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The Policy Review Committee met via Zoom on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 10:00 a.m.

Policy Updates

Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel Policy and Procedure

Meredith Petschauer, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Curricula, and Ashante Diallo, Associate Dean for Human Resources in the College of Arts and Sciences, presented the University Policy on and Procedure for Faculty-Led Off-Campus Domestic Academic Travel (informally known as the “Field Trip Policy”). These policy documents were created with input from many University stakeholders and are necessary to reduce risk to the University and undergraduate students when traveling for academic purposes within the United States. The Undergraduate Curricula team is working on a website to provide seamless resources and information for faculty looking to arrange for field trips. This policy only applies to undergraduate students for now. However, professional and graduate schools are encouraged to consider whether their schools have similar needs that this Policy and Procedure could help meet.

Policy Compliance

The PRC had a panel discussion about whether people are observing policies being followed and what concerns people may have about enforcing policies on campus. There is consensus among PRC members that there are people or units who try to get around a policy, but for the most part, having conversations with individuals or unit heads has helped address compliance with University policies. The committee noted that there are so many policies, different policies have different levels of risk from non-compliance, and other tools are available to address various types of violations. With so many differences, creating a one-size-fits-all method for enforcing current policies might be challenging, but the concerns are valid and worth discussing further.

Administrative Updates

Generative AI Tools for Policy Writing

University Policy Analyst Shoshana Ellis presented a demo of the new “Polly, Policy Assistant” chatbot. This chatbot shows how Generative AI and Microsoft Copilot can walk a new user through all University and unit-level templates to generate a first draft of a new policy. If this technology becomes a University-wide resource, it may be helpful to new and veteran policy writers alike.

2024 PRC Celebration

The annual PRC celebration will be moved to Friday, May 10, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This is different than the usual Thursday meeting, which will be held in person in the Pleasants Family Room in Wilson Library. PRC Chair Matthew Teal will send a revised calendar invitation to all members reflecting the updated meeting time, date, and location.

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