Campus Political Activity and Engagement with Federal Officials
Duke University encourages all students, faculty and staff to be active and engaged citizens, and to participate fully in the political life of the community. In doing so, though, it is also important to keep in mind the legal guidelines that govern political activity on campus.
As a non-profit, tax-exempt entity, Duke must abide by federal and state laws prohibiting the use of its facilities, services or personnel to promote or support individuals or organizations campaigning for public office. These laws prohibit Duke University, and any of its related entities, from contributing to or supporting political candidates or parties. Simply put, no Duke resources – including personnel, e-mail accounts, copiers, office space, vehicles or publications – may be used for political purposes. The restrictions on political activity do not apply to any employee acting as an individual, on their own time and using personal resources. Understanding the basic rules helps promote vibrant discussions on campus about candidates and political issues without violating the law.
The following guidelines are designed to address the most common questions about political activity by Duke employees. If you do have issues or concerns not noted below, we encourage you to seek clarification from your supervisor, department chair or directly from the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations.
Memo from VP of Public Affairs and Government Relations Mike Schoenfeld:
Re: Campus political activity and engagement with government officials (sent 4/10/12).