POLICY MATTERS: Southwest policies in alignment with Tennessee Board of Regents mandates

By Tameka Perry, Esq.


Policies are created to help ensure that the College operates consistent with Tennessee Board of Regents’ (TBR) mandates and Southwest’s values, mission, and goals. They help us understand what is necessary and what is prohibited in various circumstances. They also serve to minimize institutional risks. 

We accomplish the necessary tasks in our policies through procedures, processes, and guidelines. It is possible to have a policy that requires something of us and have a separate process or procedure manual that guides the way in which we will satisfy the policy requirement. 

Let’s consider a TBR policy and procedure as an example.  TBR policy, Sexual Misconduct, expresses TBR’s intent to fully comply with Title IX regulations, which prohibit sexual misconduct. TBR Procedure 080 (P-080) describes how a sexual misconduct claim is to be investigated and otherwise handled.

At Southwest, departments may create process and procedure manuals to help employees understand how they are to implement policies. Process and procedure manuals can be an excellent guide for employees new to your area or employees who work in another area of the College but need to understand your processes and procedures.

The employees who work in a department should be the experts on their policy implementation.  As such, they should be the authors of their department’s manual. A draft manual must be approved by the division leader (Vice President or Chief) for it to be considered the official manual of the department. The division leader (Vice President or Chief) must consult the President if they have concerns about a draft manual.

If your department has an up-to-date process or procedure manual, that’s great! If you have one but it needs to be updated or do not have one at all, during your next team meeting, you should discuss writing a draft manual for review by your division leader (Vice President or Chief).  If your area will publish the manual online, please let me know and we will determine if the manual can be linked to a related policy so it can be easily accessible to those reviewing the policy.

I wish you well with creating or updating your department’s process or procedure manual!