01.003: Exceptions to or Restrictions of University Policies




September 21, 2005

Initiated by:

Gina Fetty | University Controller

Reviewed by:

Herman ("Butch") Hill | Chair, Policy and Procedure Review Committee.


Endorsed by:

Larry Corrigan | Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration

Approved by:

Kathy Krendl | Provost

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to provide uniform guidelines for allowing exceptions to, or further restrictions of, university policy.

  2. Exceptions

    Exceptions to a university policy are allowable when unusual circumstances dictate that adherence to the policy is either impossible or prohibitively impractical. No exceptions will be granted that would violate federal, state, or local laws or regulations.

    Exceptions must be granted by the policy initiator or successor, by someone to whom the initiator has formally delegated the authority, or by someone in the initiator's direct upward line of supervision. The phrase "initiator or successor" is used here to mean the person who would be the initiator if the policy in question were to be revised at the time an exception is sought or a restriction is set. Staff turnover or re-organization, for example, may create situations in which the person who was the initiator of the policy the last time that it was revised is no longer responsible for such issues.

    University employees who violate university policy, without the receipt of an exception, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

  3. Restrictions

    Individual department heads may set an internal, departmental policy that is more (but not less) restrictive than a university policy, when specific circumstances dictate. For example, policy 41.121 does not place a dollar ceiling on legitimate business travel expenses for the individual business traveler. However, departmental budget or other concerns may suggest that such a ceiling is needed.

    No restrictions will be issued that would violate the letter or spirit of any university policy, or that are in violation of federal, state, or local laws or regulations.

  4. Receiving an exception to policy

    1. Identify who is authorized to grant an exception. Start with the policy initiator, who is identified by name and job title in the initiated-by box, within the signature block at the top of the policy. In the event that the initiator is no longer employed at the university, or is otherwise no longer responsible for the issues addressed in the policy, contact the appropriate department to determine who is currently authorized to grant exceptions.

    2. Contact the authorized person that you have identified. Cite the specific policy involved, and explain all the circumstances that you believe justify the exception you are requesting.

    3. If you receive the exception, make a note of the date, the time, the name of the person authorizing the exception, and the specifics of the exception. Confirmation of the authorization should be in writing, and an electronic or paper copy should be kept in a safe place.

    4. If you do not receive an exception to policy, then you must proceed according to policy, despite the circumstances. In the event that you do not believe the denial was appropriate, contact the authorizer's direct supervisor for further discussion.

  5. Authorizing an exception to policy

    1. In order to be authorized to grant exceptions to a policy, you must fall into one of three categories:

      1. The initiator, or the successor to the initiator with respect to that policy;

      2. Someone that the initiator or successor has formally designated as authorized to grant exceptions to that policy; or

      3. Someone in the direct upward line of supervision of the initiator or successor.

    2. You must be aware of state, federal, and local laws and regulations that govern the issues involved. Never provide an exception in violation of such laws or regulations. Contact the university legal affairs office as needed.

    3. Whenever possible, you should ask that an exception request be in writing (memo or e-mail).

    4. When either granting or denying exceptions, make a note of the date, the time, the name of the requestor, the specifics of the request, and the decision made. Whenever an exception is granted, the grantor should provide written confirmation to the requestor as soon as possible, and should keep a paper or electronic record for use in case of questions, e.g., by auditors, and for consideration during revision of the policy.

  6. Adopting a further restriction

    1. A department head interested in further restricting a university policy for his or her area must first read and thoroughly understand the policy in question. Any questions should be referred to the policy initiator or successor.

    2. All restrictions must be justified by current circumstances.

    3. The restriction cannot violate any university policy, or federal, state, or local laws or regulations. If in doubt on this factor, contact the policy initiator or the university legal affairs office, as appropriate.

    4. Notify all department members, and the policy initiator or successor, of the adoption and specifics of the restriction.

    5. Be prepared to monitor compliance and enforce the restriction at the departmental level.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. General Counsel

  2. Faculty Senate

  3. Administrative Senate