Policy No: 2021 Responsible Office: Governmental Relations Last Review Date: 08/11/2022 Next Required Review: 08/11/2027
Faculty and Staff Interactions with State, Local, and Federal Officials and Agencies
The University of South Alabama (USA) has established policies, procedures, and guidelines pertaining to contacts being made on behalf of the University with local, state, and federal government officials and agencies. These policies are designed to ensure compliance with legal requirements, to enhance the effectiveness of governmental contact, and to facilitate coordination and communication within the University.
This policy does not apply to routine, non-political interactions between USA and state or federal regulatory agencies conducting their ordinary business (e.g., permitting/licensing, regulatory compliance, etc.).
This policy applies to USA, both the University General Division and USA Health, and pertains to all individuals doing work for or on behalf of the University, including directors, officers, employees, and volunteers.
4. Policy Guidelines
The Office of Governmental Relations conducts and oversees all University of South Alabama governmental relations and activities with local, state, and federal officials and agencies. Only individuals authorized by the Executive Director of Governmental Relations are authorized to represent the University’s interests with these entities. Guidance for specific interactions is provided as follows:
4.1 Meetings and Appearances Representing the University
Faculty and staff members planning meetings with or appearances before governmental officials or governmental bodies for the purpose of representing the University shall be approved by the Office of Governmental Relations. The purpose of this guideline is to ensure that the University’s position is communicated accurately and to facilitate a coordinated effort. This guideline applies to all instances when the meeting with or appearance before governmental officials or governmental bodies is contingent upon the individual’s affiliation with the University.
4.2 Meetings and Appearances Representing Personal Interest (including professional organizations)
University faculty and staff members representing a personal interest (including professional organizations) should make it clear that the contact is not being made on behalf of the University. Reference to affiliation with the University of South Alabama should be made only as an aid to identify the individual. Notifying the Office of Governmental Relations of such contact is recommended.
It is useful for governmental officials to receive official University publications and periodicals. However, it is important to coordinate such distribution to avoid duplication and other problems that may result from overloading officials with such materials. Therefore, the distribution of materials to the officials shall be authorized by the Office of Governmental Relations.
Correspondence with governmental officials by members of the faculty and staff is often necessary. If the correspondence is of an official nature it should be approved by the Office of Governmental Relation. If the correspondence is of an unofficial nature use of University stationary is not permitted (includes email).
4.4 Response to Requests for Information from Governmental Officials
When requests for information, reports, and other data related to the University are made to members of the faculty and staff, responses to such requests must be approved by the Office of Governmental Relations prior to transmission.
4.5 Invitations to Local, State and Federal Officials
Invitations to governmental officials and their staff to participate in University functions or to visit the campus are often necessary and advantageous. Invitations extended to governmental officials or staff members should be coordinated with the Office of Governmental Relations.
4.6 Requests for Funding to Local, State, and Federal Governments and Agencies
To ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws, it is imperative that a clear process for seeking funds from governmental entities be established. While a specific request may originate at the department, division, or college level, all requests must be reviewed and managed from a centralized perspective, and in the context of the University’s overall budget needs and requirements. University faculty and staff members seeking government funding must receive approval from their Dean and/or Vice President, who will coordinate with the Office of Governmental Relations and/or the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development, as appropriate. Final approval must be granted by the President before a request for funding may proceed.
For any questions, guidance or concerns, please contact the Office of Governmental Relations at 251-460-7277.
The Office of Governmental Relations has responsibility for USA’s compliance with this policy. Failure to comply with this policy could result in inappropriate, ineffective or duplicate communications between USA and various State, Local, and Federal Officials and Agencies. Violation of this policy, particularly knowing and willful violation, could result in disciplinary action.
7. Related Documents