Another political season is upon us, with primaries taking place March 4 and a general election on Nov. 4. This year’s elections involve several major state offices, so you can expect to see numerous candidates entering the campaign trail from all political parties over the next few weeks.
I want to take this opportunity to remind you about protocols we, as state employees, must all follow regarding political activity:
- As always, the Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs will work on behalf of UTMB to educate state and federal officials and candidates about the university’s vital mission and institutional priorities.
- Any university-related communication with a candidate or elected official, including tours of UTMB facilities, programs or grounds, must be coordinated through this office. You may contact Ryan Micks, director of communications in HPLA, at 409-772-2793, for assistance.
- UTMB as an institution never endorses any candidate for elected office at any level (local, state or national). We must conduct ourselves in a manner that makes it clear to employees and the general public that any contact we have with candidates or incumbents is to educate them about issues affecting health sciences education, research and patient care.
- As such, HPLA gives equal opportunity for all candidates and officials to request information.
- No employee can use UTMB resources (e.g., work time, computers, telephones, letterhead, copy machines) to support a political campaign of any kind. This includes use of the university name to identify the author of an editorial or testimonial.
The University of Texas System has provided a detailed set of guidelines regarding appropriate and prohibited political activity. I encourage you to look it over and let my office know if you have any questions.
In the meantime, UTMB encourages everyone to vote in upcoming elections.
Dr. Ben Raimer
Senior Vice President for Health Policy and Legislative Affairs