POLITICAL ACTIVITY BY EMPLOYEES

No: S-43

Date: Nov. 10, 1989--Rev.
(Original, July 12, 1974)

Authority: UWS Board of Regents
                  Resolution #5364

See also S-36


I.   GENERAL POLICY PROVISIONS FOR ALL LEAVES OTHER THAN MEDICAL:

  1. A leave of absence must be for a specific period of time. It cannot be open-ended.

  2. Initial leaves of one year or less (subject to a discretionary extension for a second year) or for the initial term of an elected or appointed government office not to exceed four years may be approved as provided herein and/or in S-36. A discretionary leave extension must be applied for and approved under the same procedures that govern an initial leave request.

  3. Any extension beyond the second year, or beyond the initial four-year term of elected or appointed government office, must receive specific approval of the Board of Regents and must be for a fixed period of time.

  4. For other than an initial term of elected or appointed government office of up to four years, advance approval by the Board of Regents is required if the initial leave is for more than two years.

  5. All leaves of absence are predicated on an agreement between the staff member and the university that the staff member will return to the university at the conclusion of the leave. Each staff member requesting a leave must execute a conditional resignation as shown in S-36, Exhibit 1, stipulating that failure to return to the university at the conclusion of the approved leave period constitutes a resignation from the university.

II. POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES ENGAGING IN POLITICAL ACTIVITY OR SEEKING ELECTIVE OFFICE

  1. Service as an elected official on off-hour demand activities (e.g., school boards, city councils, county boards or local, state or national commissions) would not normally require a reduced appointment or leave of absence. Each case should be reviewed by the appropriate administrative supervisor.

  2. No political campaigning activities shall be engaged in during hours when an employee is expected to be performing his or her regularly scheduled university duties. Further, as provided by state law, no officer or employee may solicit or receive or be involved in soliciting or receiving any contribution or service for any political purpose from any officer or employee of this state while on state time or engaged in his or her official duties as an officer or employee.

  3. If a staff member chooses to enter a primary campaign, he or she, in consultation with the appropriate department chairperson and dean or director, should determine whether this activity will impair or encroach on performance of university duties. If it is determined that the activity will have an adverse effect, a reduced-time appointment should be arranged for the period of the primary campaign.

  4. If a staff member is a candidate in a regular election, step 3 should be followed with the expectation that a reduced-time appointment would be in order.

  5. If a staff member is elected and the time demands of the office would not allow continuance of full- or part-time performance of university duties, he or she may request a leave of absence under the provisions of Section I. If UWM wishes to extend the leave of absence in this instance, justification should be advanced to the president of the University of Wisconsin System and the extension must receive the specific approval of the Board of Regents.

III. POLICY FOR EMPLOYEES SERVING AS APPOINTED OFFICIALS

  1. Service as an appointed official on off-hour demand activities (e.g., school boards, city councils, county boards or local, state or national commissions) would not normally require a reduced appointment or leave of absence. Each case should be reviewed by the appropriate administrative supervisor.

  2. If a staff member accepts appointment to a political or educational office at the local, state or national level, and the time demands of the office would not allow continuance of full or part-time performance of university duties, he or she may request a leave of absence under the provisions of Section I.

  3. If a campus wishes to extend the leave of absence, justification should be advanced to the president of the UW System and the extension must receive the specific approval of the Board of Regents.

IV. POLICY FOR LIMITED APPOINTMENT EMPLOYEES SEEKING OR ACCEPTING POLITICAL OFFICE OR APPOINTMENTS

1.     Seeking paid political office

If an administrator of the University of Wisconsin System holding a limited appointment wishes to seek nomination or election to a paid political office which would regularly require working during the normal hours the administrator maintains for the UW System, and

If the administrator wishes to maintain his/her employment relationship with the university during such quest for office, the administrator shall observe the following procedures:

Prior to announcing candidacy or engaging in activity clearly constituting announcement of candidacy to an office of the type indicated above, the administrator must ask the Board of Regents for reassignment from his/her limited appointment to any concurrent faculty or academic staff appointment held. Activities such as the following clearly constitute announcement of one's candidacy: the formation of a campaign committee, solicitation of campaign funds, or circulation of nomination papers.

The board shall require evidence that in any such reassignment not accompanied by an immediate leave without pay, the administrator must perform work useful to the UW System and appropriate to the compensation provided for the position. The board shall grant reassignment only in the presence of such evidence.

If reassignment is made and not joined to a concurrent granting of leave without pay, the reassigned employee shall thereafter be guided by the policies and procedures stated in Section I. 1-5 (above) as to requesting leave.

Reassignment pursuant to a proposed quest for paid elective office shall not affect the eligibility of the employee, at the discretion of the Board of Regents, to return to his/her prior limited position or to be appointed to an alternative limited position.

2.     Serving in paid elective political office

If the reassigned limited appointee is successful in winning the political office sought, the policies and procedures stated in Sections I. and II. 5 shall apply to the granting of a leave of absence.

3.    Serving in an appointive office

The limited appointee wishing to accept an appointive political office shall couple an immediate request for leave without pay with his or her request for reassignment by the board to his/her concurrent faculty or academic staff position. The policies and procedures stated in Sections I. and III. 2-3 (above) shall apply to the granting of a leave of absence in such circumstances.