Policy Governance

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University Community
Last Revised:
April 9, 2017
Secretary to the Board
Approved By:
Board of Governors
Secretary to the Board (ext. 2100)


This policy applies to all First Nations University of Canada governance, employment, academic and student services, and operations and administrative policies.

It provides a consistent, coordinated approach for planning, developing or updating, approving, publishing, and managing University Policies.

Policies align with the university’s practices and processes with its Strategic Plan and regulatory environment. They articulate the University’s position on matters. They help University employees make decisions and do their work more efficiently. They protect the University and the University community.


Accessible: readily available to the people who need; easy to understand and use; posing no obstacles to people with special needs.

Act: An Act Respecting the First Nations University of Canada

Approval authority: the administrative officer or governing body of the University responsible for approving the issue, repeal, or retirement of a policy.

Concept: a word, term, or phrase that expresses an idea or mental picture.

Custodian: the person with administrative and managerial responsibility for the University policies.

Definitive source: the final, authoritative, true version of the policy.

Fact: a word, term, or phrase that does not require supporting evidence; objective information.

Policy: the University’s position on a matter; the rules; what is or is not allowed; what must or must not be done; what can or cannot be done; who is responsible for what.

Policy owner: the University administrative officer who is responsible for ensuring the policy is correct, complete, and current.

Procedure: a set of step-by-step instructions the reader is to complete in the order listed to obtain the desired outcomes; how-to information.

Process: a series of events, actions, or changes that take place over time and have an identifiable outcome or purpose; how things work or what happens information.

Review schedule: indicates when (year and month) the policy owner is expected to begin reviewing the policy.

University community/stakeholders: refers to everyone who is involved in or impacted by the policy, including those with an interest or concern and who are expected to comply with the policy.

University members: all Board members, all University officers, employees, and students, and any other person acting on behalf of or at the request of the University.

Audience: users of the policy


A University Policy should promote governance, management practices, and behaviour consistent with the University’s core principles; advance the university’s mission; comply with applicable laws and regulations; promote operational efficiencies; and/or reduce institutional risk.

The Board of Governors is responsible for developing broad institutional policy, strategic plans that govern the operations of FNUniv, and assuming an overall trust responsibility for the First Nations University of Canada.

University policies must be created or revised, approved, published to the University community, maintained, and repealed or retired as set out in this policy.

  1. Policies will be sponsored by the appropriate policy owner of the University.
  2. Policies will be approved by the appropriate approval authority as determined by the Secretary to the Board.
  3. Policies will meet the needs of the University and the intended audience.
  4. Policies will be consistent with An Act Respecting the First Nations University of Canada, other relevant provincial and federal legislation, and the University’s Strategic Plan.
  5. Policies will be accessible to the University community on the University’s website
  6. Policies will be practical to implement, enforce, and measure.
  7. Policies will indicate the significance of the policy for the University and the intended audience.
  8. Policies will make clear the rights and responsibilities assigned to persons or offices.
  9. Policies will be written concisely in plain English.
  10. Policies will have a common and consistent structure and appearance.
  11. Policies will be current. Whenever changes in organizational process or structure have an impact on the validity of a policy, the policy will be updated.
    1. All University Policies requiring Board approval are subject to review every three years by the FNUniv Board of Governors.
    2. All other University Policies are subject to review at least every five years.
    3. A policy that has not been reviewed and updated in five years will be reported to the Board by the Board Secretary and the policy owner will be required to explain the status of the policy.
  12. A policy becomes operational and enforceable upon approval and will be published on the University’s website within three working days.
  13. A policy may be repealed or retired by the Secretary to the Board or its policy owner subject to approval by the approval authority.
  14. Faculties, departments, units, and groups may create policy specific to the faculty, department, unit, or group but such policies may not contradict University Policies.
  15. The President will report annually to the Board of Governors on University Policies developed and reviewed during the year and the action taken or recommended.
  16. In cases where a University Policy undergoes substantive review outside the regular review cycle, the mandated review date should normally be re-set at the standard number of years following the review.
  17. Where a University Policy or Procedure conflicts with the Act or any existing collective agreement between the University and its faculty or staff, the provisions of the Act or agreement will prevail.

Role and Responsibilities

Board of Governors

  1. is the authoritative body responsible for approving, repealing and retiring policies that determine the broad institutional policy and strategic plans for FNUniv.
  2. delegates the authority and responsibility for implementing the broad institutional policy and strategic plans to the President of FNUniv.

Secretary to the Board

  1. is the custodian of the University policies and policy standards;
  2. sets communication and management standards and processes for allpolicies;
  3. assigns policy names and numbers;
  4. determines the level of approval authority required for eachpolicy;
  5. determines how often a policy must be reviewed;
  6. determines when a policy is ready to be published;
  7. announces the new policy or the changes to an updated policy to the Universitycommunity;
  8. informs policy owners when he or she receives questions and complaints about their policies; and
  9. maintains the definitive record or source of all policies.
  10. may make editorial changes to a University Policy provided that such changes do not substantively affect the University Policy.
  11. Editorial changes are subject to approval by the Policy owner.
  12. maintain a record of the initial approval of a University Policy and of all subsequent substantive and editorial changes.
  13. ensures that approved policies are posted on the University’s website;and
  14. maintains the policy website.

Policy Owners

Policy owners are responsible for the policies within their areas of authority. They:

  1. sponsor the development of new policies;
  2. ensure the policies they own are current and correct;
  3. monitor and measure the value and success of their policies;
  4. work with the Secretary to the Board to identify the policy stakeholders and all relevant legislation and policy;
  5. collect and analyze the needs of all stakeholders;
  6. adhere to the standards and conventions outlined in the Document Model – First Nations University of Canada Policy when they write policy; and
  7. identify and use the appropriate policy template.

University Members

  1. Members of the university community including all employees are bound by FNUniv policies and are responsible for familiarizing themselves with and complying with University Policies or to ask questions to obtain needed clarification as to intent, for all relevant policies.
  2. Individuals in senior administrative and management positions are responsible for making a reasonable effort to ensure that members of the university community in their areas and units are informed of University Policies and Procedures that govern theiractivities.
  3. Notify the policy contact or the Secretary to the Board when they notice an error in a University policy.

Approval Authorities

  1. Review the policy and any related materials they receive when the Secretaryto the Board recommends they approve, repeal, or retire a policy, and
  2. Approve, repeal, and retire policies. They may ask for more information about any policy before approving, repealing, or retiring it.

Consequences for Noncompliance

Any person who knowingly or unknowingly violates a First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) policy without lawful justification or excuse may be subject to disciplinary action, suspension or dismissal. FNUniv reserves the right to recover from its employees any direct or indirect costs incurred as a result of any violation of its policies, in addition to imposing any other disciplinary sanctions it deems appropriate, including immediate dismissal. FNUniv also reserves the right to take legal action against violators that could result in criminal or civil proceedings. Deliberate or inadvertent misinterpretation of errors or omissions (consequential or inconsequential), or misuse or malicious distortion of the general intent of FNUniv policies and related procedures is considered a violation. If a policy does not adhere to the standards set out in this policy, the Secretary to the Board, may refuse to publish the policy or may remove it from the University website if it has already been published.

Identify related documents/information (acts, regulations, policies, strategies, procedures, forms, etc.

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