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University of Louisville
University Administrators, Faculty, and Staff
May 1, 1992

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 for an exception to this policy must be submitted in writing, in the form of a Management Exception Plan, to the university’s Chief Human Resources Officer.


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. 


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.
Exceptions Procedure
A Management Exception Plan is required when seeking an exception to 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).

Management Exception 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 Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for approving exceptions to this policy.

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

Human Resources
1980 Arthur Street
Phone:  502-852-6258

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

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