Clearance Policy for Contacts with Elected Officials

All Tulane faculty and administrators must clear in advance all requests made of the President of the United States, his cabinet officers, members of the Senate or House of Representatives and their staffs, the Governor of the State of Louisiana, Louisiana state legislators, or local elected officials, and coordinate all activities regarding them through the Office of Government and Community Relations. This includes all invitations to campus, requests for appointments and lobbying contacts with legislative or senior executive branch officials regarding legislation, rules, or policies made on behalf of the university.

In the past, Delegation members have been contacted on behalf of Tulane without prior clearance, leading to confusion and embarrassment for the university. These officials receive a multitude of requests each day for government assistance from a diverse constituency. For Tulane's requests to be taken seriously, they must be appropriate, carefully coordinated with other university requests, focused on the university's highest priorities, and tracked to ensure compliance with federal lobbying regulations.

The university is required to report certain lobbying activities under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and applicable Internal Revenue Service regulations. Broadly defined, lobbying includes all contact with elected and other government officials (local, state, and federal) for the purpose of influencing legislation. A record of all contacts, issues discussed, and costs involved must be kept and reported on semi-annually by the university. The university representative conducting the approved lobbying activity(s) will be required to complete a "Lobbying Activity Report Form," available from the Office of Government Affairs. Failure to disclose such information could result in fines and/or the possible loss of Tulane's tax-exempt status.

The Office of Government and Community Relations consolidates into one unit all administrative elements dealing with the university's government- related activities. The office assists faculty and administrators by facilitating communication between Tulane and federal, state and local government officials. Its activities are critical to the continuing development of much needed resources and Tulane's ability to maintain a sound financial position.

In reviewing requests to contact elected officials, the Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations works directly with the Senior Vice Presidents for the Health Sciences and Academic Affairs, the President's Council on Research Advancement, or the President, as appropriate. The President's Council on Research Advancement, which includes senior administrative staff representing academic, non-academic, medical, and non-medical components of the university, also meets to prioritize, coordinate and develop strategies for effectively implementing Tulane's government affairs activities at the federal, state and local levels.

Tulane's clearance policy does not apply to dealings with elected officials on personal matters that do not in any way involve activities related to an individual's employment at Tulane. In these cases, Tulane stationery should not be used, and it should be made clear that the individual or group is not representing the university.