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Faculty Handbook: Political Activity of Faculty Members

Policy Statement

Faculty members are citizens and, like other citizens, should be free to engage in political activities so far as they are able to do so consistently with their obligations as teachers and scholars.

Many kinds of political activity (e.g. holding part-time office in a political party, seeking election to any office under any circumstances that do not require extensive campaigning, or serving by appointment or election in a part-time political office) are consistent with effective service as a member of the faculty. Other kinds of political activity (e.g. intensive campaigning for elective office, serving in a state legislature, or serving a limited term in a full-time position) may require that the teacher seek a leave of absence from the University.

In recognition of the legitimacy and social importance of political activity by faculty members, the University provides institutional arrangements to permit it, similar to those applicable to other public or private extramural service. Such arrangements may include the reduction of the faculty member's workload or a leave of absence for the duration of the election campaign or a term of office, accompanied by equitable adjustment of compensation when necessary.

Faculty members seeking leave should recognize that they have a primary obligation to the University and to their growth as educators and scholars; they should be mindful of the problem that a leave of absence can create for the administration, their colleagues, and their students, and they should not abuse the privilege by too frequent or too late application or too extended a leave. If adjustments in their favor are made, such as a reduction of workload, they should expect these to be limited to a reasonable period.

A leave of absence incident to the political activity comes under the institutional normal rules and regulations for leaves of absences. Such a leave does not affect unfavorably the tenure status of a faculty member except that time spent on such a leave from academic duties does not count as probationary service.

Reaffirmed 1979


Mary T. Gardier Paterson, Esquire | Secretary of the University | paterson@marywood.edu