or for that or those unit(s)." (Policy Framework)

What is a Unit?

"Units are formally recognized portions of the College that may include: schools, departments, divisions, offices, centers, programs, or other administrative units at the College." (Policy Framework)

What is a procedure?

"Procedures are occasionally incorporated in policies when the procedures help define the nature of the policy. More often, procedures, rules, protocols, directives and guidelines regarding policies need to be part of the implementation process and are developed and refined by College officers and administrators." (Policy Framework)

For some policies the On-line Policy Manual may include either in the header or in the policy itself hyperlinks to procedures, which may also appear on departmental web sites.

What is the difference between a policy and a procedure?

Generally, policies are documents that govern actions and behavior by telling us what is or is not permitted/required. Procedures help to implement policies by explaining how to do things required by the policies.

Who approves policies at the College?

Policies are approved by the Board of Trustees, the President or, for Unit Policies, other authorized individuals.

What kinds of topics do TCNJ policies cover?

TCNJ policies cover a wide variety of topics. Examples of the types of policies that are included on the On-line Policy Manual are College admissions policies, a policy prohibiting discrimination, and the student conduct policy.

How are policies and procedures organized or classified?

Each policy is assigned a number (e.g., The Policy Framework is assigned VII.1.1). The policies are organized according to the area responsible for overseeing the policy. The numerical classification for each policy begins with a Roman numeral that indicates the responsible office (e.g., II for Academic Affairs, XI for Student Affairs). The next level of the classification system is a number that indicates the level of the policy and its issuing authority (i.e., 1 for a Board of Trustees Policy, 2 for a College Operating Policy issued by the President, and 3 for a Unit Policy issued by a department or other administrative unit (e.g., Human Resources)). The final number in the classification system is a sequential indicator for each responsible office (independent of the second number). If there were 20 Academic Affairs policies, the final number for each Academic Affairs policy would be a unique number between 1 and 20 and the next new Academic Affairs policy would be assigned a final number of 21.

What is the standard college policy format?

A policy format has been developed by the Compliance Office. If you wish to develop a policy, please contact the responsible unit for assistance. All administrative policies will be written using the format provided by the Compliance Office. By standardizing the way that policies are presented to the reader, the College hopes to make policies easier to read and understand. The standard format for all college polices is found as a link on this website. In addition, you may email the Compliance Office at Compliance@tcnj.edu for a sample format.

Who is responsible for drafting a policy?

The office responsible for managing the policy is responsible for drafting or overseeing the drafting of the policy.

Who is responsible for the management of the policies?

Each individual department is responsible for drafting and updating its own policies and submitting any new or updated policy to the Compliance Office for inclusion in the On-line Policy Manual. The Board of Trustees has assigned responsibility for "the maintenance and organization of policies" to the Office of General Counsel, which carries out its duties (including the oversight of the On-line Policy Manual) through the Compliance Office.

Who has access to the policies?

Anyone with access to the internet may access the College's policies.

How do I find a policy?

Specific policies may be found a number of ways. Options include:

If you still need assistance, you may contact the Director of Compliance at 609-771-3139 or thompsok@tcnj.edu

Can I make suggestions to improve a policy that has already been issued?

Any suggestions to improve a policy may be directed to the responsible unit for that policy.

Who do I call if I have a question on a policy?

Each policy lists a responsible unit. If you have any questions about a policy, please contact the responsible unit listed on the policy header. You may also contact the compliance office.

What is governance and how does it relate to policy?

The College-wide Governance System, as approved by the Board of Trustees (the Governance Structure and Processes 2011 document), is an internal process at the College level that "exists to give designated stakeholder groups opportunities to work cooperatively to make thoughtful, appropriate, and timely recommendations to the administration on issues related to policy, procedure, and program in support of the mission of the College". This governance process "is designed to promote efficiency and facilitate the work of the College in achieving institutional mission and goals."

Is there a Policy on Policies?

Recognizing the need for a framework that defines various types of policies; delegates authority to issue policies; and generally provides for the implementation and oversight of and compliance with policies at the College, the Board of Trustees approved the Policy Framework (sometimes called the "Policy on Policies"). The Policy Framework delineates Board of Trustees Policies, College Operating Policies, Unit Policies and Interim Policies. It covers policy development and issuance as well as areas of responsibility.