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Operations Manual The University of Iowa

PART II. COMMUNITY POLICIES
DIVISION I HUMAN RIGHTS, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

(Written to conform to Regents Procedural Guide 3/74; amended 9/93; 10/95; 9/97)

CHAPTER 32: OFFICE OF GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

(9/97; 9/11)

32.1 Purpose
32.2 Legislative Policy Making
32.3 Function of State Relations Officers
32.4 Role of Faculty, Staff, and Students
32.5 Office Resources
32.6 Lobbying Restrictions Applicable to Public Employees and Officials
32.7 University Resources

32.1 PURPOSE.
The Office of Governmental Relations, under the supervision of the Office of the Vice Presient for External Relations, oversees and coordinates University relationships with national and state elected officials, their staffs, and with governmental agencies. The Office of Governmental Relations has a significant role in facilitating The University of Iowa's strategic plan to build strong ties with external constituencies by organizing programs designed to provide members of the public with information about regulatory and legislative issues of importance to the University and/or to encourage public support for the University. Activities include coordination with the State Relations Officer for the Board of Regents; advising the President and other University officials regarding state and federal legislative strategies and providing assessments of proposed legislation; participating in University outreach efforts; working with the Executive Vice President and Provost, vice presidents, and directors of major administrative units in development of budget requests and legislative initiatives; managing responses to legislative inquiries and requests for information; and coordinating contacts with state and federal officials, other state institutions of higher education, and various other entities having relationships with The University of Iowa in the area of governmental relations.
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32.2 LEGISLATIVE POLICY MAKING.
The Board of Regents is solely responsible for legislative policy making for the Regent universities. Under its overall governance authority, it designates the State Relations Officer an organizes the State Relations Officer activities of the universities. These activities are vital to the continued academic and fiscal well-being of the institutions and public higher education in Iowa. Such activities involve complex questions of public policy, regental responsibility, institutional objectives, and budgetary considerations. At The University of Iowa, the designated State Relations Officer is incorporated in The University of Iowa Office of Governmental Relations. All state and federal legislative activities are to be coordinated through the Office of Governmental Relations.
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32.3 FUNCTION OF STATE RELATIONS OFFICERS.
State Relations Officers are employees of the Board of Regents. They are responsible for transmitting and explaining policies of the Board of Regents and the universities to the General Assembly and other state officials. The State Relations Officers conduct their duties under the direction of the Board of Regents. In addition, each representative has special responsibilities to their designated university. These include explanation and communication of board policies which relate specifically to that university; communication of information concerning the particular mission, program, strengths, needs, and goals of the institution; and advocacy consistent with the accomplishment of the institutional objectives approved by the board. The development of legislative strategy is the responsibility of the board and the board president in conjunction and consultation with the Regents' State Relations Officers and the executive director, and the university presidents.
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32.4 ROLE OF FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENTS.
The expertise or viewpoints of individual faculty, staff, and students are frequently essential in developing assessments of the potential impact on the University of proposed policy and legislation. In this context, when consistent with Regent institutional objectives, the staff of the Office of Governmental Relations may facilitate direct communication to elected officials by University faculty, staff, and students. While faculty, staff, and students are also free to communicate individually with elected representatives about their personal views, it is important that any communication which is not coordinated through the Office of Governmental Relations be carefully framed so as not to imply that the individual is communicating an institutional position or viewpoint on behalf of the University (see II-33 Use of University Name).
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32.5 OFFICE RESOURCES.
Files of legislation and related materials for the current legislative biennium are maintained in the Office of Governmental Relations. Questions about the application of policy and The University of Iowa legislative program may be directed to the Office of Governmental Relations.
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32.6 LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC EMPLOYEES AND OFFICIALS.

32.7 USE OF UNIVERSITY RESOURCES.
University resources, including the University's electronic address (email, web) shall not be used for 1) personal political activities, including directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf or in opposition to any candidate for elective office, or for 2) lobbying of public officials. For purposes of this policy, "lobbying" does not include individual faculty or staff sharing or providing information or opinions with public officials on matters of policy within their areas of expertise. Faculty and staff consulting that is in conformity with University guidelines is permissible. Only the Office of Governmental Relations may use University resources for programs designed to inform members of the public with information about regulatory and legislative issues of importance to the University and/or to encourage public support for the University.
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(RPG 1.04)


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Page last updated June 2014 by Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations