Statutes, policies detail limits of political activity

It’s only 34 days until the election, and NAU employees should make themselves aware of the Arizona attorney general’s opinion as well as university and Arizona Board of Regents policies that prohibit the use of university resources and limit this type of activity for NAU faculty and staff in their employment capacity.

Nothing in the policies or statutes is intended to discourage employees in their private capacity from becoming engaged in the political process.

Employees are prohibited from stating or implying that they are speaking on behalf of the university on a political or electoral issue. Additionally, statutes prohibit using university property, equipment, supplies or other resources—including phones, mail service, photocopiers, e-mail, stationery or other items paid for by the university—for political or electoral advocacy.

The statutes generally do not apply to students, and employees are free to participate on their own time in any lawful political activities provided they do not purport to speak or act in the name of the university. For example, employees cannot send a letter to the editor with their university affiliation attached or use university time or resources to create the letter.

If you are in doubt about appropriate activity, contact your supervisor or Human Resources.