CSU Policy: Familial Relationships (Nepotism)

Policy Title: Familial Relationships (Nepotism) Category: Administration
Owner: Board of Governors of the CSU System Policy ID#: 5-6004-002
Human Resources
Web: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/
Email: hr_service_center@mail.colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6947
Original Effective Date: 5/3/2011
Last Major Revision: 1/5/2015
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The University is committed to the principle that its personnel shall carry out their duties in an objective and ethical fashion and in an atmosphere in which conflicts of interest are identified and managed. A situation in which an employee retains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over a family member creates conflicts of interest and perceptions of undue advantage or disadvantage.


For the purposes of this Appendix, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. "Family Member" shall mean and refer to a spouse, domestic partner, parent, sibling, or child (as defined in Appendix 3).
  2. "Student" shall mean and refer to any person applying to the University or currently enrolled, either full-time or part-time, in any course or academic program associated with Colorado State University.
  3. "Employee" shall mean and refer to any person currently employed by Colorado State University, either full-time or part-time, in any location and in any capacity. "Employee" shall include, but is not limited to, administrators, faculty, administrative professionals, state classified staff, graduate assistants, student hourly employees, non-student hourly employees, non-paid staff, and student work-study employees.
  4. "Exercise(s) Authority" shall mean and refer to evaluating, providing oversight, supervising, academic advising, mentoring, coaching, counseling, providing extracurricular oversight, and/or otherwise participating in or influencing votes or decisions that may reward or penalize a Student or subordinate Employee.
  5. "Supervisor"shall mean the individual who performs the Employee’s annual evaluation.


An Employee shall notify his or her Supervisor immediately in writing of a situation in which the Employee is in a position to Exercise Authority over a Family Member who is a Student or a subordinate Employee. Within fifteen (15) working days of receiving this notification, the Supervisor shall consult with his or her supervisor to develop a plan to manage or eliminate conflicts of interest and mitigate adverse effects on the involved parties and other third parties. This plan shall document in writing the actions that shall be taken, including one or more of the following actions:

  1. Transferring supervisory, decision-making, evaluative, academic, and/or advisory responsibilities;
  2. Providing an additional layer of oversight to the supervisory role;
  3. Transferring one of the individuals to another position; and/or
  4. Taking any other action reasonably necessary to manage or eliminate the actual or potential conflict of interest and/or mitigate adverse effects.

In addition, an Employee shall refrain from participating in or influencing votes or decisions that may reward or penalize a Family Member who is a Student or Employee (such as votes or decisions regarding tenure and/or promotion).

A violation of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, as permitted by University policy and law, up to and including termination of employment.

Retaliation against persons who report concerns about Familial Relationships is prohibited and constitutes a violation of this Policy.


Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual, Appendix 6


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