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CWUP 2-30-070 Employee Participation in Political Affairs

(1) In the belief that citizen involvement in political affairs is basic to the effective functioning of government at all levels, it shall be the general policy of Central Washington University to encourage the participation of employees in political affairs and the full exercise of their privileges and duties as citizens. When speaking or acting as private persons, employees must avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting on behalf of the university. Employees are expected to maintain appropriate professional discourse.

(2) The purpose of the following provisions is to provide guidance to employees so that they may engage in political activity in a manner consistent with the laws of the state of Washington and the United States code sections covering political activity of state employees engaged in activities funded in whole or in part by federal funds. Both classified and exempt employees shall be governed by these provisions. Faculty are governed by the Academic Code and union contract.

(A) Solicitation for any partisan political purpose of any compulsory assessment or involuntary contribution is prohibited. No person shall solicit on university property any contribution to be used for partisan, political purposes.

(B) Employees shall have the right to vote and to express their opinions on all political subjects and candidates. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employee from participating fully in campaigns relating to constitutional amendments, referendums, initiatives, and issues of a similar character.

(C) Nothing in this section shall prohibit appointment, nomination or election to hold office in a political subdivision of the state when the holding of such office is not incompatible with, nor substantially interferes with, the discharge of official duties in state employment.

(D) Nothing in this section shall prohibit appointment, nomination, or election to public office at the federal level, provided that upon such appointment or election to a full-time position the employee shall resign his or her university position or apply for a leave of absence.

(3) The following provisions shall apply to employees who are candidates for appointment or election to public office or who seek to participate in campaigns for constitutional amendments, referendums, initiatives, or other similar activities, or candidates for nonpartisan public offices.

(A) Employees may be granted a leave of absence without pay or authority to use accrued annual leave to engage in political activity as set forth above.

(B) The employee shall also be entitled to receive a reduced assignment and pay status in order to engage in such political activity when such reduced work status will not substantially interfere with the effectiveness of his or her office and the function of the university.

(C) If the employee concerned is the president or a vice president, the board of trustees shall make the determinations required above.

[Pres Cab: 10/5/98; Responsibility: President’s Office; Authority: Cabinet/UPAC; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Cabinet/UPAC; Review/Effective Date: 06/06/2012; Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President