For Faculty and Staff: Disclose Your Advocacy

The University is required by law to file quarterly reports that include a “good faith” estimate of expenses incurred for federal lobbying activities “on behalf” of the institution. We interpret this disclosure requirement to apply to contacts that could reasonably constitute lobbying by those in senior positions who can be expected to speak for the University. We do not attempt to capture faculty interactions with policy makers in their areas of professional expertise, but contacts that could reasonably constitute lobbying on behalf of the institution made by faculty in conjunction with, or at the direction of, these senior University officials must also be disclosed.

A “lobbying contact” will include contacts that could reasonably constitute lobbying made “on behalf of the University” by senior University officers, such as the President, Provost, Deans, Vice Presidents, and Government Relations officers or their designees. Independent contacts to or by faculty related to their areas of expertise are not considered lobbying on behalf of the University.

JHU is mindful that translating knowledge into policy change is an important part of its mission, and the University’s contribution to evidence-based policy deliberation is vital. Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the offices of Federal Strategy or Government, Community and Economic Partnerships if they have questions about the need for disclosure, as state and local laws may differ.

Per the JHU Use of Name Policy, affiliates shall include a disclaimer as necessary to state that the views expressed by the affiliate do not necessarily reflect the views of the University and that the affiliate’s opinions are their own. The University’s policy around lobbying, advocacy, electoral campaigns, and interacting with public officials can be found here.

Common questions:

  • What if I lobby through a professional association? Disclosure is not required, but it can be an opportunity for collaboration and coordination with our office.
  • What if I am invited to testify? Contact us. Invited testimony is not considered lobbying, but the Federal Strategy team can be an asset to help you prepare and know what to expect. See the “Resources” tab for testimony tips and our testimony archive.
  • What if I am acting in my own capacity? No need to disclose. If you are engaging with a policymaker in a purely personal capacity for matters unrelated to your work and without using institutional resources, then you can skip the form. If you are unsure, just ask.
  • Do students need to disclose lobbying contacts? No, only Johns Hopkins employees lobbying on behalf of the institution must disclose.
  • What if I need help? If you have any questions, contact Federal Strategy at fedaffairs@jhu.edu.

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