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Policy Statement

Persons related by family or marriage, and persons whose circumstances establish bonds that are characteristic of those relationships may not initiate, participate in, or exercise any influence over departmental or institutional decisions involving a direct benefit or detriment to a person so related. In situations where a conflict of interest might occur under normal operating procedures, the responsibility for the decision will pass to the next higher administrative level. Further, faculty or staff members may neither supervise nor be supervised by persons with whom they are so related.


For purposes of this policy, nepotism is defined as favoritism.

For purposes of this policy, direct benefit includes but is not limited to initial appointment, conditions of employment, retention, promotion, tenure, salary, leave of absence, and grievance adjustment.

For purposes of this policy, persons related by family or marriage are defined as spouse, parent, child, step-child, guardian, ward, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, in-laws, fiancé, fiancée, and persons living together in the same household excluding those living as members of a religious community.


  1. The application for employment or transfer within the University requires a list of all relatives, as defined for this policy, employed by Marywood University.
  2. The employing department reviews the application materials of selected candidates to determine whether the issue of nepotism needs to be addressed with the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources or, in the case of faculty, with the dean.
  3. If employees become relatives of other University employees after their appointment, the University will work with them to resolve situations that are in conflict with this policy. In all cases, the needs of the University will determine the solution. The supervisor at the next higher administrative level will present the matter to the appropriate vice president who, with the President, will decide the action to be taken. Should the decision be that an exception will be made in a given case, the vice president will notify both persons in the relationship in writing. A copy of the written notification is filed in the personnel folder of each person.

Employees working in these situations before July 1, 1995, are not affected by this policy.

Related Policies


03/17/95 - Approved by the President for implementation July 1, 1995
02/13/98 - Revised to clarify conflicting employment relationships
12/02/05 - Revision approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University