CUR White Papers and Policy Documents
Policy and Procedure
January 22, 2006
In June 2005, the Council of Undergraduate Research established the Government Relations Committee. During its fall conference calls, the Committee discussed the procedures that CUR had in place for handling requests from other organizations and developing statements, along with the role the Committee might play in these situations.
The procedures proposed below were developed based on the policy and procedure document from June 17, 2002 (available in the 'members only' section at www.cur.org) and the Government Relations Committee discussions.
Procedures for CUR statements and white papers
To fulfill its mission of supporting and promoting high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship, the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) must be an advocate for undergraduate research. Opportunities to do so may be externally or internally generated. In some cases immediate responses are necessary, while in others more time may be taken. This document, developed to apply to a range of situations, provides two general sets of procedures:
· Procedures for External Requests will guide CUR's responses to externally generated policies or programs that require rapid feedback.
· Procedures for CUR Statements and White Papers will guide the development and vetting of documents in a manner that is more deliberate.
Requests from other organizations range from signing a document that is already prepared to providing input during the development of statements. Signing on to these documents will convey that CUR as an organization supports the message and text contained in the document.
Many of the requests will be time-sensitive. CUR may be asked to sign onto letters to Congress, national agencies or departments, and other organizations (e.g., pending legislation, congratulatory messages, etc.). CUR may also be asked to provide input as legislation, policies, or programs are being developed. In such cases, the procedures below will ensure that the requests are carefully considered and receive a timely response.
1) All requests for CUR institutional sign-on or input should be forwarded to the CUR Executive Officer.
2) The Executive Officer will consult with the chair of the Government Relations Committee and the chair of any other affected committee or division to determine whether this is a request that CUR should consider.
3) If the request is to be considered further, the Executive Officer will forward the request along with the recommendation(s) of the committee chair(s) to the presidential line (current President, Immediate Past President, and President-elect). A majority decision to sign-on from the presidential line will constitute organizational approval.
4) The Executive Officer will include the request and a description of CUR's response (whether positive or negative) in the materials for the next Executive Board meeting, where they will be reported and discussed. The Government Relations Committee and any other affected committee(s) or division(s) will also receive these documents.
CUR Statements and White Papers
CUR pursues opportunities to develop statements that support or question policies and influence public opinion. Statements often focus on national regulatory or legislative issues. Topics for CUR statements may be raised by CUR officers, members, and staff. Because timeliness is critical to the value of such statements, the development and approval process must remain flexible while ensuring discussion.
In some cases, white papers may be prepared to inform preparation of statements. White papers may also be prepared to highlight topics or generate discussion of important national issues and guide CUR members and friends in furthering goals supported by CUR. The development and approval of both CUR statements and white papers will follow the procedures below.
1) Ideas for CUR statements will be shared with the President, the chair of the Government Relations Committee, the chair(s) of any other affected committee(s) or division(s), and the Executive Officer, who will discuss the appropriateness of the idea to CUR's mission and values, and provide feedback to the person or group proposing the idea (the proposer).
2) The President, the chair of the Government Relations Committee, the chair(s) of any other affected committee(s) or division(s), the Executive Officer, and the proposer will determine the process and timeline for discussing the idea and preparing the statement, if appropriate. The following criteria will be taken into consideration:
a) what deadline must be met for the statement to have the most impact.
b) whether the full Executive Board should discuss and cast a preliminary vote on the idea (either at a CUR meeting or more commonly, via email).
c) who will write and review the draft statement.
d) whether the draft statement should be discussed and approved by the Council.
e) what the expiration or review date will be for the statement, if approved.
3) Once the draft statement is prepared, it will be presented to either the Executive Board or Council for final approval, allowing at least one month for consultation with the officers' or councilor's respective constituencies. A two-thirds majority of those voting is required for adoption of the statement.
4) The President, the chair of the Government Relations Committee, the chair(s) of any other affected committee(s) or division(s), the Executive Officer, and the proposer will together determine the distribution of the approved statement. The Executive Officer will bear responsibility for ensuring that the statement receives maximum dissemination.
5) The Executive Officer will include the ideas that are suggested and the corresponding actions (whether positive or negative) in the materials for the next Executive Board and Council meetings, where they will be reported and discussed. The Government Relations Committee and any other affected committee(s) or division(s) will also receive these documents.
General Guidelines for Development of CUR Statements and White Papers:
· Those who bring ideas for statements or white papers to CUR or are involved in their development must declare any personal or financial interest that they have in the issue.
· Lengthy white papers must be written with an executive summary of not more than one page.
· All statements and white papers will expire on their review date unless extended by the Executive Board prior to that time, but will be archived.
· The Government Relations Committee will review CUR statements and white papers as their expiration dates approach, soliciting input from any other affected committee(s) or division(s), and recommend appropriate action to the Executive Board.