Office of General Counsel

Hot Topics


Political Activity Under Federal Law

The American Council on Education has released a memorandum, "Political Campaign-Related Activities of and at Colleges and Universities," prepared by Hogan Lovells US LLP on political campaign-related activities at colleges and universities. The educational memo summarizes federal restrictions on political activity and involvement at 501(c)(3) institutions and offers "do's" and "don'ts" based on these restrictions. Please note the ACE memo's recommendation that "the institution's counsel be consulted before proposed actions are taken in this area."


Conflicts of Interest

The OGC briefing paper concerning Conflicts of Interest addresses who is covered by the University's conflict of interest policies, including ASU researchers, what constitutes a conflict of interest, and provides links to the applicable policies, the Disclosure of Substantial Interest form, and relevant instructions.


Accepting Gifts, Gratuities or Free Admission to Cultural or Sporting Events

The ASU Office of General Counsel has posted a briefing paper on this Web site concerning ASU employees accepting gifts, gratuities and free admission to cultural or sporting events. The briefing paper addresses both the prohibitions on ASU employees accepting gifts or gratuities under certain circumstances as well as the statutory "entertainment ban" which sets out the parameters under which an ASU employee may accept free admission to a cultural or sporting event. The paper includes narrative descriptions of the applicable laws and ASU Policies as well as hypothetical situations that show how those laws and policies apply to certain situations.


FERPA and Campus Security

An updated briefing paper from the National Association of College and University Attorneys released June 19, 2009 addresses, in a Question and Answer format, concerns expressed by some university officials about communicating critical student information in an emergency. The NACUANOTE is co-authored by Nancy Tribbensee, General Counsel for the Arizona University System, and Steve McDonald, General Counsel at the Rhode Island School of Design. The authors conclude that "FERPA is not a significant obstacle to appropriate (and desirable) communications intended to protect student, campus, or public safety."


Some of the legal material found at this site has been abridged from laws, regulations, court decisions, administrative rulings, ABOR and ASU policies and other sources. Further details may be necessary for complete analysis and understanding in particular matters. The information contained at this site, and related links, is not a substitute for professional legal counsel. Any discrepancy between the information at this site and ASU policy is not intended to alter or amend official ASU policy or procedure.

Any links to non-Arizona State University information are provided as a courtesy. They are not intended to nor do they constitute an endorsement by the Arizona Board of Regents or Arizona State University of the linked materials.