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UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING REGULATIONS
Subject: Government Relations
Number: UW Regulation 12-4
To coordinate University efforts regarding government relations and to clarify University employees’ rights to free expression.
As a public institution, only the Board of Trustees and the President of the University, or the Board of Trustees’ and the President’s designees as described below have the authority to make or approve requests directed to, oppose actions by, or make recommendations to members of Congress, federal Executive Branch Agencies, the Governor, other elected officials of the State of Wyoming, State Executive Branch Agencies, the Wyoming Legislature, committees thereof, members thereof, and staff of any of the foregoing. The President of the Board of Trustees may designate a member(s) of the Board of Trustees to speak on behalf of the Trustees, provide factual information, and make recommendations. The President’s designee for all University matters is the Director of Government Relations. Each Vice President and the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics are the President’s designees for subject matter within their respective areas.
III. PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS BY UNIVERSITY PERSONNEL
As citizens of Wyoming and as members of the University community, University employees enjoy the right of freedom of expression. The employee may freely consult and communicate with members of Congress, members of the Wyoming State Legislature, federal and state agencies and other federal and state authorities, including elected officials, as long as the employee indicates that the employee’s views are his or her own private views or considered professional views and do not represent, imply representation of, or are authorized by the University. Personal letters shall not appear on University letterhead. Equipment or resources of the University, including but not limited to University vehicles; University-provided telephones or mobile devices; University software and hardware; and University email accounts, shall not be used for such personal communication, since this may imply that the communication has been approved by or represents an official position of the University. University titles shall not be used when signing personal letters; however, the employee may identify the employee’s job title in the text of a letter if this information is relevant to the communication.
IV. REQUESTS FROM STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS AND AGENCIES
University employees have a responsibility to respond to requests from state and federal elected officials and agencies for factual, non-partisan information. Such requests may involve testifying at a public committee hearing, providing a fiscal impact note, and informational visits to University facilities by elected officials or their staff. University employees shall advise their supervisors of such requests, and the supervisors shall advise both the Vice President for their division and the Director of Government Relations. The Director of Government Relations shall assume responsibility for coordinating the institution’s response to the inquiry. Any information provided must be factual and must be shared with the University’s Director of Government Relations. The employee should directly respond to any question and explain what effects the bill would have on the University. If the information requested is outside the employee’s field of expertise or beyond the scope of the request, the employee must work with appropriate University personnel and the Director of Government Relations to coordinate any further response to the inquiry.
V. MESSAGES OF SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION FOR STATE LEGISLATIVE, CONGRESSIONAL OR AGENCY ACTION
University units often become aware of possible federal or state action of concern to the unit’s programs. This includes being advised by professional organizations and other sources to take action, typically in the form of messages of support or opposition, for state legislative, congressional or agency action regarding a matter that relates to the unit’s mission. Good intentions notwithstanding, employees shall not assume that the perceived interests of their disciplines or professional organizations coincide with the best interests of the University. If the employee believes that an institutional stance or action is warranted, the unit’s director shall contact the Director of Government Relations to determine whether, and if so, how, the University’s position will be communicated.
VI. MEETINGS OF ACADEMIC OR PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
University employees often attend meetings of academic or professional organizations in venues, such as the state capital or Washington, DC, where part of the meeting agenda includes visits with government officials, such as members of the congressional delegation of each attendee’s state. The meetings typically involve providing program information to the delegation, as distinct from advocating specific positions or actions. These meetings are expected and acceptable. UW employees attending such meetings shall advise and provide any materials or funding requests to both the Vice President for their division and the Director of Government Relations prior to the employee attending such a meeting.
Responsible Division/Unit: Office of Government Relations
Associated Regulations, Policies, and Forms: None
History: Presidential Directive 1-2009-1; approved 7/15/2009
Revisions approved 4/2/2010
Revisions approved 4/27/2016
UW Regulation 12-4 adopted 3/28/2019 Board of Trustees Meeting