The University recognizes the rights of members of its faculty and staff to seek and/or serve in elective or appointed public office at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels, provided such election, appointment, or service does not constitute a conflict of interest nor interfere with the proper performance of the employee's primary responsibilities to the University. In order to ensure that potential conflicts of interest do not arise, it is necessary that no employees seeking or serving in public office deliberately exploit their University affiliation to further their political position. The terms of this policy shall also cover all candidates applying for positions within the University. In instances where potential University employees seek or serve in public office, these candidates, if subsequently employed by the University, must abide by the terms of this policy.
Employees must request a leave of absence without compensation to seek or serve in public office when it is determined by the Provost or appropriate Senior Vice Chancellor that such activities will interfere with the employee's primary duties. A written request for leave without pay should be endorsed by the appropriate department chair and the dean or campus president and should be submitted to the Provost before December 1 of the academic year preceding the desired period of leave. Leaves of absence may be granted by the Provost in consideration of the expected length of the term of office should the candidate be successful. If leave is applied for and granted and the candidate is unsuccessful in the bid for election, he or she may be reinstated, without prejudice, as a member of the University faculty or staff in accordance with the terms of his or her leave of absence. Approval of a request for an extension of the leave of absence will be based in part on the effect of an extended leave of absence on the academic needs and programs of the University.