Institutional Policies

This site provides a central reference for Mount Holyoke’s institutional policies. Content for the various policies is maintained by the originating department and then linked to this site. The current organization of the site is by subject and the policies can also be accessed alphabetically.

Policy on Policies

Any Institutional Policies written after April 6, 2016 must follow the workflow and policy template below.

What is an Institutional Policy?

An institutional policy is defined as any policy that meets most of the following criteria:

  • has broad application or impact throughout the college;
  • involves a subject matter specific to one area that has direct financial or operational influence to the work of other offices across the College; 
  • has budgetary impact and requires review and approval by a member of the Senior Staff;
  • seeks to ensure compliance with applicable laws, ethical norms, accepted best practices, promotion of operational efficiencies, enhancement of the College’s mission, and/or reduction of institutional risks; and
  • mandates or constrains actions.

Policy Applicability

College policies can apply to some or all members of the College Community, including: (a) the Board of Trustees; (b) faculty, including visiting faculty; (c) employees; (d) volunteers; (e) students; and (f) others who are performing activities or providing services at or under the auspices of the College, including consultants, vendors, and contractors.

What is a Procedure?

A procedure can be defined as the operational processes required to implement institutional policy. Operating practices can be formal or informal, specific to a department or applicable across the entire institution. If policy is "what" the institution does operationally, then its procedures are "how" it intends to carry out those operating policy expressions.

Identifying a Policy vs Procedure 

Institutional Policy
  • Widespread application
  • Changes less frequently
  • Uses language such as "required" , "mandated" and/or "must"
  • Statements of "what" and/or "why"
  • Usually expressed in broad terms
  • Narrow application
  • Prone to change
  • Uses language such as "should", "could" and/or "may"
  • Statements of "how", "when" and/or "who"
  • Often stated in detail