May I participate in election campaigns?
As private citizens, University of Colorado School of
Medicine faculty members are permitted and encouraged to participate in
election campaigns and advocate for public policies. However, most faculty
members are also public employees, and the state and Board of Regents limit the
manner in which employees may use the name and resources of the university.
- Under the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act (CRS
1-45-117), public money and university resources cannot be used to advocate for
or against any candidate, ballot initiative or referred measure in any local,
state or national election. This means that faculty members are prohibited, 24
hours per day, from using university computers, email accounts, university
websites, faxes, office supplies or other resources to influence an election or
to advocate for or against any candidate for office or any issue (ballot
initiative or referendum) that is before the people.
- Faculty members may not use their university email accounts
to send or forward any materials that urge electors to vote for or against a
candidate, ballot initiative or other campaign issue that is before the people.
- Faculty members may not participate in any election
activities during working hours; if they wish to do so, they must take personal
(vacation) leave. Even if using personal time, faculty members may not use
university resources and must clarify that their activities are being conducted
on personal time and not on behalf of, or at the request of, the university.
- Under the Act, any person can complain to the secretary of
state that a public entity or public employee has violated the campaign
practices law. The secretary of state may investigate any complaint and may
impose monetary fines.
- Certain campaign-related activities are allowed. For
example, faculty members may provide information in response to questions posed
in the ordinary course of their duties, even if the information provided
relates to a ballot issue—so long as the question was not solicited by a state
- Separate rules and restrictions apply to students and
student groups and to regents and certain other officers of the university.