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Managing Relationships with Family, Students and Others

Nepotism is the supervision or influence over an employee by another university employee with whom they have a familial or personal relationship. To avoid favoritism in hiring, promotion, supervision, evaluation, determination of salary, or working conditions, no employees who are relatives may be placed within the same direct line of supervision. This includes direction of work activities and assessment of job performance.

Outside activities that raise questions of favoritism or discrimination in the employment or acquisition of goods or services through a related party, such as a family member, student or another person having a close personal or business relationship with the University employee, may result in a conflict. Goods or services must not be purchased from an employee or related party of the employee unless there is a specific determination that the goods or services are not available otherwise.

Examples of when relationships may create a conflict:

  • Faculty member provides instruction and grade assignment for student who is their child.
  • Spouse is a research assistant in spouse’s lab and receives work direction and oversight from spouse.
  • Employee’s sister owns a catering company. Employee uses their services for departmental events.
  • Using graduate students on personal, non-University consulting projects.

Examples of when relationships may not create a conflict:

  • Spouses of faculty in the same department with no task oversight and no evaluation input.

HR0115 Employment of Relatives

HR0122 Employment of University Employees by Other University Personnel