University of Minnesota  Procedure

Campaigning for or Holding Public Office


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.


Although prior approval is not required, University employees contemplating candidacy for elective political office or appointment to public office. should contact their responsible administrator/supervisor. At the earliest opportunity the responsible administrator/supervisor should discuss potential conflicts and work impact. Consultation is required where duties of a campaign or the holding of the office would seriously interfere or conflict with the fulfillment of University responsibilities, including hours of work.

Consultation should focus on (1) the degree to which the individual would be absent from work and/or the activities related to the employee’s candidacy would interfere with the performance of their regular duties; (2) whether temporary suspension of some portion of the employee's responsibilities can be reasonably accommodated without imposing a significant resource burden on the employee's campus, college, or administrative unit and department; and (3) how the absence might be most effectively accommodated.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence without pay, part-time or full-time, is one kind of arrangement that can be made to accommodate this type of public service activity. Leaves must be requested, reviewed, and approved in accordance with the policies, rules, or contracts governing the requesting employee. Other appropriate arrangements may be permitted, such as a special contract for regular (tenured/tenure-track) faculty or a reduction in percent time with a commensurate adjustment in salary for the year or a portion of the year. A leave of absence or start of other arrangements should coincide with the onset of activities that prevent the employee from meeting University responsibilities. If the situation warrants, a resignation may be the most appropriate action.


In the absence of compelling circumstances as determined by the employee's Chancellor, Dean, or Vice President, employees should resign when:

  • Elected or appointed to a public office requiring continuous full-time service for a specified period of more than two years. Employees should resign when they are reelected or reappointed to public office and the absence associated with the initial election or appointment, together, cause a continuous absence beyond two years.
  • An appointment for an indeterminate period of time requires a full leave of absence beyond two years.