Can Montana University System employees engage in political activity?
Yes. Montana University System employees have a right to free speech but may not use public time, money, facilities, equipment, materials, supplies, networks, systems, or other public resources for political activity or for the purpose of trying to influence political or legislative action. Refer to the Official Interpretation of the Commissioner of Higher Education on Political Activity by Public Employees for specific prohibitions and allowable activities.
Can Montana University System employees be censored or disciplined for speaking or writing their personal views as citizens?
No. These freedoms and protections are fundamental to the preservation of free speech and academic freedom. In addition to respecting appropriate use of public resources and facilities, please remember that the public may judge the professions and the institutions of the MUS by the comments or statements of MUS personnel. This issue is addressed in the BOR Academic Freedom and Responsibility policy.
What is the University’s policy regarding firearms on campus?
The University of Montana restricts the possession and use of firearms on campus. Only Peace Officers and Federal authorities that are empowered by federal law to be armed may carry firearms on University property without prior approval from the President or the Director of the Office of Public Safety. Students living in University housing must register any firearms with the Office for Residence Life and follow mandatory requirements for possession. More information is outlined in the policy and procedures found at: UM Firearms Policy.
Is the Office of Legal Counsel available to assist employees with personal legal issues?
No. The Office of Legal Counsel represents the University and its affiliate campuses. There are several resources that may help with personal legal issues found at: Montana Legal Resources.
Will the University protect me if I am sued in a civil court action?
Board of Regents Policy No. 804.4, provides that “Montana University System officers and employees are entitled to immunization, defense, and indemnification when sued civilly for their actions taken within the course and scope of their employment.” The policy does not apply in some instances: “No defense, indemnification nor immunity will be granted to an employee by the Board if (1) the conduct of the employee constitutes a criminal offense; (2) the employee compromises or settles the claim without the consent of the Board; or (3) the employee fails or refuses to cooperate reasonably in the defense of the case.” It is important as soon as you have notice that you are being sued in a civil action as an employee of the University that you contact University Legal Counsel immediately.
What is an electronic signature?
Under Montana and Federal Law, "The term "electronic signature means an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record."