The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Nepotism Policy

Unit:  Human Resources
Contact: Susan Norton
Title:  Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective Date: 9/13/2001
Revision Date: 11/29/2018



This policy prohibits nepotism in employment at the University and clarifies expectations regarding the management of any actual or perceived conflicts of interest related to nepotism.


(Defined Terms are Underlined)

  • Applicable state law and the rules of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama prohibit nepotism in employment at the University.
  • No employee shall engage in Nepotistic Conduct with regard to a Family or Household Member.
  • In any cases of perceived or potential conflicts with this policy, a Management Plan must be memorialized, approval of such plan obtained by the appropriate supervisor(s) and Appointing Authority, and records regarding the same must be kept by HR.
  • New Relationships that may or will result in nepotism shall also be subject to this policy.
  • Family or Household Members are permitted to work at the same University, or even in the same department, provided no Nepotistic Conduct occurs and a Management Plan is created.
  • Pursuant to Board Rules, additional approvals at the campus and/or System Office are required before hiring members of the immediate families of the President, Chancellor, Trustees, and specified senior administrators.
  • This policy also applies to instances of nepotism that existed before the enactment of this policy. Any existing relationships or situations must be disclosed immediately, evaluated, and managed as provided in this policy.


Appointing Authority: Board Rule 106 defines the Appointing Authority as the Chancellor for the System Office, the President for each campus, or their designee.

Family or Household Member: This term includes those related by blood, marriage, step relationships, in-laws, and by sharing a household. Nepotism involving anyone within the “fourth degree,” is prohibited which means a first cousin or closer. This includes spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews. For purposes of clarification, those who are married or living together, and those who share a child (regardless of marital or household status) may not engage in Nepotistic Conduct with regard to their or the partner’s relatives as defined in this policy.

HR: The Human Resources director for the applicable University or their designee.

Management Plan: A Management Plan is a document that memorializes the steps taken to avoid the appearance of a potential or perceived conflict of interest, or potential violation of this policy. A Management Plan should generally include: the basis for the Family or Household Member relationship, the reasons for the perception of or potential for nepotism, and the steps to be taken by the parties involved to avoid Nepotistic Conduct, which may include a transfer of one or more employees, a reallocation of duties, or a modification in the chain or reporting. Such a plan should be signed or acknowledged by all affected parties. A Management Plan may be subject to revision and necessary alteration, as determined in the discretion of the supervisor, HR, or Appointing Authority.

Nepotistic Conduct: Employees are prohibited from participating in the following conduct with regard to a Family or Household Member:

  • Appointing to a position, job, or office of profit
  • Hiring or participating in hiring
  • Entering into a personal services contract
  • Supervising
  • Being in the chain of command of such person
  • Evaluating
  • Reassigning
  • Promoting
  • Adjusting or increasing salary or pay
  • Disciplining
  • Seeking to use one’s position to affect or influence, or attempt to affect or influence, the outcome of any of the above activities or terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours, benefits, or career progress
  • Engaging in any other activities that would create a prohibited conflict of interest

New Relationships: Employees who marry while employed, or become a Family or Household Member while employed, become subject to this policy. Any new relationship must be disclosed promptly by involved employees and evaluated and managed in accordance with this policy.

University: All institutions of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama, including UA, UAB, UAH, and the System Office.



This policy applies to all employees.


Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 11/29/2018