Nepotism (III.B.3)

Volume III: Ethics
Chapter B: Conflicts
Responsible Executive: President
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Date Issued: September 29, 2014
Date Last Revised: May 1, 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contacts
Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Exclusions
Responsibilities
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates
Appendix

CONTACTS

Policy Clarification

Title/Office

Telephone

Email/Webpage

Vice President for Ethics and Compliance

765-494-5830

vpec@purdue.edu

 

Campus Specific Questions

Title/Office

Telephone

Email/Webpage

Fort Wayne: Chancellor

260-481-6103

chancellor@pfw.edu

Northwest: Chancellor

219-989-2204

www.pnw.edu/chancellor/

West Lafayette: Vice President for Ethics and Compliance

765-494-5830

vpec@purdue.edu

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Purdue University is committed to maintaining an environment in which learning, discovery and engagement take place in a professional atmosphere of mutual respect and trust. Nepotism that occurs in the context of Administrative Supervision or Evaluative Supervision may undermine professionalism and hinder the fulfillment of the University’s educational mission.

Therefore, Purdue University prohibits all persons from being employed or continuing employment in any position that places them under the Administrative Supervision of another employee with whom they have a Personal Relationship. All faculty and staff are further prohibited from exercising Evaluative Supervision for a Purdue University student with whom they have a Personal Relationship.

Exceptions to this policy may only be granted by the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

Employment, education and other opportunities within the University are not and should not be based upon or influenced by family relationships. Indiana statute prohibits the practice of nepotism in employment. This policy guards against both employment and scholarly relationships from which nepotism or charges of nepotism might arise and includes provisions for reasonable exceptions.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

All faculty, staff and students and all colleges, schools, departments, offices and other units of the University.

EXCLUSIONS

There are no exclusions to this policy.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Faculty, Staff and Prospective Employees

  • Report Personal Relationships with other University faculty and staff and with University students in the context of Administrative Supervision or Evaluative Supervision.

Vice President for Ethics and Compliance (VPEC)

  • Review for determination all requests for exceptions to this policy, except those involving the VPEC.
  • Review all approved exceptions annually thereafter for continuation.
  • Upon granting an exception, include with the approval alternative procedures for setting salary, determining promotion, grading, assessing academic progress, etc.
  • Submit exceptions to the employment prohibition to the Board of Trustees and file approved employment exceptions with the state of Indiana.

All Units of the University

  • To request an employment exception, submit a written request to the VPEC if employment of the individual would be to the benefit of the University or serve a useful purpose consistent with the University’s mission. The request must be made prior to the individual’s employment and have the approvals listed in the Appendix. If a change in employment status or relational status occurs after both individuals are employed by the University, a request must be submitted, as above, promptly upon the change.
  • To request an education exception, submit a written request to the VPEC if eliminating the evaluative relationship would result in an unreasonable disadvantage to the student. The request must be made prior to the commencement of the academic term or evaluative period and have the approvals listed in the Appendix. If a change in relational status occurs during the academic term or evaluative period, a request must be submitted, as above, promptly upon the change.
  • Adhere to alternative procedures for setting salary, determining promotion, grading, evaluation, coaching, etc., if an exception is granted.

Human Resources

  • Assist departments that choose to develop policies more restrictive than this policy.

DEFINITIONS

All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Additional defined terms may be found in the central Policy Glossary.

Administrative Supervision
For purposes of this policy, a person is considered to be under the Administrative Supervision of his or her immediate supervisor and of all supervisors at higher levels within the organizational lines of the particular department or unit of employment. For example, a faculty member is deemed to be under the Administrative Supervision of the head of the department in which such faculty member is employed, the dean of the college/school to which the department belongs, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Chancellor (with regard to Regional Campuses), the Provost, the President, and the Board of Trustees. 

Evaluative Supervision
The direct assessment of or influence over another person’s (1) academic or research performance, progress or potential and/or (2) co-curricular, athletic or other institutionally prescribed activities.

Personal Relationship
A relationship between two individuals by blood, adoption or marriage to the degree listed below.

  1. Blood or adoption: parent, child, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild.
  2. Marriage: husband, wife, step-parent, step-child, step-brother, step-sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law. In the case of divorce, this policy also applies to ex-spouses.

The above is not to be considered an exhaustive list; other close, personal relationships between two individuals could be considered on a case-by-case basis to be subject to this policy.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Amorous Relationships (III.A.1)

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiib3.html

HISTORY AND UPDATES

May 1, 2019: Added language throughout the policy to expand its relevance to the academic setting. Updated the definition of Personal Relationship to include ex-spouses. Added responsibility for faculty, staff and prospective employees and an appendix.

January 1, 2017: References to Domestic Partner removed in accordance with the Board of Trustees resolution of December 19, 2015.

September 29, 2014: This policy supersedes the University Policy Concerning Nepotism (Executive Memorandum No. C-37), dated July 21, 1995. It has been updated to include Domestic Partners and approval authority for exceptions by the VPEC.

APPENDIX

Prior to sending a request for an exception to the VPEC for review and determination, the unit must obtain approvals as outlined below.

Employment Exceptions

  • Colleges, schools and other academic units must have the approval of the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Regional Campuses) or Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (West Lafayette campus).
  • Administrative and non-academic units must have the approval of the applicable Vice President, Vice Provost or Vice Chancellor.

Academic- and Research-Related Exceptions

  • Colleges, schools and other academic units must have the approval of the Dean and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Regional Campuses) or Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (West Lafayette campus).
  • Administrative and non-academic units must have the approval of the applicable Vice President, Vice Provost or Vice Chancellor.

Co-Curricular Activity Exceptions

  • The unit must have the approval of the unit head and the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Regional Campuses) or Vice Provost for Student Life (West Lafayette campus).

Athletics Exceptions

  • The department must have the approval of the Athletics Director.

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