Policy 440.30

Political Activities

Originator: Office of Human Resources

Subject: Policy Regarding Political Activities

University System-Wide General Policy
Employees are encouraged to exercise their rights and obligations as citizens and to participate in political activities. The University's policy is that an employee is free to exercise all usual rights and obligations as a citizen provided his/her political activities not be in conflict with the responsibilities of the employee to his University duties. (References to the University imply the System.)

  1. Federal Requirements for Implementing Merit System Standards
    1. The development of proper and efficient administration of grant-in-aid programs is a concern of both the Federal and the State agencies cooperating in the programs. Proper and efficient administration requires clear definition of functions, the employment of the most competent available personnel, and the development of staff morale and individual efficiency. The merit system provisions of Federal statues relating to the grant-in-aid program are directed to the achievement of these ends through the application of personnel standards on a merit basis.
    2. Merit system standards are issued by the Social Security Administration, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the Department of Labor, the Department of Defense, and the Civil Service Commission.
    3. The University is the recipient of a number of federal grant-in-aid programs. Various federal agencies which make these grants may require the University to enter into a contractual agreement providing for, among other things, the maintenance of acceptable merit system standards including restrictions on political activities of those employees whose duties are performed substantially in connection with the Federal grant-in-aid program.
    4. The Maryland State Agency for Surplus Property, a unit of the University, is the only unit of the University that has been required to date to place restrictions on political activities of its employees.
    5. The Vice Chancellor for General Administration is responsible for informing the Presidents and other appropriate officials of the University of any future contractual requirement that places restrictions on political activities of University employees.
  2. The State of Maryland
    The State of Maryland has not passed legislation that is designed specifically to prohibit political activities of its employees.
  3. Use of University Mailing Facilities
    The University's mailing facilities are not to be used for the distribution of non-University, partisan, campaign political literature or information.
  4. Individual Cases
    Notwithstanding the exemption of University employees from the provisions of the Hatch Act, and notification of employees affected by merit system standards as described in paragraph B.5. above, any non-exempt employee of the University who is doubtful about his own particular situation, or feels that certain special considerations might impinge upon his planned political activities, may obtain a specific clarification of his individual status. The Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Civil Service Commission, 1900 E Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20415 is available for specific rulings on individual cases with respect to the Hatch Act, or the Office of the Vice President, Administration of the University may be contacted for assistance in any case, be it in connection with the Hatch Act or merit system standards issued by Federal agencies.
  Current Policy Prior Policy
Policy Number 440.30 440.30
Date 10/14/13 2/9/86