Friday, October 17, 2008

Faculty, staff warned to use own time for politics - University Star

Here is an excerpt from the article. I was actually given very little time to respond to the reporter's question. Which ironically she sent me via university e-mail. She admitted that the incumbent had been working with them all week on the article. This was added stress in preparation for the Statesman interview. The Statesman interview is a mini-debate in which two reporters will fire questions to both candidates. 

Faculty, staff warned to use own time for politics
Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 12:52 pm | By Lora Collins
Published in University Star, October 16, 2008, Volume 98, No. 22
News faculty political activism
"According to Vernon’s Texas Codes Announced Government, a state employee cannot use property of state agency resources for personal political purposes.

Two university employees are running for Place 4 in the City Council race.

City Councilmember Chris Jones, advisor in Career Services, said his bid for re-election has not affected his work with the school.

“I attempt to schedule meetings before work, during lunch or after work,” Jones said in an e-mail. “If I cannot avoid scheduling something during the work day, I take vacation and comp time to attend. There is a clear separation between my campaign and my work obligations. However, the focus is somewhat the same. My goal at the end of the day is to provide students and citizens with the voice and resources needed to be successful and happy.”

Lisa Coppoletta, also running for City Council Place 4, said she has been involved with Texas State for 20 years and believes “it is vital we — on the campus — are involved in civic matters.”

“I am fortunate that my department has flex scheduling,” Coppoletta, advisor with the college of education, said through e-mail, “Therefore, I can campaign during the day and work in the evenings to make up these hours. Additionally, having vacation time is helpful to take off days for interviews or debates. Being on campus as an instructor, staff and student affords me a unique perspective on the synergistic components affecting both the university and San Marcos.”

According to Fly, little disciplinary action is needed.

“Worst case scenario is they (faculty and staff) could suffer disciplinary action,” Fly said. “I think the first response, however, would be just to advise them — if they are violating the law — that they shouldn’t do that anymore. More acting in the role of educators instead of policemen.”
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Faculty, staff warned to use own time for politics