The Office of Government Relations represents IU’s legislative initiatives in the Indiana Statehouse. Due to the interests that many departments or units may have in furthering a particular legislative issue, there have been instances, unbeknownst to members of the Government Relations team, in which individual requests have been made from IU entities directly to individual legislators or the entire body. 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.
If you or members of your staff request mailing lists or contact lists for communicating your messages, you must register this request through this office.
Please also read the Policy on Contacts with Federal and State Government Officials and Agencies.
Policy on Contacts with Federal and State Government Officials and Agencies
This information also can be found on in the Indiana University Policy on Contacts With Federal and State Government Officials and Agencies for Academic Employees (ACA-36).
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. In addition, policies, guidelines, and procedures related to the scheduling of political campaign activities and events on University property have also been established. These policies, guidelines, and procedures are designed to ensure compliance with legal requirements; to enhance the effectiveness of governmental contacts; and to facilitate coordination and communication within the University.
All members of the Indiana University community—faculty, staff, and students—are expected at all times to distinguish between when they speak or act in their personal capacity (including when they speak or act on behalf of professional societies and other organizations) and when they speak or act on behalf of the University’s interests.
Personal and Professional Contacts
Personal contacts (including those on behalf of professional societies and other organizations) with elected officials or governmental agencies, whether in person or in writing, should be done in the name of the individual or the professional society. Indiana University letterhead must not be used and any reference to affiliation with the University should be made only as an aid to identify the individual making the contact. It should be made clear that the request is not being made on behalf of the University.
Policy on Contacts with Federal Officials
Indiana University is registered as a lobbying organization in accordance with the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. The Lobbying Disclosure Act was amended by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (Public Law 110-81) and new congressional ethics rules were adopted related to gifts, travel, and events to honor members of Congress and staff. Indiana University is now required to report in more detail about federal lobbying activities and contacts with certain federal elected and appointed individuals, including all elected members of Congress, all congressional staff, and all federal Schedule C employees.
In order to help ensure compliance with the revised federal law and regulations, Indiana University has established a policy and quarterly reporting procedure for those who may be in contact with the aforementioned categories of federal elected officials and appointed staff/employees. Only individuals approved in accordance with the IU Policy on Federal Contacts are authorized to lobby or represent Indiana University’s interests with these federal officials. The responsibility for authorizing such persons rests with the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations. This office is also responsible for the preparation and submission of the required federal reports associated with lobbying activities.
It is also important to note that there are separate federal guidelines related to legislative contacts and lobbying procedures for persons who have been awarded federal grants. Information about these guidelines is available in Contracts and Grants Administration Important Notice 95-10.
General Procedures for Contacts with State Officials and Agencies
The Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations is charged with the responsibility of providing leadership for Indiana University’s governmental relations activities. It will only be able to effectively fulfill its responsibilities if it is aware that members of the University community are planning to make contacts on behalf of the University. Thus the following procedures are designed to help ensure communication and coordination within the institution and to maximize the effectiveness of any proposed contact. It is recognized that such contacts with state officials and agencies may take several forms, including individual or group meetings; testimony before executive or legislative bodies; presentation of written materials or electronic transmissions; invitations to visit campuses; and responses to requests for information.
Individual or group meetings with executive and legislative elected officials and staff: If such meetings are for the purpose of representing the interests of Indiana University, including specific funding requests or grant proposals, they must be coordinated with and approved by the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations. If an individual or group is representing a personal interest (including professional organizations) and is not representing the University, the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations would appreciate being notified of the meeting for information purposes only, but there is no specific requirement for such notification.
Appearances before executive and legislative bodies including committees, study groups, and commissions: If such appearances are for the purpose of representing the interests of Indiana University, the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations must be notified and must grant approval for such representation. As referenced above, if the appearance is personal (including professional organizations) and it is made clear that the presenter is not representing IU, the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations would appreciate being notified of the appearance for information purposes only, but there is no specific requirement for such notification.
Written materials or electronic transmissions: It is useful for officials to receive official University publications and periodicals; however, it is important to coordinate such distributions to avoid duplication and other problems that may result from overloading officials with such material. Therefore, the distribution of materials to officials should be coordinated with the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations.
Invitations to visit campuses: The University welcomes visits by elected officials and staff, whether they visit as private citizens or in their capacities as government officials. Invitations to elected officials to visit any campus of the University in their official capacity are to be approved in advance by the Vice President or Chancellor of that campus, who will then inform the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations.
Responses to requests for information, reports, and data from elected officials and staff: When requests for information, reports, and data related to the University have been made to the campuses or to individual faculty and staff members of the University community, responses to such requests are to be coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations.
Please also read about Contacting State Officials on Behalf of a University Department or Unit and the Overview of Federal Lobbying and Ethics Rules and Regulations.