Policy Library

915 Public Relations/Political Activities

Authority: Approved by the Board of Trustees
Last updated on: May 10, 2024
Last reviewed on: May 10, 2024

915.1 General Statements

The maintenance of good public relations is important to the welfare of the University. The following guidelines should be observed in promoting and preserving the best interests of the University.

915.1.1 Public Controversial Issues. Neither the University name nor an individual’s title should be used in discussions of public controversial issues.

915.1.2 Professional Correspondence. University letterheads, return envelopes, postage, or an individual’s title should be used only in professional correspondence.

915.1.3 Charges for Personal Services. Charging for personal services other than services commonly associated with one's employment is an individual matter. However, tact and judgment should be exercised in the interest of community and public relations. Should charges be made for services rendered, the services should not be performed on campus or on "school time" (the time necessary in the satisfactory fulfillment of the individual’s assigned responsibilities).

915.1.4 Charges for Departmental Services. Departments of the University charging off-campus individuals or groups for services of the department must have the approval of the appropriate vice president. Arrangements for handling funds received for such services should be made with the Office of the Controller. See also Policy 360 Sponsored Programs and Institutional Research Compliance, Policy 504 Professional Consultant Service, and Policy 503 Outside Work or Other Employment.

915.2 Political Activities

Indiana State University, as a public educational institution, must necessarily be nonpartisan in all of its political and governmental relationships and does not support any political party or candidate for public office. Members of the staff who participate in political activities, support candidates, or become candidates for public office, do so as individuals and, as such, must not use the University facilities, the University name, or involve the University in any way in connection with such activities. Political parties or organizations may use University facilities for meeting purposes on a rental basis the same as other civic and social organizations or groups. Such use, however, does not in any way imply that the University sponsors or supports the organizations, their purposes, or their programs.

915.3 Governmental Relations

In conducting the official business of the University, it is necessary to deal with many state and local governmental officials and the state legislature. The Governor and the legislature of Indiana are responsible for and have authority over many aspects of the University operation. University business must be conducted through the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the State Budget Agency, the State Auditor, the State Treasurer, the State Board of Accounts, and other state officials and boards. These relationships are conducted by the University President, or designee, as authorized by the ISU Board of Trustees. Unless authorized by virtue of his/her official position or by designation as a representative of the University by the ISU Board of Trustees or the University President, no member of the faculty or staff may speak officially for the University or enter into any negotiations which involve commitments or obligations on the part of the ISU Board of Trustees or the University administration.

915.4 News Releases

General University news and professional activities of faculty and staff are announced to the public through news releases prepared and distributed to the various media by the Public Affairs Office. Faculty and staff are advised to cooperate with that office in making the necessary information available for release. Actions by the Indiana State University Board of Trustees are announced by the President of the Board or by the University President through the Public Affairs Office.

915.5 Campus Solicitations

No canvassing, selling, or soliciting by outside individuals or organizations is permitted on the grounds or in the buildings of the University without the written permission of the University President. Any solicitation activity or violation should be reported to the Public Safety Department.

915.6 Commercial Advertising

The University does not lend its name to the advertisement and endorsement of commercial enterprises and products. Advertisement in University publications and activity programs does not imply official endorsement.

915.7 Institutional Neutrality

Neither the University nor any subdivision of the University shall pronounce, take, or publish an official position on political, moral, or ideological issues except where such political, moral, or ideological issues affect the core mission of the University and the values of free inquiry, free expression, and intellectual diversity.

915.7.1 Certain Political Matters. Political matters regarding funding of the University by the State of Indiana, educational policies of the State of Indiana, and educational policies of the United States of America are political issues that affect the core mission of the University.

915.7.2 Nothing in Policy 915.7 Institutional Neutrality shall be construed to in any way limit the ability of individuals associated with the University to express individual viewpoints, which viewpoints are separate and distinct from the official position of the University or any subdivision of the University.

Related Information

Policy Administrator:
Office of the President
Policy Contact:
Executive Director of Government Relations
Parsons Hall 208
(812) 237-8281
Procedures and Standards:
Related Policies and Information:
126  Policies and Procedures of the ISU Board of Trustees
Office of the General Counsel
Policy History:
Policy 915 was included in the 2001 University Handbook revision. On May 10, 2024, the ISU Board of Trustees approved the addition of Section 915.7 to bring the Policy into compliance with recently enacted legislation.