What do you need to know about political activities as an FIU employee?
FIU encourages its employees to be engaged in civic activities. An informed and engaged citizenry is a key underpinning of a democratic society. For the same reason that FIU encourages its employees to be civically engaged, FIU itself is frequently involved in civic activities, such as hosting debates and inviting elected officials to campus to speak.
Distinguishing between acceptable civic engagement for FIU and its employees and purely political activity, which is not permissible for FIU and employees to engage in in the course and scope employment, is essential to avoid implicating state and federal election laws prohibiting state universities from becoming overly entangled in political activity. Following are the general rules:
University employees are free to engage in political activities, for example, political campaigns, as they may choose on their own time. As with all other personal activities, employees should not use university resources, including work time and university information technology resources, when engaged in these purely personal activities.
FIU is permitted to engage in civic activities the general purpose of which is to provide non-partisan educational, community engagement and academic research endeavors.
While FIU encourages its employees to engage in civic activities, neither FIU nor its employees, on behalf of FIU, may engage in purely political activity and FIU employees may not be required by their supervisors to participate in purely political activity.
Lastly, state law prohibits the making or soliciting of campaign contributions (whether monetary or otherwise) on FIU property.
For detailed guidance regarding activities of this nature, you may want to visit the University Compliance & Integrity website which provides general dos and don’ts to guide university employees in this area.
If, after reviewing these materials, you continue to have questions, please contact our office or the Office of Governmental Relations for guidance.