Annual reminder: Guidelines for interactions with government officials
The Kansas Legislature and the United States Congress reconvene in January, which makes this a good time to remind you of policies and procedures regarding interactions between the University of Kansas and government officials.
The Office of Public Affairs leads all government relations activities for the university at the state, federal and local levels. Public Affairs advances the university’s interests by serving as KU’s liaison with elected officials and by advocating for the university’s priorities as the chancellor directs. This coordination ensures that the university speaks with a consistent voice and complies with state and federal laws concerning lobbying and advocacy.
As a general rule, all KU administrators, faculty and staff should contact Public Affairs before engaging with government officials. This includes situations in which a legislator or agency contacts you directly to discuss a university matter, which often happens during the legislative session. By contacting Public Affairs, you can help ensure KU provides an appropriate and coordinated response.
Sometimes legislators are interested in a specific KU discovery or seek KU expertise in a specific academic field to help inform policy discussions in Topeka or Washington. In these instances, we are happy to assist your engagement with legislators and again would like you to notify us of the interaction. We appreciate such notification as a courtesy that enables us to track KU interactions with the legislature; it is not intended to interfere with the exchange of ideas between lawmakers and subject-matter experts like you.
Additionally, Public Affairs can help you schedule appointments with members of Congress, Kansas legislators and representatives from government agencies, and we are available to help you prepare legislative testimony.
For assistance, depending on the area of government you are engaging, please contact:
- Dave Cook, interim vice chancellor for public affairs
- Jack Cline, associate vice chancellor for federal relations
- Robert McCormack, director of government relations at KU Medical Center
- Kelly Whitten, director of state relations
None of the policies and procedures outlined above are intended in any way to impede your ability to participate in the political process as a private citizen. You are encouraged to contribute actively to our democracy, provided you do so on your personal time, using personal (non-KU) resources – including email – and in a way that makes clear you are not speaking on behalf of the university. Additional information can be found in the university’s Policy Library.
Thank you for helping KU inform the policymaking process and ensure government officials have the information they need to serve society.
Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Economic Development