3.17 / Political Activity

  1. Policy

    The Kansas Board of Regents has adopted the following policy regarding the political activity of personnel at the state universities.

    Faculty, administrators and other unclassified personnel, including university support staff, may accept any public or political party appointed or elected position that does not create any conflict of interest with, and does not require substantial time away from, assigned duties or in other respects infringe upon those duties.

    The filing of a declaration of intent to become a candidate shall not affect the status or appointment of an unclassified employee, including university support staff. However, the employee shall continue to properly and fully perform all of his or her assigned duties or take appropriate leave if available. Should the employee, while he or she is a candidate for office and not on approved leave, fail to perform all of his or her assigned duties, such employee shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

    Leave without salary or other benefits shall be granted to those elected or appointed to public office requiring full time or lengthy sustained periods away from assigned duties, such as Congress, the State Legislature, and state and county offices or appointments to office falling within this category. For persons elected or appointed to Congress or the State Legislature, this provision shall be effective from the date such person takes the Oath of Office or the first day of the Legislative session and continuing until the adjournment of Congress or to a date no sooner than the last adjournment in April or sine die adjournment, whichever occurs first, of each regular and special session of the State Legislature; as to other state and county offices requiring full time or lengthy sustained periods away from assigned duties, this provision shall be effective, during the entire time a person serves as such officer. Leave without salary or other benefits shall not be required for any person serving in the State Legislature or for service on any committee during a period when the Legislature is not in regular or special session, provided that such person shall decline to accept all legislative compensation for such service, but such person shall be entitled to mileage and other expense allowances as provided by statute and paid by the Legislature. This shall also apply to any person serving in a public or political party appointed or elected position that does not require full-time or lengthy service. K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 74-4925 (5) provides that any member of the Kansas Legislature who is on leave of absence for the Board of Regents or an educational institution under its management may elect to remain eligible for participation in the Board of Regents' retirement plan while on such leave.

    In the interest of the fullest participation in public affairs, personnel are free to express opinions speaking or writing as an individual in their personal capacity and not as a representative of the institution in signed advertisements, pamphlets and related material in support of or opposition to parties and causes. There shall be the commensurate responsibility of making plain that each person so doing is acting for himself and not on behalf of an institution supported by tax funds drawn from citizens of varying political and economic views. This responsibility includes avoiding the use of University letterhead and stationery and other official University designations. Employees testifying before the Kansas Legislature in their official capacity with Wichita State University shall notify the Office of Government Relations prior to such testimony.

(See also Political Activities and Campus Facilities at Section 11.22 of this manual.)