Using UO Resources for Political Activities

The University of Oregon is a public entity, and Oregon law generally prohibits the use of public funds, equipment, supplies or facilities for political advocacy. UO personnel therefore should not use UO work-time or other UO resources for the following types of activities:

  • collect funds, distribute campaign materials, or prepare correspondence on behalf of a political committee, ballot measure, or candidate
  • produce, copy, or distribute documents that advocate for or against a ballot measure or a candidate
  • post website information, transmit emails, or make a presentation that advocates for or against a ballot measure or candidate
  • make outgoing calls to schedule or organize campaign events or other political activity
  • encourage others to volunteer for a political committee or efforts related to a candidate or ballot measure
  • place political posters in a public work space or facing out on doors or windows
  • distribute political flyers

However, it is generally lawful for UO personnel to do the following:

  • use personal time, lunch hours, breaks, and days off for political activity
  • express personal political views
  • wear campaign buttons at work
  • provide balanced, objective information on ballot measures
  • impartially advise other public employees about possible effects of a ballot measure
  • use personal time and personal equipment to write letters in their personal capacity expressing an opinion on a ballot measure or candidate

UO personnel are responsible for ensuring that they are not perceived as representing UO, speaking on behalf of UO, or speaking in their capacity as a UO employee when advocating for political matters. Failing to do that may violate Oregon's laws governing restrictions on political campaigning by public employees. Additional guidance on political campaigning by public employees is available from the Oregon Secretary of State, Elections Division. See e.g. Restrictions on Political Campaigning by Public Employees – ORS 260.432 (revised 1/2016).  See also human resources' posted notice here.