University Policies


This site is intended to serve as a repository for University policies. A University policy is defined as one with broad application throughout the University, that helps ensure coordinated compliance with applicable laws and regulations; promotes operational efficiencies; enhances the University's mission; or reduces institutional risk. Many important school, department or unit policies serve similar purposes but are unit-specific and are not included on this site (see School policies). Northwestern offices and units are encouraged to link to this site rather than creating their own pages with University policies. This will help ensure that everyone in the University is referencing the most current versions of University policies.

What's New

August 17, 2014

The Office of Business and Finance and the Office of the Provost announce the issuance of a new policy:

Employees in Essential Functions and Positions

This policy provides guidance to departments and schools regarding the identification and management of employees whose services are needed during campus emergencies, including those emergencies that require suspension of services and/or closure of operations, and outlines management of related administrative matters during such emergencies.

If you have questions regarding the policy, you should contact the Office of Human Resources in Evanston at 847- 491-7507 or in Chicago at 312 -503-8481, or send an e-mail to You may familiarize yourself with this policy by visiting:

Questions about this policy may also be directed to the Policy Review Committee

May 12, 2014

The Office for Research announces the issuance of two policies:

Export Controls Compliance

The entire Northwestern community – including visitors to campus - has responsibilities related to the export of items, which can include both physical shipments beyond the borders of the United States and the sharing of certain information wholly within the United States. This policy outlines those responsibilities and provides for consequences in the event of non-compliance. The policy also summarizes the complex field of export controls compliance within the university setting, and provides a number of resources to help with understanding the policy.

While export control regulations potentially apply to all activities at the University, they are particularly important in areas that are more likely to present concerns regarding national security, foreign policy, and the economic interests of the United States, which the export control regulations are intended to address. Generally speaking, if there are any questions regarding the potential applicability of the export control regulations to your activity, or this policy, you should contact the Office for Export Controls Compliance directly at (847) 467-4063 or You may familiarize yourself with this policy by visiting:

Reporting and Investigating Suspected Noncompliance in Animal Research

This Policy informs members of the research community on how to report allegations of noncompliance in the animal research program and establishes the framework for the review of such allegations.  Please direct questions about this policy to the Office of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at (312) 908-9339.  You may familiarize yourself with this policy by visiting: Please note that log-in to this site requires use of your NetID.

Questions about either policy may also be directed to the Policy Review Committee

March 24, 2014

Annually, financial policies are reviewed in an ongoing effort to improve operational efficiency and enhance the internal controls environment of the University.  To better serve the community, the Travel and the Entertainment & Courtesy policies (formerly two separate policies) have been consolidated into one policy and updated.  The policy information is also reorganized by functional topics along with an alphabetical listing of topics in the glossary.

The Travel, Entertainment & Courtesy policy is located at

If you have any questions, please contact Joan Trimuel at

Office of Financial Operations

March 5, 2014

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Office for Regulatory Affairs announces the issuance of the Use of Cadavers and Recognizable Human Body Parts for Educational and Research Purposes policy.

Northwestern University is committed to the legal, dignified, and respectful treatment of cadavers and recognizable human body parts for educational and research purposes on University premises.  The acquisition, inventory, use, storage, transfer, transportation, and disposition of cadavers and recognizable human body parts that are used for educational and research purposes must be conducted in compliance with all legal, public health, and ethical standards, and in a safe and respectful manner.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines and assign oversight responsibilities to ensure the proper handling of cadavers and recognizable human body parts.  Of note, this policy does not apply to alternative methods for the acquisition, inventory, use, storage, transfer, transportation and/or disposition of cadavers and recognizable human body parts in connection with NIH sponsored research and/or IRB-approved human subject research.

If this policy relates to your work in any way, please familiarize yourself with the policy and related documentation by visiting

Please direct questions about this policy to your school or unit office; Bridget Chamberlain at (312) 503-2855 or; or the Feinberg Office for Regulatory Affairs at

January 16, 2014

Northwestern’s Conflict of Interest Office (NUCOI) announces the issuance of the Institutional Conflict of Interest in Research policy.

This policy enables Northwestern to maintain an environment of objectivity in its research through the identification and mitigation of situations in which the financial interests of the institution or of institutional officials compromise or reasonably appear to compromise Northwestern’s research mission. 

The policy requires that real or perceived institutional conflicts of interest in research be referred to the Conflict of Interest Oversight Committee for adjudication. 

This policy relates to conflicts at the institutional -- not individual -- level, and is separate and distinct from the Conflict of Interest in Research policy for which individual investigator disclosures are required. 

Please familiarize yourself with this policy by visiting

Please direct questions about this policy to NUCOI at (847) 467-4515 or, or to the Policy Review Committee

January 13, 2014

We are pleased to share two new University policies with you. Each of these policies has been in development for some time, and members of the Northwestern community have provided valuable input throughout the process.

The first policy, entitled Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Between Faculty, Staff and Students, expands our former policies that prohibited Northwestern faculty and staff from having evaluative authority over persons with whom they are romantically or sexually involved. Our expanded policy helps ensure that Northwestern’s academic, research and all other University environments remain free from real or apparent conflicts when individuals in positions of unequal power at the University are involved in consensual romantic or sexual relationships. With this expanded policy, Northwestern joins a growing number of peer institutions in prohibiting faculty and coaches from engaging in romantic, dating, or sexual relationships with Northwestern undergraduate students, regardless of whether there is a supervisory or evaluative relationship between them. As was stated in the former policy, relationships between graduate students and their faculty supervisors are prohibited. The new policy also provides that relationships between a faculty member and a graduate or professional student in the same department or program must be disclosed to the department chair so that a plan to manage the potential conflict of interest can be developed. Other types of relationships are also addressed in this new policy, which can be viewed here.

The second policy is entitled Sexual Misconduct, Stalking, and Dating and Domestic Violence. Northwestern is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of our community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct of any form, including, but not limited to, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. The new policy also incorporates Northwestern’s current sexual harassment policy. This policy, which we believe exemplifies best practices under Title IX and the new Violence Against Women Act Amendments, is applicable to students, faculty, staff, and others in the Northwestern community. A key point of this policy is that, unless exempted by a specific, recognized privilege, all faculty and staff are obligated to report sexual misconduct of which they become aware to one of the offices listed in the policy. Information on available counseling, medical, and advocacy services for all Northwestern community members is also contained in this policy, which can be viewed here.

Daniel Linzer, Provost

Patricia Telles-Irvin, Vice President for Student Affairs

Pam Beemer, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

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