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Policy Title: Employee Political Activities

Boise State University Policy #7070
Effective Date: July 1, 1978
Revised: July 1995
October 2007
March 2013
February 2017

Purpose:
To provide guidelines for acceptable political activities of university employees.

Additional Authority:
State Board of Education (SBOE) Policies and Procedures § II(P)(5)(a)
SBOE Policies and Procedures § II(I)
Idaho Code § 67-5311
University Policy #1100 Use of University Space
University Policy #8000 Information Technology Resource Use

Scope:
Applies to all university employees, except the Government Affairs team.

Responsible Party:
Human Resource Services (HRS), 426-1616
Office of the General Counsel, 426-1203


Policy

  • I. Policy Statement
    • Boise State University respects the right and responsibility of citizenship provided in the Constitution and laws of the State of Idaho and the United States of America. Employees as individual citizens are encouraged to exercise fully and freely their right to participate in political processes without fear of penalty or reprisal, consistent with the University’s commitment o encouraging the full freedom, within the law, of inquiry, discourse, teaching, research, service, and publication. Certain types of activities by University employees related to political processes, however, may be incompatible with the general responsibilities of employment and as such must not be exercised in the employee’s official, university capacity.
  • II. General Guidelines
    • A. University employees may not engage in the promotion of or opposition to the individual candidates for public office or for political issues on campus 1) during their regular university working hours, 2) at official university functions, and/or 3) in their official capacity as university officials.
    • B. Faculty should avoid promoting of or opposing any particular candidate (local, state, or national) or political issue in their instructional responsibilities.
    • C. Employee participation in an issue or initiative must not:
      • 1. Involve the attempt to coerce faculty, staff, or students to participate in or support political issues or initiatives.
      • 2. Interfere with the performance of the employee’s duties and responsibilities, or.
      • 3. Depict the employee’s personal views as representing the University.
    • D. Prohibited Resource Use
      • An employee may not use the authority of the employee’s position, University funds, services, supplies, equipment, information technology resources, vehicles, or other university property, to endorse, campaign for, secure support for or oppose any candidate, political party, partisan political group, referendum, or issue in an election. See University Policy #8000 Information Technology Resource Use for more information.
    • E. University Facilities: The physical facilities of the university, including the Student Union, Stadium and arena may not be used by candidates who are employees of the university, except as they are used by non-employee candidates.
      • 1. The University facilities are available to any candidate for public office of any party.
      • 2. University employees should adhere to the same policies that affect non-employees in terms of he use of all campus facilities for partisan political activities.
      • 3. Such rentals may be arranged through the appropriate facility administrator in accordance with university policy.
    • F. Employees as Candidates
      • 1. At the earliest opportunity, employees who are considering running for or being appointed to public office should discuss potential conflicts or work arrangements with their supervisor and notify HRS.
      • 2. Under Idaho Code § 67-5311(1)(c), classified employees may not be candidates or hold elective office in a partisan election.
      • 3. Employees who are candidates for political office:
        • a) May not use university personnel, equipment, supplies, services, or other resources in their election efforts.
        • b) May not attempt to coerce faculty, staff or students to participate in or support their candidacy.
        • c) Must ensure their candidacy does not interfere with the discharge or performance of any employee’s duties or responsibilities.
        • d) May not depict their personal views as representing Boise State University.
    • G. Employees as Elected Officials:
      • 1. University employees elected to the State Legislature are placed on leave without compensation for hours not worked during such time as the Legislature is in session. Such employees must complete a time sheet every pay period during the session and may only be compensated for actual hours worked for the university. All hours short of forty (40) per week must be leave without compensation. During this leave period, the individual is not related to the university nor will the office or university resources be used by the individual.
      • 2. University employees elected to part-time, local office positions need not take a leave of absence from their institutional responsibilities. However, they must ensure their duties as an elected official do not interfere with their obligations as a university employee.
      • 3. Full-Time Elected or Appointed Positions: Full-time University employees elected or appointed to full-time city, state or federal office positions must resign from their institutional responsibilities before they are sworn into their new position. Adjunct faculty are allowed to teach at the University and serve in elected or appointed government positions
      • 4. An employee elected to any office may not depict their personal views as representing Boise State University or involve Boise State University in politics.
  • III. Political Activity by Students and Non-University Affiliated Individuals or Groups.
    • Most outdoor space is available for reservation to conduct political activity. See University Policy 1100 for more information.