The communication plan for the Fiscal Policy Program at Oregon State University is a set of communications and actions intended to facilitate the clear understanding of fiscal policy and associated rules. Guided by the Division of Finance and Administration’s (DFA) mission of providing “leadership, innovative services, creative solutions, and integrated systems… through collaborative stewardship of human and financial resources within an environment of transparency and exemplary service,” this program will support the development and maintenance of OSU fiscal policy and associated rules.
The Fiscal Policy Committee will provide guidance and make recommendations to the Vice President for Finance and Administration to ensure fiscal policy is consistent with university policies and standards, as well as the DFA strategic plan. This program will implement effective and efficient processes that incorporate campus feedback, solicit buy-in, facilitate the creation and revision of policies and rules, and provide resources related to fiscal compliance. This committee is also tasked with reorganizing current fiscal policies into high-level university policies approved by the Executive Policy and Standards Committee and fiscal rules that serve to operationalize these policies.
To promote open and transparent communication within the university and to facilitate participation in fiscal policy matters, the following stakeholders, and any others identified for a specific issue, will be informed of fiscal policy activities. Appropriate leadership and policy users will be consulted for their input as new or revised policies or associated rules are developed.
- Policy Stewards
- Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning
- Office of University Compliance
- Office of General Counsel
- Office of Sponsored Research and Award Administration (OSRAA)
- Office of Human Resources
- Business Center Managers
- OSU Cascades Business Office
- Office of Auditing Services
Dissemination of Policy/Rule
Every fiscal policy will be posted online in the University Policy and Standards Manual with a link from the Fiscal Policy Manual, and every fiscal rule will be posted online in the Fiscal Policy Manual.
Any updates to fiscal policy or implementation of new fiscal policy will be communicated through the FIS Mailing List (email firstname.lastname@example.org), OSU today (submit to email@example.com), the Business Center Connector and various other unit newsletters.
The Fiscal Policy Officer will work with Policy Stewards to communicate the release of new or revised policies and associated rules. Fiscal Policy Coordinators, who are designated from existing staff located in business centers and other appropriate units, will assist in this communication as necessary.
Policy Stewards who can best explain the policy or rule, as well as respected stakeholders who can lend support, will be identified to champion fiscal policies and associated rules. These individuals will also work with the Fiscal Policy Officer and coordinators to raise awareness and answer questions as necessary.
The Fiscal Policy Officer will maintain a comprehensive website that will provide access to current information and resources related to the fiscal policy program, including the following:
- Overview of fiscal policy program, including site navigation guides, mission statement, roles and responsibilities, and contact information
- Interactive status report of all fiscal policies and rules
- Links to current fiscal policies and associated rules
- Links to archived policies and rules
- Process flowchart, categories and operational protocols
- Required forms and guidelines
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Terminology definitions
- Format standards and style guidelines
- Accessibility guidelines
- Internal control resources and tools
- Training program material and presentations
Any communication associated with fiscal policy activities should adhere to basic standards, with consideration given to the appropriate audience, significance and timing. Following are some tools developed to ensure consistency in how fiscal policy activity is communicated and documented:
- Status report to communicate progress of policy/rule requests, notify of any changes or additions to policy/rule, track regular review of policy/rule, identify policy steward, and indicate when policy/rule format has been updated and reviewed against former to old OUS policy
- Templates for policies and rules with standard naming convention
- Standard forms with guidelines for requesting a new or revised policy/rule, requesting feedback from stakeholders, processing policy/rule approvals or interpretation requests
- Standard format for all documents related to fiscal policy program
- Templates for various notifications to policy coordinators, committee members, stakeholders and policy stewards
- Email distribution lists for fiscal policy coordinators, fiscal policy committee and stakeholders (to be sent through firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Website (to be developed) will be used as a hub for all fiscal policy communication
Audience: Consider the following to determine the appropriate individuals that need to be reached:
- What units or individuals will the policy or rule affect?
- What units or individuals are required to comply with the policy or rule?
- Is broad communication to the university necessary to raise awareness of a policy or rule?
- Is advance communication to leadership or other stakeholders necessary?
Significance: Consider the following to determine potential impact to operations:
- Does the policy entail new requirements?
- Could failure to comply with the policy result in significant risk?
- Is the policy particularly complex or could it potentially be misunderstood?
- Could the policy raise controversy within or outside of the university?
Timing. Consider the following to determine the urgency:
- Does the policy need to be released simultaneously with another policy, requirement, action, meeting, or event, particularly one that affects a broad or different audience?
Specific details of the Fiscal Policy Program Implementation are outlined in an Action Plan reviewed by the Fiscal Policy Committee monthly. Once the required processes and tools have been developed and approved by the committee, the following steps will be taken to communicate the new program to the university community:
- Distribute an email from high level university leadership showing their commitment to the Fiscal Policy Program and their expectations regarding compliance with university policies
- Develop online training material for campus users
- Develop and facilitate initial training for Fiscal Policy Coordinators and Policy Stewards
- Launch new website with overview of fiscal policy program, status report, policies/rules, forms, guidelines and basic training