Nepotism Policy for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
To inform the faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences of its policy on nepotism and to ensure fair and even-handed treatment of all individuals and units in the College.
Faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Nepotism is defined as “patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationship” (Random House College Dictionary). Concerns about nepotism are most likely to arise when one individual holds an official, supervisory position in relation to a relative. In the College, the most frequent situation in which concerns about nepotism are likely to arise involves a department chair whose spouse is a faculty member in that department. In situations where concerns about nepotism could arise, it is the policy of the College to:
- follow state law and Kansas Board of Regents policies;
- avoid conflicts of interest;
- avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest;
- reduce the potential for conflicts of interest;
- protect the rights of the individuals involved.
For the purposes of this policy, “related person” refers to: a spouse, partner, parent, child, or sibling; a half sibling; a step parent, child, or sibling; a foster child; an uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece; a grandparent or child; a parent-, child-, or sibling in-law; a person having legal residence in or living in the other person’s place of residence.
For the purposes of this policy, “conditions of employment” includes, but are not limited to: appointment, annual evaluation, tenure, promotion, salary, teaching releases, allocation of travel funds, and allocation of research funds and space.
First, every faculty or staff member shall be recused from all discussion, voting, and decision making that have a direct bearing on the conditions of employment of a related person. In addition, appeals by a faculty or staff member regarding decisions on these matters shall not be addressed to a related person.
Second, units shall ensure that every faculty or staff member is excluded from actions with direct bearing on the conditions of employment of a related person. For example, an alternative unit supervisor or an associate dean could oversee all procedures and decisions bearing on the related person’s conditions of employment.
Third, so long as the above precautions are taken, the individuals involved should proceed in the normal fashion. For example, a faculty member for whom the supervisor of their unit is a related person should receive the same kind of notification about salary and other matters as any other faculty member in the unit.
Fourth, in the College Dean’s Office, the Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs is responsible for monitoring situations in which a member of the Dean’s Office staff or administrative team could improperly influence Dean’s Office decisions regarding a College unit in which a related person is a faculty or staff member.
Fifth, for the purposes of general policy, divorced persons are not regarded as “related.” However, if either party to a divorce, or another faculty or staff member, is uncomfortable with normal supervisory procedures, then the provisions for related persons shall be instituted upon request.
Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dean’s Office
University of Kansas
200 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
05/17/2019: Major revision including definitions of “related person” and “conditions of employment,” and other changes
06/22/2017: Updated contact information
07/12/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns
05/22/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing)