The Office of Government Affairs seeks to advance the University’s mission in teaching, research, and service. This is done by attempting to influence federal, state, and other legislation in order to increase government funding and to protect the University’s interests in regard to government regulations. This Office works directly with elected officials and coordinates lobbying activity with federal and state higher education lobbying associations.
Xavier University Policy Regarding Contacts with Elected Officials
All Xavier faculty and staff should clear, in advance, all requests which are related to Xavier’s interests and are made of the President of the United States, his cabinet officers, members of the United States 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 Affairs. 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, Congressional Delegation members have been contacted on behalf of Xavier 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 Xavier 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 lobby regulations.
Lobbying Disclosure Act
Xavier is required to report 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 university representative conducting 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 Xavier’s tax-exempt status.
In reviewing requests to contact elected officials, the Office of Government Affairs works directly with the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Senior Vice President for Administration, or the President, as appropriate.
Xavier’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 Xavier. In these cases, Xavier stationery should not be used, and it should be made clear that the individual or group is not representing the University.
Questions about the University’s clearance policy should be directed to the Office of Government Affairs at (504) 520-5444.
Dr. Gene D’Amour, Special Assistant to the President and the Provost
Ann Smith, Assistant Vice President of Research and Sponsored Programs