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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 4 - Personnel General
Publication Date: January 1, 1991
Policy Reviewed Date: December 22, 2023
Policy Owner: VP for Business Affairs

4.19 Involvement of the University and University Personnel in Community or Political Affairs

The interests of the faculty and staff at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are wide-ranging and cover most of the fields of society's accumulated knowledge. While an individual may feel that identification with UTSA will add weight to his or her views on a subject of personal concern, the involvement of the university by individuals in a variety of public issues is not in the best interest of the University or its employees and is, in fact, prohibited by the UT System Board of Regents' Rules and Regulations.

Part One, Chapter III of the Regents' Rules and Regulations contains the following statements on faculty and staff members identifying themselves with the University in connection with their actions as private citizens, communications with public agencies, and in consulting positions outside of the university.

Sec. 7.3 The University teacher is a citizen, member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution supported by the state. When the teacher speaks or writes as a citizen, he or she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the teacher's special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer, the teacher should remember that the public may judge the profession and the institution by his or her utterances. Hence, the teacher should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make it plain that the teacher is not an institutional spokesman.

Sec. 11 Communication with the Legislature and Other State Agencies or Officials. The Board is the only proper channel through which recommendations concerning the administration of the System, as a whole or in any of its parts, should reach the Legislature or other state agencies or officials.

Sec. 13.7 Every member of the faculty or staff who gives professional opinions must protect the System and its component institutions against the use of such opinions for advertising purposes. If the employee does work in a private capacity, the employee must make it clear to those who employ him or her that the work is unofficial and that the name of the System and its component institutions is not in any way to be connected with the employee's name except when used to identify the employee as the author of work related to the employee's academic or research area as more fully described in Part Two, Chapter XII, Section 2, Subsection 2.3.

Individuals should not use University stationery for communicating their views, positions, or findings on topics such as those outlined in Section 4.22 of this Handbook.