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Database provides central location for all UNG policies

With hundreds of policies covering everything from electronics usage to expressive activities, the University of North Georgia (UNG) is taking steps to make the policies catalog more accessible for the university community.

Staff member looks over policy database on laptop
Once complete, UNG's electronic policy database will provide one online location where all UNG policies will be housed.

Wesley Burnett, policy and procedure coordinator for UNG, in conjunction with the university’s Information Technology Services, has been working to create an electronic policy database. The database first went online in March 2016 and includes about a hundred policies, but Burnett is working to add existing policies and new ones.

"The goal is to make UNG's policies easily and consistently available all in one location," Burnett said. "This also will ensure that the policies are kept up to date and, as all policies will be accessible in one location, there isn't confusion about what the current UNG policy is or where it is located."

In addition to an alphabetical and departmental listing of policies, the database is searchable by keywords. A search for "student," for example, pulls up policies mentioning students.

In addition to compiling the policies in the database, Burnett is working with IT to streamline the policy process itself.

Currently, the approval process is paper-based and requires hard copies be distributed for review and signatures. The new process will be integrated into the current database system – from initial proposal to final approval, including signatures.

The electronic process means that proposed policies will be created in the same template so all finalized policies have a similar format, which is not currently the case. As current policies are added to the database, Burnett is applying the new format and sending them back through the approval process to ensure the policy still is applicable and consistent with other UNG policies.

UNG's policy database eventually will feature a number system, much like that used by the Board of Regents Policy Manual that additionally will help with organizing UNG’s policies.

The database and the policy process component have been built by UNG's IT department.

Burnett said the choice to do the work in-house instead of purchasing pre-built software saves the university money  in set-up and ongoing maintenance costs and allows for customizing to UNG's specific needs.

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