Chapter 9: Faculty as Representatives of the University/Service

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9.F Lobbying

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The University’s government relations offices in Ann Arbor and Washington, D.C., are available to give guidance on lobbying and to help faculty and staff develop strategies for effective interactions with elected and appointed officials regarding legislation and policies affecting the University. Government relations also has an office in Lansing. Government relations staff appreciate being alerted to potential issues of institutional concern posed by pending legislation, regulations, or rule-making at the state and federal levels.

State law requires that persons lobbying with the state of Michigan be registered as lobbyists. Consequently, members of the U-M instructional, research, and administrative staff are not allowed to lobby or give the appearance of lobbying state officials for the purpose of furthering the interests of any individual or unit of the University of Michigan unless they are registered as lobbyists. However, the deans of schools and colleges, and directors of institutes, centers, and programs, may conduct negotiations with government bureaus or funding agencies as authorized by the appropriate vice president.

Whenever faculty and staff are communicating with legislators or other government officials at the state or federal level about personal problems or positions on issues, it is best to use personal stationery—not University of Michigan letterhead.

Federal law requires the U-M to submit lobbying disclosure reports four times per year. The reports contain information on all lobbying activities, including contacts in person, in writing, or by telephone with covered executive branch and legislative branch officials made on behalf of the University of Michigan regarding legislation; legislative proposals; rules and regulations; executive orders; programs, policies, or positions of the government; administration or execution of federal programs or policies (including federal contracts and grants); and nomination or confirmation of a person for a position subject to Senate confirmation.

Responding to a request for information or being asked by a member of Congress or a congressional committee to testify is not considered a lobbying activity. Faculty and staff who are invited by a governmental agency or officer to discuss pending legislation or policy relating to the University are encouraged to call upon government relations as a resource and, when appropriate, to notify the Office of the President.

For more information about lobbying, please visit government relations website.