Administrative Policies

AD50 Contact with State and Federal Officials and Official Requests From Government Officials

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Office of Government and Community Relations, 814-865-6563,

Policy Steward: 

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff


  • Purpose
  • Personal Contacts with State and Federal Officials
  • Professional Contacts with State and Federal Officials
  • Official University Contacts with Elected State and Federal Officials
  • Official Requests from Government Officials
  • Further Information

    To facilitate and coordinate contacts with governmental officials, including staff, to ensure compliance with state and federal laws regarding lobbying disclosure, and to keep the Office of the President of the University better informed of the University's continuing relationship with state and federal government.

    In formulating a policy for University personnel contacts with government officials, including their staff, primary concern must be given to the right of citizens to petition their elected representatives on behalf of their personal beliefs and needs. Also, in a University community, it is inevitable that professional employees will want to contact elected officials on behalf of their professional societies. Nothing in this policy is intended to limit the right of individuals to these appropriate contacts. Rather, the intent is to ensure that official University positions/priorities are expressed by designated representatives of the Office of the President.

    Further, with the increasing number of official visits to the campuses by state and federal officials, and requests for information, reports, and statistics, it has become necessary to consider ways in which such visits and requests can better be coordinated. Finally, state and federal lobbying disclosure laws impose registration and reporting obligations on the University with respect to lobbying activities undertaken on the University's behalf. This policy is intended to assist the University in meeting these obligations.


    Contacts with government officials and staff of a personal nature, whether in writing or in person, must be made in the name of the individual making the contact and shall in no way imply that the contact is being made on behalf of the University. University letterhead and email may not be used in presenting a personal view in such cases.


    Professional contacts with government officials and staff, whether by letter, email, telephone, social media, or in person, must be done in the name of the individual making the contact or on behalf of the professional society, and not on behalf of the University. Reference to affiliation with the University may be made as an aid to identification.


    Faculty and staff who wish the University to take an official position with government officials, including staff, on any matter must discuss their interests with the appropriate member of Government and Community Relations to develop or ascertain an official University position.

    1. Government and Community Relations shall be advised in advance of appearances before federal and state government officials in which an individual is representing an official University position.

    2. Requests for the support of government officials for grant proposals and other University interests shall be made through Government and Community Relations, which can facilitate such actions.

    3. To manage / coordinate the materials proposed for distribution to government officials, these materials shall be reviewed with Government and Community Relations prior to distribution.

    4. Government and Community Relations is to be informed in advance of invitations to government officials and/or their staff to visit any campus or facility of the University in their official capacity to ensure coordination with key University offices and awareness of political sensitivities.

    5. To assist the University in meeting its lobbying disclosure obligations under state and federal laws, each individual who has contact with a state or federal official on behalf of the University must promptly complete a reporting form briefly describing the contact and any related expenses and submit it to Government and Community Relations. If University funds are used for membership to an association / coalition / society and that organization engages in federal lobbying activity, the dues amount and percentage of dues used for lobbying must be reported to Government and Community Relations. The appropriate reporting forms are available at Government and Community Relations and its website.


    When requests for information, expertise, resources, or visits are received from governmental officials and/or the staff for the purposes of gathering information and/or making assessments of University activities, University offices are encouraged to notify Government and Community Relations for assistance with the request, including coordination with relevant University offices, as appropriate.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact Government and Community Relations.

    Most Recent Changes:

    • October 8, 2018 - Updated broken links to information on state and federal laws regarding lobbying disclosure under Purpose.

    Revision History (and effective dates)

    • November 18, 2015 - Editorial changes made through out the document to reflect the name change of the department from the Office of Governmental Affairs to Government and Community Relations, and the addition of the appropriate links directing users to the appropriate areas of the Government and Community Relations website.
    • November 3, 2015 - Revisions to all sections of the policy to address the appropriate handling for contacts with government officials, including their staff. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
    • June 20, 2006 - Revision History expanded.
    • April 13, 2006 - Per the approval of the President's Council, revision to "Professional Contacts With Elected State and Federal Officials" section, expanding on the parameters of contacting elected officials.
    • October 15, 1999 - Added statements regarding state and federal lobbying disclosure reporting requirements.
    • April 10, 1998 - Relocated and renumbered Policy AD50, without change, from HR72.

    Date Approved: 

    September 21, 2015

    Date Published: 

    November 3, 2015

    Effective Date: 

    November 3, 2015