R-04, BOR Policy RP 9.205, Political Activity

[Duplicated text of Board of Regents Policy RP 9.205, Political Activity]

 R-04, BOR Policy RP 9.205, Political Activity


RP 9.205 Political Activity

I.  Purpose

This Regents Policy affirms the right of University Employees to participate in political activities so long as such political activities do not interfere or are not incompatible with the discharge of the duties and responsibilities owed by the employee to the University of Hawai‘i.

II.  Definitions

“University Employees” for purposes of this policy only is defined as employees receiving a recurring salary, stipend or hourly  wage as monetary compensation for work performed in a regular, ongoing appointment of one week or more, subject to the following exclusions:

(1) Non-compensated employees;

(2) Students who may be employed as student employees and/or graduate assistants; and

(3) Individuals who are provided an honorarium to provide a single nonrecurring service, and who do not qualify for employment benefits.

“Public Elective Office” will include all offices of the State of Hawai‘i or any of its counties or any of its agencies to which  election is held on a Statewide or district basis, or at the federal level which election is held on statewide or national level. For the purpose of this policy, “Public Elective Office” shall not include unpaid, part-time State or county elective offices that operate outside normal business hours, such as elected neighborhood boards, or which occur outside the standard hours of the University Employee.

“Political Activities” is defined as campaigning for and/or being elected to a Public Elective office, endorsing, supporting or opposing a candidate for Public Elective Office, advocating regarding a voter referendum issue, or participating in partisan activities that should be done on personal time and outside of the workplace.

III. Policy

A.  Pursuant to Chapter 84, Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, the university and state employees must not use public resources including funds, equipment, and time to engage in Political Activities.

B.  The holding of Public Elective Office is generally incompatible with serving as a University Employee. Issues include conflicts of commitment between multiple employers as well as conflicts of interest. For these reasons, a University Employee who is elected to Public Elective Office will resign or be separated from university employment immediately upon being sworn into office. Similarly, individuals who hold Public Elective Office will not be hired as a University Employee.

C.  The board believes that it is the right of University Employees as individual citizens to engage in political activities so long as these activities do not interfere with the university’s mission and the performance of university duties and responsibilities, or violate established rules of the university or state law.

  1. It is expected that all University Employees will use appropriate discretion and judgment in the exercise of the political rights which such employees share in common with other citizens; that employees will be careful always to recognize and emphasize that their utterances and actions in political matters are theirs as individuals acting in their personal capacity and employees must clearly state and explain that they are not stating a university position or acting as representatives of the university; that employees will always recognize that their first obligation is to the university as their employer; and that employees will accord the university administration the courtesy of prior notice of any political commitment which is likely to bring them into prominence or perceived conflict of interest. Should a University Employee choose to endorse a candidate or engage in similar Political Activity, that employee may not allow use of his/her work title or position, work resources or university affiliation in any way.
  1. Before officially announcing as a candidate for or accepting any Public Elective Office, a University Employee must notify his/her official supervisor and administrator, and the Vice President for Administration promptly in writing and in no event later than the filing of nomination papers or the announcement of candidacy for such office.
  2. As a candidate for Public Elective Office, the University Employee shall:

a.  Be subject to general university policies and state laws governing conflicts of interest and appearances and activities of political candidates on university property which includes campus or off-campus locations that are deemed leased or owned by the university. Candidates must ensure that no real or perceived campaign activities or statements are made on any university property, in university meetings or classes, in or on university documents, or through any UH communication media including university phone, campus mail and electronic mail systems.

b.  Scrupulously receive prior approval, sign out in advance for vacation or unpaid leave, and ensure approval by his/her official supervisor, to account for any time spent on Political Activities during the employee’s normal working hours.

c.  Ensure that he/she does not give the appearance or state that the University Employee’s views, positions, utterances and/or actions are representative of the university or any university administrator or employee.

D.  Any University Employee shall notify his/her supervisor and Vice President for Administration of his/her appointment to a federal, State, or county board or commission.

IV.  Delegation of Authority

There is no policy specific delegation of authority.

V.  Contact Information

Office of the Vice President for Administration, 956-8862, jgouveia@hawaii.edu

VI.  References

  • http://www.hawaii.edu/offices/bor/