1. What is the Standard Practice Guide (SPG)?
  2. Why does the university have policies?
  3. How do policies interface with external laws or requirements?
  4. To whom do the policies in the SPG apply and what happens if they are not followed?
  5. How are the policies created, amended, and approved?
  6. How are new policies—or significant revisions to existing policies—announced to the university community?
  7. Are there other types of policies besides the ones included on this website?
  8. How can I recommend a new policy or a modification to an existing policy?
  9. Is there a way to get copies of old or obsolete policies?
  10. Who can I contact for more information about the content on this website?
  1. What is the Standard Practice Guide (SPG)?

    The Standard Practice Guide is a compendium of the university’s general operating policies and procedures. The policies that are contained in the SPG are approved by University leadership and typically apply to the entire institution

    However, the SPG does not contain all the policies of the university. Individual campuses, schools or colleges, or departments may create policies that address their unique needs and govern their specific business requirements. Individual units may have separate policies that are more—but not less—restrictive than the policies included in the Standard Practice Guide. Since unit-specific policies are not included in the SPG, you should contact your local department to identify any unit-level policies that apply to your activities.

    For more information about the different kinds of policy requirements at the university, see this hierarchy of requirements.

  2. Why does the university have policies?

    Policies define and set a standard for organizational and individual conduct across the university including the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses and the U-M Health System. In addition, they set expectations and requirements for the administrative operations of the university, by providing a baseline for departments to follow when conducting the business of the institution. Different types of policies can apply at different levels of the university. For more information about the different kinds of policy requirements at the university, see this hierarchy of requirements.

  3. How do policies interface with external laws or requirements?

    The university is subject to many outside laws and regulatory requirements. Policies are often developed in response to these outside requirements or to facilitate compliance by the university’s departments and employees with such requirements.

  4. To whom do the policies in the SPG apply and what happens if they are not followed?

    In general, the Standard Practice Guide applies to all employees and departments at the University of Michigan. Some policies, however, are more relevant to certain groups: for instance, some policies may only apply to faculty and not staff. Exactly what policies apply to you will depend on your individual university role and the specific activities associated with that role. At the base of each policy is an informational section, which includes an “APPLIES TO” heading.

    It is expected that faculty and staff will make every effort to follow the principles detailed in the policies. The policies cover a wide variety of issues, unit operations, and practices at the university. As a result, the consequences for not following policies vary. Depending on the policy involved, non-compliance may result in a variety of actions, ranging from suspension of privileges and elimination of access to certain services to formal disciplinary proceedings.

  5. How are the policies created, amended, and approved?

    New policies are developed when new practices are created that have significant impact on the entire university. Policies ensure a consistent understanding and approach to these practices across the university. Existing policies are revised when the practices controlled by an existing policy are modified. These changes may be due to many circumstances, including new regulation, advancing technologies, changed internal procedures, or reorganization of responsibilities. For more information about this process, see Policy Development and Approval.

  6. How are new policies—or significant revisions to existing policies—announced to the university community?

    New policies, or those that have been significantly modified, are announced to the university community in a variety of ways, ranging from e-mails to university supervisors, all faculty and staff, articles in the University Record, informational sessions, and broad-based communication vehicles. On the SPG home page, you can find a list of new or recently revised policies.

  7. Are there other types of policies besides the ones included on this website?

    Individual campuses, schools or colleges, or departments may create policies that address their unique needs and govern their specific business requirements. In addition, individual units may have separate policies that are more (but not less) restrictive than the policies included in the Standard Practice Guide. Since unit-specific policies are not included on this website, you should contact your local department to identify any unit-level policies that apply to your activities.

    For more information about the different kinds of policy requirements at the university, see this hierarchy of requirements.

  8. How can I recommend a new policy or a modification to an existing policy?

    To suggest changes to a specific Policy, contact the issuing unit of the policy in question.

    To recommend a new SPG policy, contact the owner of the process that the policy controls. The names of the unit that issued the policy as well as the owner of the policy are listed in the informational section that appears at the base of each policy.

  9. Is there a way to get copies of old or obsolete policies?

    Please send an e-mail to spgonline@umich.edu to request information related to old or obsolete policies. If at all possible, please include as much detailed information as you can (e.g., name of the policy, active dates, key words, name of the issuing unit) with your request. That will help us to assist you more effectively and in a timely manner.

  10. Who can I contact for more information about the content on this website?

    For information about a specific policy, you may contact the office or person identified in the policy document as the place to direct question. Alternatively, you may contact spgonline@umich.edu for assistance.

    For information about other content on this website, please email spgonline@umich.edu with your request.