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York University Protocol for Contacting Government Officials

The Office of the President represents York University’s institutional interests with municipal, provincial and federal government officials. Due to the interests that many departments or units may have in inviting a government official to campus or furthering a particular legislative issue, this document sets out the protocol for contacts between York entities and individual politicians or to bureaucratic staff.

The goal in setting out a protocol is to facilitate the coordination of York’s outreach to all levels of government, to ensure the University is compliant with the Federal and Provincial lobbying legislation and to ensure that appropriate supports are in place for hosting government officials. In particular, there have been instances where government offices have reached out to the University seeking assistance in how best to respond to multiple requests from different entities at York. In some cases, timing can be particularly important if York is in the process of securing a meeting to discuss a policy decision or other government action.

The following protocol has been developed in broad consultation with other universities in North America that have implemented similar protocols.

1. In order to maintain professional working relationships with public officials and to coordinate our outreach, the Office of the President is adopting protocol whereby all university departments and units contact the Chief of Government and Community Relations & Protocol in the Office of the President prior to initiating contact with public officials, when the contact is beyond the scope of their regular duties.

The Chief of Government and Community Relations & Protocol will provide coordination and support for this contact through written or verbal communications with government officials to ensure our efforts are most effective with government.

Government officials include: elected officials, senators, political staff, Assistant Deputy
Ministers (ADM), Deputy Ministers (DM), staff of the ADMs and DMs, Ministers, Councillors, Mayors, the Premier and the Prime Minister.

2. In addition, government officials who visit York University offer an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to engage in intellectual exchange with important local, provincial, national, or international figures and to showcase the strengths of the University. It also demands a heightened attention to protocol, security and requires coordination with the Office of the President. Therefore, university departments and units should coordinate requests for visits with the Chief of Government and Community Relations, prior to inviting a government official to a university/faculty/department event.

Ijade Maxwell Rodrigues, Chief of Government and Community Relations & Protocol is the designated point of contact to receive these requests before contact with government officials is made for university-related matters.