Policy Number: 419

Policy Suffix:

I. General Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define nepotism as it applies to matters of employment at Rice University. Rice University seeks to foster an environment where people are treated with respect and trust. The University welcomes the applications of employee relatives and will consider them based on qualifications for openings not under the direct or indirect supervision of a relative.

Employment of relatives/family members may be problematic because such situations can create a conflict of interest, an appearance of favoritism, and increased potential for conflict in the work environment. Because of these concerns, the University is sensitive to circumstances in which relatives of employees are in the line of authority or might be hired, transferred, or promoted to positions where one relative might have influence over any of the following: a relative's employment, performance review , salary administration, promotion, or other employment-related decisions.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

This policy applies to all Rice University Faculty and Staff.

A. The Office of Human Resources oversees and provides guidance to supervisors regarding the implementation of the University's policy on nepotism.

B. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with the University's policy on nepotism.

C. Employees are responsible for understanding and following the University's policy on nepotism.

III. Definitions

For purposes of this policy, "relatives" includes spouse, domestic partners, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and relatives by marriage (in-laws).

A. Line of Authority - authority that extend s vertically through one or more organizational levels of supervision and management. See Policy #838: Conflict of Interest.

B. Favoritism - when someone appears to be treated more favorably than comparable employees for reasons unrelated to work performance or operational needs.

C. Salary Administration - the process of compensating employees in accordance with accepted policy and procedures to ensure they are being paid appropriately , both with respect to others in the same area and to the marketplace as a whole.

IV. Elaboration of Policy

The University requires full disclosure of any " relative" relationship, as defined above, to Human Resources at the time of employment or at any time that it occurs in the course of employment. Employment of relatives in the same department is generally discouraged. If a relationship develops during the course of employment that would violate this policy, the University will work with the individuals involved to address the situation. In all cases, the needs of the University determine the resolution. The responsible supervisor should take measures in consultation with the appropriate dean/vice president, vice provost, director and Human Resources to minimize real or perceived favoritism.

If an approved employment relationship exists where individuals work together in the same department , evaluation and recommendations concerning performance and/or salary will be accomplished at the next higher level of supervision.

V. Cross References to Related Policies

Rice University Policy 838: Conflict of Interest
Rice University Policy 406: Promotion and Transfer
Rice University Policy 413: Employment

II. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation

Responsible Official: Executive Vice President for Operations, Finance, & Support

Key Office: Human Resources


David W. Leebron, President

Policy History

Clerical Changes

January 24, 2018

January 18, 2023

August 15, 2023

March 4, 2024


No. 419-93, 5/0l/93
No. 414-93,1/01/93