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University Policy 57

Employment of Related Persons/Nepotism

Formerly Executive Memorandum 96-115
Initially approved July 8, 1996
Revised: December 19, 2016

Policy Topic: Personnel
Administering Office: Human Resources


It is the policy of Western Carolina University (the “University”) to comply with the laws and policies of the State of North Carolina and the policies of the University of North Carolina pertaining to nepotism.  Accordingly, persons considered for employment or promotion shall be evaluated on the basis of individual merit, including qualifications, experience and training, without reference to considerations of race, sex, color, religion, disability, genetic information, age, national origin or any other factors not involving personal professional qualifications and performance, including family or personal relationships within the University.


This policy applies to all employees, including temporary employees.


executive manager” means each of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Engagement, Chief of Staff, Chief Information Officer, General Counsel or Athletic Director.

immediate family member” for the purpose of this policy means a spouse, parent, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, aunt, uncle, niece,  nephew, first cousin, guardian or ward, and step-, half- and in-law relations of persons listed in this definition.


A. Nepotism Prohibited – General Rule

Immediate family members may not occupy a position which has influence over another immediate family member’s employment, transfer or promotion, salary administration, or other related management or personnel consideration, including a position having responsibility for the direct supervision of the other related person. This includes participating individually or as a member of a screening committee or other committee that recommends personnel actions or considerations of the other person.

Employment restrictions may also include others living within the same household or otherwise so closely identified with each other as to suggest conflict in the employment relationship.

B. Employment Process Involving Immediate Family Members

If immediate family members are considered for employment, it is necessary for the department head to certify that such action will not result in one family member supervising another member of the immediate family. Immediate family members of current employees (permanent or temporary) may not be employed within the same department unless specifically approved by the appropriate executive manager after consultation with the Office of Human Resources and Payroll.

A person related to an incumbent employee may not be employed if the professional qualifications of other candidates for the available position are demonstrably superior to those of the related person. In a situation where two or more related persons are to be employed within the same academic or institutional department, the department must certify that no other candidate for the position in question possesses qualifications superior to those of the relative candidate.

C. Chancellor Reports to the Board of Trustees – Application of this Policy

The Chancellor shall report annually to the Board of Trustees at the regular meeting falling closest to the date of spring commencement, concerning all specific cases involving permanent positions during the preceding year in which the terms of this policy were applied. This includes both the decisions and the justifications for those decisions where employment was denied or allowed under the guidelines of the nepotism policy.


This Policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary in the event that the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources and/or the University of North Carolina system revises related policies and/ procedures.


State Human Resources Manual, Selection:

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