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SUBJECT: Solicitation Policy
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 16, 2012


The purpose of this policy is to establish Vanderbilt’s intent to have a work environment that is free from solicitation efforts that do not relate to Vanderbilt business or interest. While Vanderbilt actively encourages staff participation in community activities and organizations outside of work, the time spent at work is more productive and pleasant when not interrupted by solicitations and distribution of materials by employees. Staff may not solicit on work time (when either the staff member or the person being solicited is on work time). Staff may not distribute any literature or other non-work related materials either on work time or in work areas, except as otherwise provided below.


“Work time” is defined as that time when an employee is scheduled and expected to be properly engaged in performing his/her work tasks. “Work areas” are all areas of the University except break rooms and other areas designated for non-work use.



A. Approved:

University sponsored activities such as the Vanderbilt Community Giving Campaign, the Vanderbilt Faculty/Staff Campaign, institutional fund raising, or other efforts to support academic excellence and further the mission of Vanderbilt University and Medical Center are examples of appropriate and allowable activities under this policy. In addition, solicitations for approved charitable organizations are also permissible.

B. Prohibited Solicitation

Examples of prohibited activities by staff at Vanderbilt during work time or in work areas include, but are not limited to, activities involving:

  • Raffles
  • Charity drives
  • Trips
  • Sports pools
  • Cosmetic or jewelry sales
  • Bake sales
  • Sales of items to raise funds for non-Vanderbilt related organizations or entities
  • Food vending (other than licensed by the University)
  • Proposing and/or procuring membership in any organization
  • E-mail solicitations
  • Commercial or personal business sales

Additionally, solicitation or distribution of literature by any staff member for any purpose is not permitted in areas that are: 

  • Reception areas
  • Immediate patient care areas
  • Areas immediately adjacent to patient rooms
  • Treatment areas
  • Thoroughfares frequently used to transport patients and visitors
  • Other areas where distribution would disrupt the delivery of health care services

Staff found to be soliciting or distributing literature in violation of this policy will be subject to the Performance Management process.


A. Solicitation or distribution of literature by non-employees or non-students on University property is strictly prohibited.

B. Normal business contacts with University officials by authorized representatives are not prohibited by this policy.

C. General news and informational publications for patients may be distributed in areas that have been designated and approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor Human Resources. For listings of designated areas that may be used for distribution you may contact Facilities Management for areas within the Medical Center or Dining Services for areas located within University Central.


Vanderbilt provides designated bulletin boards for staff as a means to exchange, sell or give away personal items only. Examples include such things as announcing apartment openings, property for sale, pet give-a-ways, furniture sale, items wanted or services available, etc.

Staff members are also permitted to post items with the Classifieds section of the myVU website. However, advertisements for commercial products and services are not acceptable. For guidelines regarding appropriate postings, please contact myVU.

Notices regarding charitable activities must be approved three (3) working days prior to posting. Request for approval should be submitted to the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor Human Resources. Staff utilizing the bulletin board must provide his/her name, telephone number and where he/she can be reached after work with all bulletin board postings.

NOTE: Staff may not use a work telephone number, a Vanderbilt email address, Vanderbilt voice mail box or receive calls regarding the posted advertisement during work hours.

A. Bulletin boards are not intended for the purpose of soliciting or distributing items other than those personal items or services that the staff member desires to exchange, sell or give away.

B. Any notice that does not meet the appropriate posting requirement will be removed. Staff using Vanderbilt property to post inappropriate notices may be subject to the Performance Management process.

C. For questions about appropriate materials that can be posted, please contact Employee Relations.

The staff member must provide any and all advertised services outside of his/her work day and utilizing their personal equipment and resources. It is not appropriate to use Vanderbilt computers, telephones, equipment, paper and related supplies for personal use. See the Electronic Communications policy.


This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for staff. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt staff members, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.

Approved by Traci K. Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor

Approved by Jerry Fife, Vice Chancellor for Administration

Approved by Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs