University Policy: 580-022-0010 Political Activities
Policy Category: Governance and Administration
Download the Policy: (PDF)
Effective Date: 07/01/2014
Last Revised: 05/21/2021


Political Activities
  1. Although there is no prohibition against active participation by university employees in various political affairs and issues, it is expected that time given to such activities shall not interfere with the duties of the employees concerned. Unless authorized by the President or their designee, no OSU resources shall be used while participating in political activities.

  2. Unless authorized by the President or their designee, no employee acting in their OSU capacity shall take action or make statements that might commit the university or the Board to a position on a political issue.

  3. Paragraph 2 notwithstanding, no university employee may support or oppose a ballot measure, a referendum or a candidate for office in their university capacity or with university resources.

  4. Faculty members are encouraged, in their individual faculty capacity and without committing OSU to a particular political position unless authorized, to provide expertise to state and federal agencies and elected officials, including the Oregon Legislature, its members or committees, or staff.

  5. Employees are encouraged to engage in political issues in their personal capacity, not using OSU resources, including the support or opposition of ballot measures, referenda and candidates. Any use of an employee’s OSU title while engaging in community and political affairs in a personal capacity must specify its use “for identification purpose only.”

Candidates for Public Office 
  1. In accordance with the Oregon Constitution, it is Board policy to allow employees to seek political office and to serve in the event of election. Before an employee shall become a candidate for any public office, whether for a salaried or nonsalaried position, the employee is expected to consult with the President or their designee.

  2. Political activity shall in no way interfere with the performance of the major duties prescribed by the Board and the President.

  3. Because circumstances under which a campaign is conducted will vary widely depending on the nature of the elective office and the extent of opposition, the determination of whether an employee may continue full-time duties while conducting or engaged in a campaign rests with the President or their designee. In the event of election to the State Legislature, an employee normally will be placed on leave of absence without pay during the period of full-time responsibility. If elected or appointed to a full-time salaried office, the employee may be placed on leave of absence without pay during the term of office or may be required to resign.

Relationships with State Government
  1. Except for the President and designees, no employee of the university is authorized to represent the university to the Legislature, its members or committees, to the Office of the Governor, and to the Executive Department and its Divisions. Any activity representing positions of the university will be coordinated through the OSU Government Relations Office.

  2. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as inhibiting an employee of the university from exercising the right of citizenship in a personal capacity, or be construed as inhibiting any employee of the university from appearing before a body of state government identified in this rule in response to a request from that body.

  3. Faculty members are authorized to visit the Legislative Sessions and Hearings with students in the interests of furthering the effectiveness of organized class work, or to respond to requests from the Legislature for establishment and maintenance of special involvements such as student intern programs.