University Policy 57
Employment of Related Persons

Formerly Executive Memorandum 96-115
Initially approved July 8, 1996
Administering Office: Human Resources

On March 15, 1996, the Board of Governors amended the policy concerning "Employment of Related Persons." In order to continue fulfilling its obligations, WCU has adopted the following amended policies.

WHEREAS, decisions concerning the employment, evaluation, promotion and compensation of academic personnel should be based in every instance on considerations of individual merit, and

WHEREAS, favoritism based on family or personal relationships between employees derogates from the merit principle of employment, and

WHEREAS, the risk of occurrence of such favoritism can be avoided most effectively by the advance establishment of general restrictions against the creation of situations where such favoritism could be operative; and

WHEREAS, a common policy concerning the employment of related persons, applicable to personnel practices at all constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina, is desirable.



Consistent with the principle that University employees and prospective employees shall be evaluated on the basis of individual merit, without reference to considerations of race, sex, religion or national origin, or any other factors not involving personal professional qualifications and performance, the following restrictions shall be observed to avoid the possibility of favoritism based on family or personal relationships.

1. Related persons shall not serve concurrently within the institution in any case where one such related person would occupy a position having responsibility for the direct supervision of the other related person.

2. With respect to proposed employment decisions which would result in the concurrent service of related persons within the same academic department (or other comparable institutional subdivision of employment), a person related to an incumbent employee may not be employed if the professional qualifications of other candidates for the available position are demonstrably superior to those of the related person.

3. With respect to the concurrent service of related persons within the same academic department (or other comparable institutional subdivision of employment), neither related person shall be permitted, either individually or as a member of a faculty or as a member of a committee of a faculty, to participate in the evaluation of the other related person.


The following relationships are sufficiently immediate to invoke the prohibitions against concurrent service of related persons:

1. Parent and child
2. Brothers and sisters
3. Grandparent and grandchild
4. Aunt and/or uncle and niece and/or nephew
5. First cousins
6. Step-parent and step-child
7. Step-brothers and step-sisters
8. Husband and wife
9. Parents-in-law and children-in-law
10. Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law
11. Guardian and ward
12. Persons engaged in amorous relationships; an amorous relationship exists when, without the benefit of marriage, two persons voluntarily have sexual union or are engaged in a romantic courtship (e.g., dating or engaged to be married) that may or may not have been consummated sexually.


The provisions of this policy shall be applicable prospectively only, with reference to appointments made after the adoption date of the policy.


The Chancellor shall report annually to the Board of Trustees, at the regular meeting falling closest to the date of commencement, concerning all specific cases during the preceding year in which the terms of this policy were applied.


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