Welcome back to the spring semester! This memo reviews important University of Utah policies and regulations that all university faculty, staff, and students are expected to follow. As the Utah State Legislature’s 2021 General Session is scheduled to convene on Jan. 19, please take a moment to review the university’s policies regarding political activity.
This memo is part of a series of policy and resource notifications that are distributed over the course of the academic year. It also provides information about critical campus resources. You also can find this information, along with past notifications here.
- Legislative communications by university employees: University of Utah employees are required to comply with the state’s executive order and the Board of Regents policy on “legislative communications.” In general, the executive order and Regents’ policy prohibit university employees, while acting in their official capacities, from engaging in “legislative communications” (i.e., communications with a state legislator regarding the passage or defeat of a specific bill, resolution, amendment or other matter pending before the Utah Legislature). The university president may authorize employees to engage in legislative communications for the limited purpose of explaining technical concepts or providing subject-matter expertise.
- The executive order and the Regents’ policy do not prohibit university employees from speaking on matters of public concern as private citizens on their own time and with their own resources (e.g., personal email instead of UMail; personal letterhead instead of university letterhead; etc.).
- Use of university’s name or university affiliation: Faculty members must avoid exploiting the university's name, brand or their own relationship with the university for personal reasons unrelated to their legitimate academic or professional activities. They must not intentionally create the impression, in public appearances or statements, that they are representing the university unless, in fact, they are.
This policy has several practical implications
- All University of Utah employees have the right to free speech on matters of public concern and are free to lobby or support candidates, issues, and campaigns.
- The university remains neutral on all election-related questions and issues.
- Employees who engage in political activities must do so outside of work hours (or while on approved leave), and they must use their own resources. This means that employees should not use university email accounts, university letterhead, university office supplies, and equipment, or other university resources to engage in these activities. In addition, employees are expected to make it clear that they are speaking on their own behalf and not on behalf of the university.
Campus Safety and Safety Resources
- SafeU: The SafeU website is a broad institutional effort to prioritize and advance safety on campus. It provides easily accessible and comprehensive information on a range of topics, from how to report a sexual assault to where to learn about bystander intervention training.
- Courtesy escorts: Available for all campus community members by calling 801-585-COPS (801-585-2677).
- Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: The University of Utah is committed to enhancing the success of diverse faculty, students, and staff, as part of our broader goal to enrich the educational experiences and success of all members of our university community. More details about our commitment to EDI can be found here.
- Ethics and Compliance Hotline: The university is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and encourages faculty and staff to report any dishonest or improper act that violates the law, wastes money or endangers public health or safety. Reporting through customary management channels is preferred. As an additional option, the University contracts with an independent service to provide a hotline that guarantees anonymity if desired. You can submit a confidential report of concerns related to ethics and compliance here. All reports are reviewed and followed up as appropriate.
- Travel registration: University Rule R3-030D (International Travel Safety and Insurance) requires registration for all international travel that is sponsored, funded, coordinated and/or managed by the university, whether individually or as the leader of a student group. Failure to abide by Rule R3-030D exposes the university and its faculty, staff, and students to an unacceptable level of risk, while also skirting protections for individual health and safety. All international travel participants are required to do the following:
- Register their university-related travel at least three weeks prior to the departure date.
- Enroll in university-affiliated international and emergency evacuation insurance.
- Abide by all active travel warnings and restrictions.