Human Resources
Policies and Procedures Manual

Departmental Responsibility: Office of Governmental Affairs
Topic: Political Office
Policy: Running for and Holding Political Office
Effective:
February 09, 2009
Last Revised Date: February 14, 2012


Purpose:
To describe Clemson University's policy regarding employees who wish to run for and serve in political office at the federal, state and local level.


Applies to:
All employees of the University.


Policy:
Employees of Clemson University are expected to discharge all duties and responsibilities of their employment. Serving in elected and/or appointed positions in federal, state or local government can impinge on an employee's ability to devote appropriate time and energy to their employment. Therefore, the University has defined certain activities which are permissible and those activities that are not. These are described as follows:

a. Full-time employees seeking state-wide office: A full-time employee may seek state-wide office provided they have the recommendation of their immediate supervisor and the prior, written approval of their respective Vice President, or designee. Approval shall be withheld if the Vice President, or designee determines that activities related to running for office cannot be conducted without unreasonably interfering with the employee's University responsibilities. Supervisors have the authority, but are not required, to adjust work schedules or approve personal leave in order to allow an employee to run for state-wide office. Employees may not use University time, resources or personnel in support of any campaign for state-wide office.

b. Full-time employees holding state-wide office.  A full-time employee may not hold state-wide political office. In the event a full-time employee has run for and won state-wide office, that employee must take one of the following actions prior to assuming office: [1] resign from full-time employment with the University; [2] accept part-time employment with the University, upon the recommendation of the employee's immediate supervisor and with the approval of the appropriate Vice President, or designee; or [3] take leave or sabbatical for the period of time when the employee will be holding state-wide office, provided such leave or sabbatical is approved by the University. An employee who does not take one of these three actions will be terminated immediately upon assumption of any state-wide office.

c. Part-time employees holding political office. Part-time employees may seek and/or hold federal, state or local political office upon the recommendation of their immediate supervisor and with the prior, written approval of their respective Vice President, or designee. Approval shall be withheld if, in the opinion of the supervisor, holding such office will [1] unreasonably interfere with the employee's ability to carry out the duties and responsibilities of their employment by Clemson or [2] create an unmanageable conflict of interest. Employees may not use University time, resources or personnel in support of any campaign for local political office.

d. Employees seeking and/or holding local political office.  Part-time and full-time employees may seek and/or hold local political office upon the recommendation of their immediate supervisor and with the prior, written approval of their Vice President, or designee. Approval shall be withheld if, in the opinion of the Vice President, or designee, holding such office will [1] unreasonably interfere with the employee's ability to carry out the duties and responsibilities of their employment by Clemson or [2] create an unmanageable conflict of interest. Employees may not use University time, resources or personnel in support of any campaign for local political office.

e. Full-time employees seeking and/or holding federal political office. A full-time employee may seek federal office upon the recommendation of their immediate supervisor and with the prior, written approval of their Vice President, or designee. Approval shall be withheld if the Vice President, or designee determines that activities related to running for office cannot be conducted without unreasonably interfering with the employee's University responsibilities. Supervisors have the authority, but are not required, to adjust work schedules or approve personal leave in order to allow an employee to run for federal office. Employees may not use University time, resources or personnel in support of any campaign for federal office. A full-time employee may not hold federal political office and any full-time employee elected to federal political office must resign from employment with the University prior to taking office. Full-time employees elected to federal political office who do not resign prior to taking office will be terminated by the University.


Definition of Terms:

a. Full-time employee: Those employees who work at least .75 FTE and a minimum of 30 hours per week.

b. Part-time employee:  Those employees who work less than .75 FTE and less than 30 hours per week.

c. Federal political office:  Any elected or appointed office or position  in any branch, department or unit of the government of the United States of America. This would include but is not limited to: the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the federal judiciary. The term does not include service on an appointed board, commission, study group or advisory committee which is [1] not a full-time appointment and [2] does not provide for compensation or remuneration beyond reimbursement for travel, meals and accommodations associated with service on such board, commission, group or committee.

d. Local political office: Any elected or appointed office or position in any branch, department or unit of a municipal or county government. This would include any local, municipal or county authority.

e. State-wide political office:  Any elected or appointed office or position in any branch, department or unit of state government of any state. This would include but is not limited to: the General Assembly, any Constitutional office, and any statewide department or agency. This term does not include service on an appointed board, commission, study group or committee which is [1] not a full-time appointment and [2] does not provide for compensation or remuneration beyond reimbursement for travel, meals and accommodations associated with service on such board, commission, group or committee.


Procedures
Employees wishing to seek or hold political office in compliance with this policy must obtain any required approvals from their supervisor or the University, in writing, prior to offering for or accepting any political office. Failure to comply with the terms of this policy may result in termination of employment with the University. Any questions regarding the interpretation or application of this policy should be directed to the Clemson University Office of Governmental Affairs.



The language used in this document does not create an employment contract between the employee and the agency. The document does not create any contractual rights or entitlements. The agency reserves the right to revise the content of this document, in whole or in part. No promises or assurances, whether written or oral, which are contrary or inconsistent with the terms of this paragraph create any contract of employment.