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The following resources assist with understanding the legal regulations governing the campaign activities of public employees.
Political Activity on Campus: Memorandum by the American Council on Education on Political Campaign-Related Activities of and at Colleges and Universities.
Memorandum published by the American Council on Education (ACE) on political campaign-related activities on campus. The memorandum is designed to educate staff on ways to become involved in elections, both through the institution and as individuals. It focuses primarily on 501(c)(3) tax-exempt institutions.
Charities, Churches, and Educational Organizations - Political Campaign Intervention (IRS Web page)
By virtue of becoming an employee of Arizona State University, with limited exceptions (1), one does not give up constitutional rights to participate in the political process.
However, ASU, through the Arizona Board of Regents, is funded in significant part by state appropriations. As a faculty or staff member of ASU, one is provided with office space, and support services (e.g., computers, printers, telephones, voice mail, fax machines, photocopy machines, e-mail accounts, intra-campus mail services, fleet management, paper, ink, envelops, pens, etc.) to perform the job duties efficiently and effectively. This property, equipment and supplies are all owned by and/or considered to be "university property." Thus, ARS § 15-1633 prohibits the use of university personnel and resources to influence the outcome of elections. An employee of a publicly funded, state university has rights and responsibilities if/when participating in political activity (2).
A simple way to distinguish permissible activities from prohibited activities is to refrain from engaging in political activity on university time or with university resources and/or property. Political activities should be conducted on your own personal time and with your own personal resources.
(1) Arizona Constitution, article IV, part 2, § 5 prohibits employees of the State of Arizona from serving in the state legislature unless employed as a teacher or instructor in the public school system. Accordingly, faculty may hold a state legislative office; however, academic professionals (except those who are course instructors), university staff and classified staff members cannot serve unless they resign their university position.
(2) This summary does not address the permissible scope of activities of:
Arizona Revised Statutes:
Attorney General Guidance on Use of University Resources to Influence the Outcome of Elections (2006)
Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) Policies:
Arizona Public Service information on the Office of Human Resources Web site