Faculty Handbook: Policies Governing Faculty Service
3.10  Political Activity

(Board Policy 465.1, adopted March 7, 1975)

University employees, as citizens, have the right to engage in political activity. However, no employee may involve the institution’s name, symbols, property, or supplies in political activities.

An employee who intends to seek public office or to assume a major role in a political campaign is obligated to discuss his plans with his supervisor. If the supervisor determines that the activity will impinge to any extent upon the full discharge of the employee’s responsibilities to the University, the plans must be reviewed through regular administrative channels to the President’s Office for a determination of workload and salary adjustment.

Involvements which require part or full-time services, and for which more than token compensation is received, will require reduction of workload and pay, leave of absence, or resignation, depending upon the extent of the activity.

To employees who may become candidates for office or become actively involved in political campaigns, the following statement (Administrative Memorandum 455.1 February 19, 1976) may be helpful:

An employee of the University who becomes a candidate for any national or statewide office will be placed on Leave of Absence Without Pay at the time of filing. An employee who becomes a candidate for the Arkansas General Assembly or a county office will have his or her employment status and salary reduced to halftime at such time after filing that he or she has an opponent who has filed. (In primary elections this means an opponent with the same political party designation.) Such leaves will extend to the end of the semester or summer session in which the election is held. An employee who has an opponent in the general election must take similar leave for the fall semester. An employee who is elected to a full-time county, statewide or national office will be granted a Leave of Absence Without Pay for one year, and at the discretion of the Board of Trustees for a second year. In no instance will the leave be extended beyond the end of the second year. Minimally, employees elected to the Arkansas General Assembly must take Leave of Absence Without Pay when the General Assembly is in regular session and for the duration of extraordinary sessions.

Where teaching duties are involved, in order that courses not be interrupted by a change in instructors to the disadvantage of students, campus administrators may require that such leaves coincide with the beginning or ending of a regular employment period for the University (semester, fiscal year, academic year).