UW-Madison Employee Political Activities

This document is a reminder to members of the university community of state law and university policies regarding employee political activities while at work, including information about the use of university facilities or resources for political activities or purposes.

From time to time - usually, during an election year - the Vice Chancellor for Legal and Executive Affairs finds it necessary to remind members of the university community of state law and university policies regarding employee political activities while at work as well as the use of university facilities or resources for political activities or purposes. 

The memoranda issued about this policy usually repeat the following four key points:

Student and employee organizations may reserve university meeting space for political discussion and debate.  In keeping with the aforementioned restrictions, the appropriate means for announcements related to these activities are US Mail, leafleting outside university buildings, campus bulletin boards not reserved for official use, and meeting announcements in Wisconsin Week. 

The underlying policies and rules governing this area are found in Section 8.05A of the UW-Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures, and in Section 12.05 of the UW-Madison Academic Staff Policies and Procedures, Section 7. of Guidelines for Appropriate Use of University of Wisconsin-Madison Information Technology Resources, the UW-Madison WiscMail Appropriate Use policy, and the UW System memorandum entitled “Laws and Policies Surrounding Political Campaign Activities of UW Employees.”

Please refer to the Office of Legal Affairs guidance (link provided below) for the full text of the latest memorandum and links to the policies and rules related to this topic.