IU faculty and staff frequently inquire about university policies regarding contacts with elected officials and political activities. These policies are posted here to facilitate ready access. Some of them also can be found on pages 158 to 161 in the Indiana University Academic Handbook.
In order to maintain professional working relationships with public officials and keep our IU messages coherent and effective, the Office of Government Relations requires that all university departments and units contact the office prior to any written or verbal communications with public officials relative to university-based interests.
Indiana University encourages students, staff, and faculty members to exercise their constitutional right to vote and to actively participate and express their opinions regarding local, state, and national political candidates, issues, and referendums. However, as a public institution, Indiana University receives tax exempt status under sections 115 and 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In order to maintain this status, the University shall not participate or intervene in any political campaign and must prevent its resources from being used in any way that could appear to support a political candidate.
Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) in September 2007. The goal of this law is to shed more light on the role of lobbyists in influencing federal legislation.
Indiana University has established certain policies, guidelines, and procedures pertaining to contacts being made on behalf of the University with federal and state government officials and agencies.
The University recognizes the right of academic appointees to engage in political activities beyond those normally entailed in voting and participating in routine community, state, and national programs, provided that the participation does not prevent the full discharge of the faculty member’s academic responsibilities.