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C150: Political Activities of UNM Faculty


(Approved by Faculty April, 1970: approved by Regents September, 1970)

  1. The college or university faculty members are citizens and, like other citizens, should be free to engage in political activities so far as they are able to do so consistent with their obligations as teachers and scholars.
  2. Many kinds of political activity (e.g., holding part-time office in a political party, seeking election to any office under circumstances that do not require extensive campaigning, or serving by appointment or election in a part-time political office) are consistent with effective service as members of a faculty. Other kinds of political activity (e. g., intensive campaigning for elective office, serving in a state legislature, or serving a limited term in a full-time position) may require that the professor seek a leave of absence from the University.
  3. In recognition of the legitimacy and social importance of political activity by faculty members, the University should provide institutional arrangements to permit it, similar to those applicable to other public or private extramural service. Such arrangements may include the reduction of the faculty member's workload or a leave of absence for the duration of an election campaign or a term of office, accompanied by equitable adjustment of compensation when necessary.
  4. Faculty members seeking leave should recognize that they have a primary obligation to the University and to growth as educators and scholars, and they should be mindful of the problem which leaves of absence can create for administration, colleagues, and students. If adjustments in their favor are made, such as a reduction of workload, they should expect them to be limited to a reasonable period. A leave of absence should be sought by anyone who becomes or anticipates becoming overly committed to either a major political campaign, an appointive post in an agency of government, an elective position in public office, or to any political activity which results in interference with University function. Such leave should not be automatic and should be governed by the priority needs and considerations of the department, school, college, or division concerned.
  5. A leave of absence incident to political activity should come under the University's normal rules and regulations for leaves of absence. Such a leave should not affect unfavorably the tenure status of a faculty member, except that time spent on such leave from academic duties need not count as probationary service. The terms of a leave and its effect on the professor's status should be set forth in writing.
  6. All such activity, except that clearly of a consultative nature or under contract through the University and which is directly in the field or fields of one's professional competencies, should be entirely disassociated from one's University relationship. By this is meant that the faculty member should not create the impression that he/she is acting either for, in behalf of, or with the approval of the University rather than as an individual citizen. Also, care should be taken not to use University supplies, postage, or clerical time for such activities.
  7. An advisory opinion may be requested from the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee about the meaning or application of this policy.

Political Activity Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all UNM employees who are candidates or who campaign for candidates for political office:

  1. Campaigning during work hours at the University is prohibited.
  2. University supplies or equipment for campaign purposes may not be used.
  3. Personal political views or views of any candidate may not be represented as being those of the University.
  4. Employee mailing labels (either home or office addresses) will not be produced by the University for distributing campaign materials. (A candidate may obtain addresses from the UNM student, faculty, staff directory or other published address lists.)
  5. Campaign material will not be distributed through Campus Mail unless it has been received from a federal post office and is properly postmarked. Campus Mail may not be used internally to distribute campaign literature.

See also "Political Activity" Policy 3735, University Business Policies and Procedures Manual and "Political Activity of Employees," Section 6.5, Regents' Policy Manual