The fall political season is upon us. As the University prepares to host many events planned in conjunction with the fall elections, we wanted to remind you about several relevant university policies. Broadly speaking, because the University is a non-profit tax exempt organization, it is generally prohibited from participating in political activities. And while the University respects the right of all employees to participate in political activities, please keep in mind the following policies: 1
• Employees may engage in political activity only in their personal capacity, and such activity must not conflict with an employee’s duties or obligations to the University;
• Employees may not use University resources; including clerical assistance, office space, University email accounts, computers, telephones, or stationery, in support of their personal political activities; and
• Employees must take particular care not to create the appearance that their activities are official actions of the University.
For example, it would be inappropriate for employees to send messages related to a political campaign using their DU email address or work computers. Employees must also make sure that their attendance at events like the upcoming gubernatorial debate, does not conflict with their assigned work hours, unless they have arranged for appropriate leave time beforehand.
Also, employees should be particularly careful where their actions might be interpreted as the University taking a position on a political matter. Faculty research or expert commentary on political issues is certainly appropriate. Because of the limitations mentioned previously and directly connected to our 501 C-3 status, you should contact the University Counsel’s Office as soon as possible if it appears that your job duties may require you to take an action that may be viewed as the University becoming involved in any kind of political activity.
Please contact Jerron Lowe ([email protected]), Director of HR Partnerships, if you have any questions about this message or the policies and guidelines relating to employees engaging in political activities. These guidelines are located in the Public Service and Political Office policy. The Acceptable Use Policy for Computer and Network Systems also addresses political use of information resources. Further information is contained in the Speaker and Public Events Policy.
Jeremy Haefner, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Laura Maresca, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources and Inclusive Community