IV.11 NEPOTISM, CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Although in years past it was virtually impossible for two related staff members to be employed in the same university unit, this is no longer the case. The frequency with which one finds spouses, relatives, and others with close relationships working together frequently raises questions about policy in this area.
Basic University policy is that
Other University statements extend this basic common-sense policy to the evaluation of students as well as to employment terms of employees and job applicants (see also "Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures" in this section). These policies are founded on Wisconsin's Fair Employment Statute (Stats. 111 sub. II) and the Administrative Code of Ethics (UWS 8) concerning UW System institutions.
Where the potential exists for a conflict of interest situation, staff members should discuss the matter with the chair and work out appropriate procedures. This might be another faculty member or a small committee to evaluate and make salary recommendations for a researcher employed on a grant whose spouse is principal investigator, or one faculty member absenting herself from executive committee discussions of a counter-offer for her spouse, or making alternate grading arrangements for a student enrolled in a section or course taught by a relative or very close friend.
If you have questions about how to proceed in such a situations, contact the appropriate academic Associate Dean or the Dean to discuss the situation.
NC July 2009
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