From: Administrative E-Memo (memofrom@Colorado.EDU)
Date: Wed Apr 23 2008 - 17:16:20 MDT
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2008 17:16:20 -0600 (MDT) From: Administrative E-Memo <memofrom@Colorado.EDU> Subject: Campaign-Related Activities - Summary and Guidelines
TO: Boulder Campus Teaching & Research Faculty, Staff,
Deans, Directors, Dept Chairs, System Administration
FROM: Office of the President
SENDER: Office of the President
DATE: April 23, 2008
SUBJECT: Campaign-Related Activities - Summary and Guidelines
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
The election season, which seems to come earlier each year, is upon us.
Engaging in the democratic process fits with our university community's
mission. However, faculty, staff and students of the University of Colorado
are under certain restrictions and prohibitions established by Colorado's
Fair Campaign Practices Act (CRS 1-45-117).
Essentially, public money and university resources cannot be used to
advocate for issues or candidates in local, state or national elections. The
guidelines below provide a more detailed look at what that means for
faculty, staff and students. Please familiarize yourself with them.
Participating in the democratic process is a privilege, and I encourage you
to do so. As you do, please ensure you meet the responsibilities outlined
Bruce D. Benson
Campaign-Related Activities - Summary and Guidelines
The Fair Campaign Practices Act (a/k/a Campaign Reform Act, C.R.S. -
1-45-117) generally prohibits public entities, including institutions of
higher education, from expending any public money from any source for
contributions to a campaign for elected office, or to urge electors to vote
in favor or against any ballot issue or referred measure.
The term "public money" is broadly construed, and includes in-kind
contributions such as services or non-monetary resources. The funds and
resources of the University of Colorado are considered to be public money,
regardless of the amount of state support the university receives.
Under the act, any person can complain to the secretary of state that a
public entity or public employee has violated the law. The secretary of
state may investigate any complaint and may impose monetary fines.
Specific Guidance for University Employees
Generally, employees may not:
engage in any activity during working hours designed to urge electors to
vote for or against any campaign issues, which include campaigns for public
office, statewide campaign issues or referred measures, and local campaign
issues or levies
use office supplies or equipment, including computers, telephones, printers
or fax machines to create materials urging electors to vote for or against a
use their university e-mail accounts to urge electors to vote for or against
a campaign issue, or to forward materials that urge electors to vote for or
against a campaign issue.
use university web sites to urge electors to vote for or against a campaign
Employees wishing to participate in a campaign activity should take personal
Special Rules for Faculty Members
Most faculty members do not have personal leave. Additionally, many faculty
members are not on contract during the summer. Accordingly, faculty members
may engage in advocacy activities related to a campaign issue during months
in which they are not on contract, or during the school year in accordance
with applicable department or campus policies on use of personal time.
However, faculty members should avoid the appearance of impropriety by
clarifying wherever possible that such activities are being conducted on
personal time and not on behalf of or at the request of the university.
Faculty members remain subject to other limitations on the use of state
resources, including university e-mail, even if using personal time.
Special Rules for Students
Students may engage in political expression without limitation, except that
they may not use university resources in advocating for or against a
Money generated through student fees and equipment or materials purchased
with student fees are considered university resources.
Student groups are free to organize for advocacy purposes. If an advocacy
group raises money other than student fees for the purposes of campaign
advocacy, they may not commingle such monies-they must maintain separate
What Activities Are Allowed?
University employees may provide information in response to questions posed
in the ordinary course of their duties, even if the information provided
relates to a ballot issue, so long as the question was not solicited by a
The Board of Regents may pass a resolution adopting an advocacy position
related to a ballot issue. The resolution may be distributed by any normal
and customary means and in response to a question.
Policymakers such as the president and chancellors may adopt an opinion
related to a ballot issue and spend up to $50 publicizing that opinion. If
such an opinion is adopted, it may be communicated in response to a
Employees may use personal time to engage in any advocacy activities,
provided they do not use state resources. As a general rule, employees
should always make it clear they are taking personal time and they are not
speaking on behalf of the university.
The university may allow access to its meeting facilities for political
expression as public forums or limited public forums. So long as access is
not restricted based on viewpoint-i.e., as long as there is equal access to
advocates on all sides of an issue-the resource is not being used for
The university may allow a meeting room to be used by an advocacy group, so
long as the same or similar space is available to any opposing advocacy
group. Forums offered to provide information about a ballot issue should
include both sides of the ballot issue. However, student advocacy groups may
invite a candidate to speak without inviting opposing candidates, so long as
other student advocacy groups are afforded the same opportunities to invite
opposing candidates to speak.
The university may set additional reasonable time, place and manner
restrictions on these activities. The following rules are advisable:
Attendance must be open to the public or to all students.
A disclaimer must be made on any printed materials and/or at the event that
the university does not endorse the candidate, and that any opposing
candidate or advocacy group will be offered a similar opportunity to speak.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.6 : Wed Apr 23 2008 - 17:16:21 MDT