Originally Issued: May 2006
Revised: October 27, 2010
To set forth the official policy of Georgia Health Sciences University pertaining to political activities by members of the GHSU community by clarifying appropriate personal political activities from those related to the mission and purpose of the institution.
Political Campaigns and Holding Office
Source: The Policy Manual: Board of Regents, University System of Georgia, Section 802.1603
As responsible and interested citizens in a democratic society, members of Georgia Health Sciences University community are encouraged to fulfill their civic obligations and otherwise engage in the normal political processes of society. Nevertheless, it is inappropriate for GHSU employees, including faculty and staff, to manage or enter political campaigns while on duty to perform services for GHSU or to hold elective political office at the state or federal level while employed by GHSU. Therefore, the following policies governing political activities are hereby adopted:
- Employees may not manage or take an active part in a political campaign that interferes with the performance of duties or services for which he or she receives compensation from the system.
- Employees may not hold elective political office at the state or federal level.
- A candidate for or holder of an elective political office at the state or federal level may not be employed or hold a faculty, staff, or other position at an institution of the University of Georgia System, with or without compensation.
- Employees seeking elective political office at the state or federal level must first request a leave of absence without pay beginning prior to qualification as a candidate in a primary or general election and ending after the general or final election. If elected to state or federal office such persons must resign prior to assuming office.
- Employees may seek and hold elective office at other than the state or federal level, or appointed office, when such candidacy for holding of the office does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s duties and responsibilities to GHSU or the University System.
Lobbying and Other Political Communications
Individuals in their roles as private citizens are free to express their own opinions. However, certain guidelines apply when representing or speaking on behalf of Georgia Health Sciences University. Members of the GHSU community are not to participate in individual political activity while on duty or under color of office or position. When participating in political activities, individuals should clarify that their expressions are not on behalf of the institution. University System and GHSU resources such as GHSU name, logo, trademark, letterhead and electronic communications (e-mail, wireless devices, etc.) are not to be used for individual political activity. Except as approved by the President or by independent action of the publisher, editorial letters and similar communications should not identify the author as affiliated with GHSU. GHSU employees must not use their positions or titles for political gain.
Interaction with Political Officials on Behalf of GHSU
The Division of Government Relations is the official liaison between the GHSU community and the elected officials in our federal, state and local governments. Individuals who intend to represent or speak on behalf of GHSU with any governmental official or body or about a political matter must coordinate their plans through that office at least three business days in advance.
Political Campaign Fundraising and Material on Campus
Political campaign solicitations and contributions are prohibited on GHSU property or under color of office or position. In addition, GHSU office or other space shall not be used for political campaign or fundraising purposes. See GHSU Administrative Policy 2.2.01.
Employees are not to wear, display or distribute political campaign literature or materials such as buttons, badges, signs or pamphlets on University system property or under color of office or position. (Excepted are political bumper stickers on privately-owned vehicles.)
Members of the GHSU community who wish to participate in political functions such as partisan campaign rallies or similar events must do so as a personal activity, and not on behalf of GHSU or under color of office or position. Employees are not to engage in such activities during their work hours.
Off Campus Voting Leave
If circumstances preclude voting before or after work, all employees may be excused a reasonable length of time (maximum of two hours) for this purpose. See GHSU Administrative Policy 1.4.29.
Compliance with Law
Members of the GHSU community may not participate in political activity in violation of federal, state or local law.