University Policy 28
Political Activities of EPA Employees

Formerly Executive Memorandum 85-68
Initially approved March 15, 1985
Revised June 1, 1999
Administering Office: Chancellor's Office

The Board of Governors at its February 8, 1985, meeting adopted amendments to its policy of January 20, 1976 concerning political activities of EPA employees. The full text of the policy as it now exists reads as follows:

1. DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this policy, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings indicated:

a. "Employees" means all employees of The University of North Carolina and of the constituent institutions who are exempt from the State Personnel System (Article I of Chapter 126 of the General Statutes).

b. "Senior Administrative Officers" means the President and all employees on the President's staff and the Chancellors and senior officials of the constituent institutions, including persons at the rank of vice chancellor, provost, dean, and other positions of equivalent rank and responsibility.

c. "Public Office" means any national, state, or local governmental position of public trust and responsibility, whether elective or appointive, which is created, prescribed, or recognized by constitution, statute, or ordinance (other than within The University of North Carolina).

d. "Compensation Which Is More Than Nominal" means compensation over and above (1) payments in the nature of reimbursements for expenses incurred by the officeholder incident to holding office (whether calculated on an average per diem basis or on an actual-expense basis) plus (2) the amount of per diem compensation prescribed by G.S. 138-5(a)(1) (currently established to be $15 per diem).

2. HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICES CONCURRENT WITH UNIVERSITY EMPLOYMENT

a. Full-Time Public Offices

Upon election to or acceptance of appointment to a public office requiring full-time service, an employee of the University will be deemed to have resigned from his or her University employment; provided, that if deemed practicable by the University, an affected employee may be granted a full leave of absence from University employment, without pay, to coincide with the period of public service, with such period of leave not to exceed two years in any case; such a request for leave shall be addressed to and resolved by the Board of Governors, shall be transmitted through the President, and shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the appropriate Chancellor in any case pertaining to an institutional employee (if the request for leave pertains to a Chancellor, it shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the Board of Trustees).

b. Part-Time Public Offices For Which Compensation Is More Than Nominal

If a University employee is elected to or accepts appointment to a public office requiring part-time service, for which compensation is more than nominal (including membership in the General Assembly), it shall be presumed that holding such public office creates a conflict of time or interest which interferes with responsibilities owed the University and which requires the affected employee either to procure an ppropriate leave of absence or to resign from University employment. If prior to assuming the public office the affected employee by petition is able to establish to the satisfaction of the University that, contrary to the presumption, holding such public office in fact will not create a conflict of time or interest which interferes with responsibilities owed the University, the resignation requirement shall not be applicable; if consistent with the presumption the resignation requirement is found to be applicable, upon request by the affected employee and if deemed practicable by the University the employee may be granted a full or partial leave of absence from University employment, with corresponding suspension of or reduction in pay, applicable to the period of public service (if a full leave of absence is deemed necessary and is granted, it shall not exceed two years in any case; if a partial leave of absence is deemed necessary and is granted, the period of leave shall be at the discretion of the University). Such petitions for leave by senior administrative officers (and by all other employees if the petition is for service in the General Assembly) shall be addressed to and resolved by the Board of Governors, shall be transmitted through the President, and shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the appropriate Chancellor in any case pertaining to an institutional employee (if the request for leave pertains to a Chancellor, it shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the Board of Trustees); such petitions for leave by University employees other than senior administrative officers (with the exception of petitions for service in the General Assembly) shall be addressed to and resolved by the appropriate Board of Trustees and shall be transmitted through the Chancellor. With respect to each such decision rendered by a Board of Trustees, the Chancellor shall transmit to the Committee on University Governance of the Board of Governors a report, containing such information as the Committee may specify, concerning the action of the Board of Trustees.

c. Part-Time Public Offices For Which Compensation Is Only Nominal

Election to or acceptance of appointment to a public officer equiring part-time service, for which no compensation is paid or for which the compensation paid is only nominal, shall be presumed not to create a conflict of time or interest which interferes with responsibilities owed the University; provided, that if the President (with respect to senior administrative officers) or the Chancellor (with respect to other employees) believes that, contrary to the presumption, there will be a conflict of time or interest in the particular case, the question may be referred for resolution by either the Board of Governors or the appropriate Board of Trustees (depending on whether or not the employee is a senior administrative officer). Any employee who files as a candidate for or intends to accept appointment to such a public office must file promptly with his or her immediate supervisor a written statement setting forth the amount of any payments to which the holder of such office is entitled as officeholder.

3. CANDIDACY FOR ELECTIVE PUBLIC OFFICE

a. Full-Time Offices

The candidacy of a University employee for election to a public office requiring full-time service is presumed to create a conflict of time which interferes with the performance of responsibilities owed the University and requires the affected employee either to procure an appropriate leave of absence or to resign from University employment. If prior to announcing his or her candidacy the affected employee by petition is able to establish to the satisfaction of the University that, contrary to the presumption, such candidacy in fact will not create a conflict of time which interferes with responsibilities owed the University, the resignation requirement shall not be applicable; if consistent with the presumption the resignation requirement is found to be applicable, upon request by the affected employee and if deemed practicable by the University the employee may be granted a full or partial leave of absence from University employment, with corresponding suspension of or reduction in pay, to be coextensive with the period of candidacy. Such petitions and/or requests for leave shall be addressed to and resolved by the Board of Governors, shall be transmitted through the President, and shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the appropriate Chancellor in any case pertaining to an institutional employee (if the request for leave pertains to a Chancellor, it shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the Board of Trustees).

b. Part-Time Offices For Which Compensation Is More Than Nominal

The candidacy of a University employee for election to a public office requiring part-time service, for which compensation is more than nominal (including membership in the General Assembly), is presumed to create a conflict of time which interferes with the performance of responsibilities owed the University and requires the affected employee either to procure an appropriate leave of absence or to resign from University employment. If prior to announcing his or her candidacy the affected employee by petition is able to establish to the satisfaction of the University that, contrary to the presumption, such candidacy in fact will not create a conflict of time which interferes with responsibilities owed the University, the resignation requirement shall not be applicable; if consistent with the presumption the resignation requirement is found to be applicable, upon request by the affected employee and if deemed practicable by the University the employee may be granted a full or partial leave of absence from University employment, with corresponding suspension of or reduction in pay, to be coextensive with the period of candidacy. Such petitions for leave by senior administrative officers (and by all other employees if the petition concerns candidacy for the General Assembly) shall be addressed to and resolved by the Board of Governors, shall be transmitted through the President and shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the appropriate Chancellor in any case pertaining to an institutional employee (if the request for leave pertains to a Chancellor, it shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the Board of Trustees); such petitions for leave by University employees other than senior administrative officers (with the exception of petitions concerning candidacy for the General Assembly) shall be addressed to and resolved by the appropriate Board of Trustees and shall be transmitted through the Chancellor. With respect to each such decision rendered by a Board of Trustees, the Chancellor shall transmit to the Committee on University Governance of the Board of Governors a report, containing such information as the Committee may specify, concerning the action of the Board of Trustees.

c. Part-Time Offices For Which Compensation Is Only Nominal

The candidacy of a University employee for election to a public office requiring part-time service, for which no compensation is paid or for which the compensation paid is only nominal, is presumed not to create a conflict of time which interferes materially with responsibilities owed the University; provided, that if the President (with respect to senior administrative officers) or the Chancellor (with respect to other employees) believes that, contrary to the presumption, there will be a material conflict of time in the particular case, the question may be referred for resolution by either the Board of Governors or the appropriate Board of Trustees (depending on whether or not the employee is a senior administrative officer). Any employee who files as a candidate for such a public office must file promptly with his or her immediate supervisor a written statement setting forth the amount of any payments to which the holder of such office is entitled as officeholder.

4. POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES

With respect to his or her own candidacy for election to public office or to any other person's candidacy for election to public office, no University employee shall:

a. Use University funds, services, supplies, vehicles, or other property to support or oppose the candidacy of any person for elective public office;

b. Make any promise of preferential treatment (or actually confer such preference) or make any threat of detrimental treatment (or actually impose such detriment) to any person, with respect to any condition or incident of employment over which the employee has authority, control, or influence, for purposes of inducing support of or opposition to any candidate for elective public office.

Violation of the prohibitions contained in subparagraphs a and b, above, shall be cause for appropriate disciplinary action, including discharge from employment.

5. OTHER LEAVES OF ABSENCE FOR SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS

A senior administrative officer who desires a leave of absence for purposes other than political candidacy or office holding may petition the University for such a leave in the following manner:

(a) with respect to periods of leave not to exceed 90 days, the petition shall be addressed to and resolved by the President, who shall report to the Board of Governors all such leave arrangements as he may grant;

(b) with respect to periods of leave to exceed 90 days, the petition shall be addressed to and resolved by the Board of Governors, shall be transmitted through the President, and shall be accompanied by a recommendation from the appropriate Chancellor in any case pertaining to an institutional employee (if the request for leave pertains to a Chancellor, it shall be accompanied by a recommendation of the Board of Trustees).

6. APPEALS

With respect to any decision reached by a Board of Trustees as prescribed in Section 2 and 3 of this policy, an employee aggrieved by the decision may appeal to the Board of Governors only on the basis of an allegation that such decision was contrary to the provisions of this policy. Any such appeal shall be addressed to the Chancellor for transmission to the President, who in turn will transmit the appeal to the Board of Governors.

7. EFFECTIVE DATE

The requirements of this Resolution shall be applicable prospectively only, on and after the date of adoption by the Board of Governors. No change in the employment status of an employee who was an incumbent in a public office as of the adoption date of this policy shall be required under the terms of this policy for the balance of the term of office being served on the effective date of Resolution.

8. RELATION TO STATE LAWS

The foregoing regulations as adopted by the Board of Governors are designed to supplement, and do not purport in any way to supplant or modify, those statutory enactments which may govern or limit the political activities of employees of the State of North Carolina.

9. REPEAL OF PRIOR ENACTMENTS

With respect to the resolution of the Board of Governors entitled "Policies Concerning Senior Administrative Officers of The University of North Carolina" which was adopted under date of September 13, 1974, paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of said resolution are repealed; additionally, the resolution of the Board of Trustees of The University of North Carolina entitled "Statement of Policy on Elective Office-Holding" which was adopted under date of November 14, 1969, is repealed.

NOTE: Instructions regarding procedures to be followed by university employees who intend to become candidates for or holders of political office are available from the Chancellor's Office.

 

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