Without infringing on employees’ free speech rights, the following policies are established to facilitate communication and related activities.
730.1 Lobbying and Communications with Federal, State and Local Elected Officials
Faculty and staff advocating for actions beneficial to Cal Poly or the CSU, when acting in their capacity as Cal Poly representatives, should consult with the Office of Government and Community Relations (OGCR) for coordination and information prior to initiating contact or when contacted by federal, state and local elected officials. Faculty and staff cooperation is necessary for OGCR to meet CSU requirements on accounting for legislative or lobbying activities at the federal level. Lobbying and advocacy activities by Cal Poly employees are subject to the CSU Conflict of Interest Code.
730.2 Activities as a University Employee or Representative
730.2.1 - Inviting Government Officials to Campus or to University Events:
Faculty and staff are encouraged to coordinate with OGCR when inviting government officials to speak at or attend University events. Because of the importance ofgovernment decisions to the University and the need to prioritize University requests and account for certain government contacts, OGCR should be made aware of potential invitations whenever possible, if only to prevent multiple invitations to the same official.
730.2.2 - Advocacy or Lobbying:
Faculty and staff attending professional association meetings that include visits with legislators and other officials should consult with OGCR to determine whether attendance might constitute lobbying, thus requiring inclusion in OGCR reports to CSU. Statements made in such gatherings should be conveyed as personal or professional opinions and not as a representative of the University.
730.2.3 - Contact with Executive Officials or Administrative Agencies:
OGCR should be notified in advance about contacts with members of the executive branch, including administrative agencies, regarding government regulations, policy positions, or executive orders. Contacts by faculty or staff members regarding the execution or administration of grants or contracts are excluded from this requirement. See CAP 260, Research and Industry Relations.
730.3 Activities as a Private Individual
730.3.1 - Expert Testimony and Committee Service:
The University encourages faculty and staff to participate in expert testimony, committee service, and other such government processes and to coordinate with OGCR for information and advice. The purpose of testimony is to provide technical expertise on important topics; therefore, advice or testimony should be carefully reviewed to determine whether it constitutes lobbying. Personal or professional views must include a disclaimer that they do not represent the position of the University.
730.3.2 - Private Lobbying Activities:
Faculty and staff engaged in personal lobbying or advocacy communication should not use University assets including stationery or marks. They should also be cautious about using University email or other media that may suggest the communication is made in an official capacity. CAP 140 “Freedom of Expression” obligates Cal Poly employees to ensure they act as individuals without implying any University representation. State resources cannot be used to advance or oppose any political proposition or candidate. OCGR is available to assist with questions.