106.520 - Employment of Near Relatives

UCSC:APO:CAPM rev 10/09

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the following is to present the University's policy (APM 520) on the employment of near relatives(1) with local guidelines to assist unit heads(2), supervisors, search committees, etc. in the decision making process associated with hiring actions, merit and promotion reviews and other matters that affect academic employees. When near relatives are employed in the same unit or are being considered for employment in the same unit; and where the near relatives would, if not for their relationship to each other, be expected to participate in decisions affecting the status of one another.

The purpose of the guidelines established here is to ensure that decisions about personnel actions such as those described above are made without influence from relationship issues. The guidelines include a provision for the establishment of review procedures for personnel actions and these review procedures must be approved by the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor prior to their use.

A. POLICY

A member of the University staff shall not participate in the process of review and decision-making on any matter concerning the appointment, promotion, salary, retention or termination of a near relative (APM 520).

B. RECRUITMENTS

1. In searching for qualified candidates for a new or vacant position in a unit, those persons responsible for recruitment shall not disqualify a candidate by reason of near relationship to an appointee already in the unit or by reason of near relationship when simultaneous appointment of near relatives in the same unit is recommended (APM 520-10).

2. If a member of a search committee charged with the review and ranking of applicants is a near relative of an applicant, the search committee member should be replaced as soon as this fact becomes known to the committee. The search record should make note of the near relationship status of the applicant(s) with the statement that the relative(s) did not participate i the screening of candidates. The record should also include a description of other steps taken, if any, by the committee to avoid a conflict of interest in its deliberations (See Appendix H, ACADEMIC RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES, Checklist for Search Committees.)

3. If a unit is seeking appointment of a near relative under the Waiver or Exemption provisions of the ACADEMIC RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES, and the near relative would, in standard review procedures, provide input in the review process for the other (e.g., principal investigator wishes to hire relative) the following provisions apply:

  1. The Dean shall establish a committee consisting of three knowledgeable academic individuals, at least one of whom should come from outside the unit in which the proposed appointment is to be made, to review the qualifications of the near relative for the position. The committee shall be provided with a description of the duties to be performed, a Curriculum Vitae of the individual under consideration, and at least three letters of recommendation.
  2. The committee will provide the Dean with its assessment of the appropriateness of an exemption or waiver in light of the unique qualifications of the candidate. The Dean shall then make a recommendation to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Relations regarding the appropriateness of an exemption or waiver of recruitment. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Faculty Relations shall make the final decision of the appropriateness of an exemption or waiver of recruitment.
  3. If exemption or waiver of recruitment is approved, the unit shall be notified to submit a proposal in accordance with Section C.2 and C.4 below.
  4. In the case of a short-term, emergency replacement hire for a period not to exceed one year, the Dean is delegated the authority to review the unique qualifications of the candidate and to make a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of the waiver.

C. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW OF PERSONNEL ACTIONS OF NEAR RELATIVES

1. At the time when two employees already holding positions in the same unit subsequently become near relatives, this fact shall be noted and an analysis of the possible conflict of interest or other disadvantage in the situation shall be forwarded through normal channels for review and approval by the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor (APM 520-0a; 520-24). Additional procedures in paragraphs 3 or 4 below apply as appropriate.

2. If a recommended appointment or reappointment would result in near relatives being employed in the same unit, this fact shall be noted in the recommendation, and an analysis of the possible conflict of interest, or other disadvantage in the situation, shall be forwarded through normal channels to the Dean with the recommendation in sufficient time to permit complete review of the case before the proposed effective date (APM 520-10). Additional procedures in paragraph 3 or 4 below apply as appropriate.

3. If either near relative would not, in standard review procedures for the action under consideration, provide input in the review process for the other, standard personnel review procedures should be followed. In addition to the requirements of C.2 above, the documentation in support of the proposed action (appointment, merit, promotion, etc.) shall include the statement that standard procedures were followed because no conflict of interest arose from its use.

4. If either relative would, in standard personnel review procedures provide input in the review process for the other, the following procedure applies:

  1. With the analysis required in C.2 above, the unit head shall submit to the Dean proposed procedures to be followed for the review of personnel actions affecting the individual(s). These procedures should describe how the review will be conducted, e.g., by special committee, and any other necessary steps that ensure that the near relative does not participate in matters affecting the related employee while at the same time ensuring that the related employee receives fair and proper review in personnel matters. After decanal review, the proposed procedures will be forwarded to the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor for final approval.
  2. In reaching a conclusion about the proposed procedures, the Dean or the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor may consult with the Coordinator of Conflict of Interest, as necessary.
  3. If the review procedures are approved, the unit shall be notified to submit its recommendation on any proposed personnel actions in accordance with such procedures.
  4. The ensuing recommended personnel action shall include a description of the procedures approved for the review.
  5. If the Dean or Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor is a party in such a near relationship, the next higher reviewing authority shall establish review procedures for personnel actions involving them.

5. In no case, may a faculty member exercise rights under Senate Bylaw 55 in personnel matters affecting a near relative. The documentation in support of a personnel action should verify that the faculty member recused themselves from the deliberations in the matter under review. (APM 520-16). NOTE: See also Senate Bylaw 13.4.6, 13.4.7 and 13.4.8

6. Approval authority for personnel actions involving near relatives is in accordance with the campus policy outlined in Appendix 1, UCSC Academic Personnel Campus Policies and Procedures.


(1)  A near relative is defined as an appointee’s child (including the child of a domestic partner (same sex or opposite sex)), parent, spouse, domestic partner, or sibling. In-laws or step relatives in the relationships listed, including relatives of the domestic partner who would be covered if the domestic partner were the appointee’s spouse, are also so defined. This provision also covers other persons residing in the appointee’s household. (APM 540-4).

(2) Includes departments and committees, University Library, organized research units, extramural research projects, University Extension, etc.