Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Administration "inadvertently" tells faculty they can't run for office

The A-T reports that the posting to the list about political activity was wrong. Someone noticed that this seemed extreme and would make it almost impossible for someone to run for office while working for the university. (unless they were independently wealthy)

Here is the quote from the original about what is permissible:

4. Participating as a candidate for a partisan political office provided a leave of absence is taken from the state position. (For federally funded positions, even if the employee is on leave of absence under state law, this remains a violation of the Hatch Act and the agency could lose federal funding as noted above.)

This statement is completely untrue. It is not the policy of system and not the policy of the state.

Once again, we have our administration trying to keep faculty from participating in politics. Last month, they sent a letter to Tony to discourage him from running for office. This month they post inaccurate information to the listserve with the same intent.

What is going on here? They don't already have enough power? The administration ignores the faculty at every turn, but now they want to make sure we are making no political noise?

Is Wells behind this campaign, which looks incresingly orchestrated? Is Earns? Who is working so hard to remove the faculty as a vibrant part of the university community and beyond?

Below is the very polite A-T story:

Advance Titan Online


S.B. said...

The reason the story is so "polite" is because we believed it was an honest mistake. Sonnleitner was simply repeating what the UW System HR department had told him. Like you, we had some "conspiracy theory"-type thoughts when we first found out the e-mail was incorrect, but I don't think that's what's going on here.

As for the letter sent individually to Tony, well... who knows. :)

babblemur said...

This is the EXACT (word for word) email sent out October 15, 2004 regarding 'political activity'.

I would very much like to see the UW System HR policy (which this seems to reflect) be rectified with the Regents Policy that the AT quotes.

Nice job, AT, some investigative journalism! Keep it up.

Lake Winneblogo said...

A quick search turned up the Wisconsin statute 230.40. This law about leave of absenses applies to "classified staff." It clearly says that classified staff must take a leave of absense to run for partisan political office.

Since faculty are NOT classified staff, we have different rules. What they are, I don't know. System says that we have to consult with superviors, but a leave is not mandatory.

I am not sure this is any better, as it seems to infringe to the rights of a large number of state employees, but there it is.