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Administration Policy and Procedure

40.107:  Nepotism


Approved on December 15, 2008Signatures and dates
on archival copy


30 days after approval 

Initiated by:

Luis E. Lewin
Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration for Human Resources

Endorsed by:

The Ohio University
Executive Staff

Kathy Krendl
Executive Vice President and Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis

Date of Approval
Following Last Full Review:

December 15, 2008 

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This policy provides guidance regarding the initial employment of family members and influencing employment of, or employment decisions regarding, family members. This policy also applies to situations where there is a change in family status for employees after employment. For example, the marriage of a supervisor to a supervisee would be a change in status that would cause the parties to be subject to this policy.

This policy applies to all forms of employment by Ohio University, including regular and term, full- and part-time appointments to administrative, classified, research, and bargaining unit positions, to overload contracts, to graduate appointments, and to graduate and undergraduate student employment (including employment under the Program to Aid Career Exploration, "PACE," and Federal Work Study, "FWS," programs), and Courtesy Appointments. This policy applies to Faculty appointments, but only to the extent that no contrary provision is included in the Faculty Handbook.


Family members may work in the same department.

However, no employee shall directly supervise, or use the authority or influence of his or her position, in the hiring, renewal, modification, or termination of an immediate family member's employment. For example, no employee shall participate in the following matters regarding a family member: hiring, changes in an individual's compensation or benefits, assignment of duties, performance evaluation, promotion, disciplinary action, lay-off and removal, or direct approval of time sheets or payroll.

This policy does not prohibit an employee from participating in general decisions that impact classes of employees in which a family member is employed, such as unit- or university-wide decisions regarding salary increases, layoffs, changes in benefits, negotiating or approving union contracts, etc.

For this policy only, immediate family is defined as spouse, same sex domestic partner, children, stepchildren, legal wards, siblings, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and son-in-law. Any other person related by blood or marriage and living in the same household shall also be considered immediate family for purposes of this policy. Family members excluded from the definition of "immediate family" may, with cause shown, be treated in the same manner as an "immediate family" member.

Appointment of family members to a position, and on-going employment decisions, shall be made in accordance with all applicable policies and guidelines, including the following:

Policies and Procedures

In instances where family members are working in the same department, due diligence must be taken to eliminate the appearance of impropriety.

Direct supervision and direct involvement in employment decisions as described in this policy is prohibited. Family members must delegate authority to other parties or recuse themselves from employment-related decisions regarding their family members. Such supervisors must inform their supervisor of the specific situation and arrangements. The higher-level supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the lower-level supervisor is neither a direct nor an indirect decision-maker in regard to any employment-related decisions for the affected family member. The divisional or departmental chain of command may be engaged not only to avoid the appearance of impropriety, but also to avoid instances of a subordinate supervisor supervising the family member of his or her supervisor.

This policy supercedes any and all policies and guidelines regarding matters of nepotism, except the Faculty Handbook. In particular, this policy supercedes the last section, "Familial Appointments," in the June 15, 2001, version of Policy and Procedure 40.106, "Administrative Appointments." Policy 40.106 will be updated accordingly when it is next revised.

Any employee who believes this policy has been violated should contact University Human Resources at (740) 593-1636, the Office of Instutional Equity, or the University Ombuds Office.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. President

  2. Executive Vice President and Provost

  3. Executive Staff

  4. General Counsel

  5. Assistant Vice President for Safety and Risk Management

  6. Faculty Senate

  7. Administrative Senate

  8. Classified Senate

  9. Graduate Student Senate

  10. Student Senate

  11. Policy and Procedure Review Committee


There are no forms that are specific to this policy.

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Dick Piccard revised this file (http://www.ohio.edu/policy/40-107.html) on May 14, 2013.
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