President Turpin’s Communication of 1 March 2019 | Ronning Centre Event Cancellation Notice (21 March 2019)

I’ve been asked to provide the text of David Turpin’s communication as University of Alberta President (1 March 2019) to Deans, Chairs, and Directors. I gather some Chairs put it immediately into wider circulation while some did not, so the text is still not in everyone’s hands.  I also provide the cancellation notice for the Ronning Centre “Coffee and Conversation” event that was not held as scheduled on 21 March 2019.

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David Turpin Communication to Deans, Chairs, and Directors at the University of Alberta, 1 March 2019:

FYI: Important: Election Guidelines to Know
In accordance with the Election Act, the province’s next general election will occur before May 31, 2019. This memo has been prepared to ensure that the University of Alberta protects its non-partisan status and that employees are aware of and in compliance with relevant election legislation and guidelines.

The University of Alberta is a politically neutral organization and does not support or endorse any political party or candidate in any order of government. While the university encourages individuals affiliated with the institution to be engaged in the political process and to vote in the upcoming election, the use of public university resources for political or campaign purposes is prohibited. Therefore, the following guidelines apply to all employees.

Resources:

• No funds or in-kind donations that flow through the university, including operating, research or donated funds, can be used for political contributions or donations.

• Campaigns and candidates may choose to invite university employees to campaign events. Faculty and staff cannot use university funds to cover the cost of attending a political or campaign event.

• University space cannot be booked by a university employee for the purpose of holding a political or campaign event.

• University resources cannot be used to promote political events or campaigns. This includes, but is not limited to, sending campaign information out from a ualberta.ca email address, forwarding campaign materials received in a ualberta.ca inbox, or using university mailing or e-mail lists to distribute campaign materials.

Representation:

• Employees are not permitted to act on behalf of the institution when participating in partisan activities; however university employees may be politically active in their personal capacity.

Candidacy/Election for Political Office:

• In cases where an employee seeks election or requests time off to participate in political activities, adherence to the appropriate collective agreement or (handbook) and UAPPOL conflict of interest and code of conduct is required.
Communication

• The Election Act states that, during the election period, a provincial corporation (which includes the University) shall not advertise or publish any information about its programs or activities unless the advertisement or publication (a) is required by law; (b) is required at that time to solicit proposals or tenders for contracts or applications for employment, or because it relates to important matters of public health or safety, or (c) is a continuation of earlier publications or advertisements and is required for ongoing programs of a department or a provincial corporation.

• The election period is the period between the issue of writ for an election and the end of the polling day, which normally is 28 days.

• The university’s guidelines require that during the election period, the university and its employees, when acting as university representatives, are only permitted to advertise and publish information that is non-partisan and related to the university’s day-to-day operations and programs. Publication or advertisement that could be perceived to sway public opinion is not permitted.

• Candidates and Campaign workers may canvas students in residences. However, in keeping with the Election Act, the University of Alberta restricts the placement of campaign advertising, including lawn signs on university property, posters on billboards, or the distribution of campaign literature on university grounds. Should you observe any advertising, signage or postings in violation of this practice, please advise the Office of the Vice-President (Facilities and Operations) – Operations and Maintenance.

Student Groups:

• Politically-affiliated university student groups may continue to conduct events under the University’s Student Groups Procedure as well as the Students’ Union Guidelines providing that no university funds or resources are used to support or solicit political donations.

Helpful Links:

Collective Agreements and Handbook – https://www.ualberta.ca/faculty-and-staff/my-employment/collective-agreements-and-handbooks

UAPPOL conflict of interest and code of conduct – https://policiesonline.ualberta.ca/PoliciesProcedures/Pages/DispPol.aspx?PID=105

Should you have any questions or require advice on a specific matter, please contact Alexis Ksiazkiewicz, Associate Vice-President (Government and Community Relations) at alexis.ksiazkiewicz@ualberta.ca

Thank you,

David Turpin, President and Vice-Chancellor

This email was sent to: Deans, Directors, Chairs

 

 

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1 Response to President Turpin’s Communication of 1 March 2019 | Ronning Centre Event Cancellation Notice (21 March 2019)

  1. Kathleen Lowrey says:

    It is helpful to have the cancelled event specified here. It looks incredibly anodyne. If this is cause for alarm then any prof on campus whose work potentially touches on Alberta politics should stay home until after the election. Their office spaces are campus resources after all.

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