policy Nepotism modified Wed Oct 12 2022 10:03:25 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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University of Louisville





May 1, 1992




This policy applies to University Administrators, Faculty, and Staff.


The university has a responsibility to ensure that all activities are reflective of our Mission to educate and serve our community through teaching, research and service. Supervision of a family member or maintaining the authority to render employment actions affecting a family member create an inherent conflict of interest, or at a minimum give the appearance of a conflict of interest. The purpose of this policy is to instill confidence that the university is a place of excellence and inclusiveness, unencumbered by potential conflicts of interest that could reasonably be considered to affect the sound judgment of employees.


The basic criteria for appointment and promotion of all university employees shall be appropriate qualifications and performance. Relationship to another university employee by family, marriage, or domestic partnership shall constitute neither an advantage nor a deterrent to any individual in appointment, promotion, transfer, compensation, hours, or other conditions of employment, provided the individual meets and fulfills the appropriate university appointment requirements and standards.

An employee of the university may not participate in any employment actions (see definitions) or enter into a personal services contract with a family member (see definitions).

In addition, no employee may serve as the immediate supervisor for, or be in the chain of command of, a family member. Furthermore, no employee shall have the same immediate supervisor as a member of their family.

Requests to manage relationships of family members that fall within the scope of this policy must be submitted in writing, in the form of a Nepotism Management Plan, to the university’s Conflict of Interest and Commitment Office at coi@louisville.edu. Nepotism Management Plans will be reviewed for approval by the VP for Risk, Audit, and Compliance.

  • Family member: Spouse; domestic partner; mother; father; sister; brother; biological, adopted, or foster child; stepchild; legal ward; grandparent; grandchild; first cousin; aunt; uncle; niece; nephew; mother-in-law; father-in-law; sister-in-law; brother-in-law; daughter-in-law; son-in-law; grandparent-in-law; grandchild-in-law; or corresponding step-relatives; or corresponding relatives of the employee's partner; other persons for whom the employee is legally responsible; and anyone who stood in loco parentis to the employee as a child.
  • Employment Action: Hire, promote, reclassify, manage/supervise, direct, evaluate, make salary recommendations, assign work or resources, approve leave requests, travel or expenses, give any benefit, or terminate employment.
  • Nepotism: Favoritism in employment actions, granted through authority or influence by someone in a position of power, toward family members or others for whom the employee has a familial relationship.

The university’s online application will include a section requiring the applicant to list all relatives employed by the university.

The Nepotism Management Plan is required to mitigate violations of this policy. If an individual is to be assigned to a position that is under the supervision or control of a relative who has or may have a direct or indirect effect on the individual’s progress or performance, or an individual is to be assigned to a position with the same immediate supervisor as a relative, a management plan must be submitted by the head of the organizational unit (e.g., VP/Dean).

The Nepotism Management Plan must:

  • Include an outline of the supervision and evaluation procedures that will mitigate possible conflicts of interest.
  • Address reporting relationships, supervision, and evaluation that will assure that there will be no decision making based upon relationships in promotion, compensation, hours, or other conditions of employment.
  • Include the management of the approval and review process for expenditures and travel to eliminate any potential appearance of nepotism, conflict of interest, or conflict of commitment.
  • Be resubmitted prior to any changes in reporting relationships for the affected employee.

All supervisors are responsible for maintaining objectivity in their work relationships and avoiding situations which raise the question of nepotism or discrimination prohibited by this policy.

The VP for Risk, Audit, and Compliance, or designee is responsible for approving the Nepotism Management Plan.


University of Louisville Board of Trustees; Vice President for Risk, Audit, and Compliance


Conflict of Interest and Commitment Office
2301 S Third St
Phone: 502-852-7612
Email: coi@louisville.edu


Approved by the University of Louisville Board of Trustees on September 15, 2017 to be effective November 1, 2017.
Revision Date(s): March 8, 2016; September 15, 2017; May 8, 2020 (minor edits); September 23, 2020 (minor edits)
Reviewed Date(s): September 15, 2017

The University Policy and Procedure Library is updated regularly. In order to ensure a printed copy of this document is current, please access it online at http://louisville.edu/policies.