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Compliance and Ethics

Political Activity

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Political Activity- As noted in IHL Policy 801.11, participation by employees of the Mississippi institutions of higher learning in various community and public affairs is expected.  However, it is also expected that time given to such activities will not interfere with the regular duties of an employee. Indeed, political activities by a University employee will not be prohibited at such times as the employee would not be ordinarily required to render services to the institution or if the employee elects to take and the University grants a leave of absence without pay.    



With regard to political activity, University employees may do the following:

  • Vote on candidates and political issues without the interference of any kind
  • Make campaign contributions to candidates or parties (provided they are made voluntarily), but they may not advise fellow employees to make such contributions
  • Express their personal opinions privately, openly, or in public meeting on political issues and candidates.

Prohibited Political Activity

University employees may not do the following: 

  • Use the influence of their official positions
  • Put pressure upon anyone to persuade him or her to make a contribution to a campaign
  • Advise anyone where to trade or not to trade as a political maneuver 


The following are some general guidelines with regard to political activities by University employees:

  • Political activities should be conducted on an employee’s own personal time and with the employee’s own resources. 
  • University employees, property, equipment, supplies, or other resources (telephones, mail service, photocopiers, computers, stationery, labels, envelopes) must not be utilized in any way to advance or attempt to advance the cause of any political candidate, political party, etc. 
  • An employee should not state or imply, orally or in writing, that the employee is speaking on behalf of the University on a political or electoral issue.

EXAMPLE: Stationery bearing the letterhead of the University or any of its components should never be used in any correspondence, advertising, or any other manner that indicates or implies endorsement of any candidate.
While employees are free to affix bumper stickers to their personal autos, no such stickers or displays may be attached to a University vehicle.


USM Employee Handbook, Retrieval No. 1007 Outside Employment or Consulting

USM Faculty Handbook § 7.6 Political Activities-[see USM Faculty Resources]

IHL Policy § 801.11 Political Activities