4,550: Policy Regarding Contact with Governmental Officials and Visits by Governmental Agencies
Last Revised: January 2023
While University of Nevada, Reno employees are free to represent their personal views to any group, employees are prohibited from representing themselves as university spokespersons unless as provided for in this policy. Employees may only serve as presenters of university requests, projects, or policies through specific approval by the Vice President of Government and Community Engagement.
Faculty, staff, students, and administrators who wish the University to take an official position with elected officials on any matter should discuss their interests with the Vice President of Government and Community Engagement before any contact has been made. The Government and Community Engagement Office can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (775) 233-8135.
Procedures regarding in person visits or communication via phone, email, or video conference with governmental officials and governmental agencies are as follows:
- The Government and Community Engagement Office shall be advised in a timely manner via email in advance of faculty, student, staff, and administrator appearances before federal and state legislative and administrative bodies in which an individual is representing an official university position. An official university position is any response to a request for an appropriation, a regulation, legislation, a resolution, or supporting information for the foregoing that affects the authority, operation, budget, or structure of the University. Copies of materials are to be provided electronically in advance to the Government and Community Engagement
- Faculty, staff, students, and administrators appearing before any federal and state legislative bodies to provide expert testimony representing the University should notify the Government and Community Engagement Office in advance of their appearance and provide electronic copies of their testimony.
- Faculty, staff, students, and administrators contacted by the staff of elected officials or special interest groups external to the University seeking professional or institutional support for initiatives must advise the Government and Community Engagement Office in a timely manner.
- Requests for the support of federal elected officials for any university interests, including funding proposals, shall be made through, and approved by the Government and Community Engagement Office. In the case of funding proposals, such requests shall be approved by the Vice President for Research and Innovation prior to being submitted to the Government and Community Engagement Office.
- The Vice President of Government and Community Engagement will be expected to assist with an official visit by an elected official and is to be informed in a timely manner in advance of such invitations. Official visits include invitations to elected officials to visit campus, attend an event, or visit specific units or departments. Notice of such invitations or requests should also be communicated to the appropriate department chairs, deans, vice presidents, the Executive Vice President and Provost, or President. The only exception to this policy is invitations to elected officials to appear in class as part of a course’s curriculum.
- Contact with elected officials in affiliation with a professional/academic organization or society must be done in the name of the individual making the contact on behalf of the represented organization, not on behalf of the University. If such contact is made related to university-business, then the Vice President of Government and Community Engagement and other appropriate department chairs, deans, vice presidents, or the Executive Vice President and Provost should be notified in a timely manner.
- University employees are able to contact elected city, county, state, and federal officials as citizens without notifying the Vice President of Government and Community Engagement, but should be clear that the communication is from the individual and not on behalf of the University. University letterhead should not be used for presenting personal views.