2,503: Nepotism

Revised: August 2018

The University of Nevada, Reno, seeks to employ on a competitive basis the best possible applicant for any vacant position. There is, therefore, no prohibition to the appointing authority or hiring of a relative of an employee in the same or in another department, college, or division except as stated herein. Pursuant to State of Nevada law and administrative code (NRS 281.210; NAC 284.375), "...it is unlawful for any person acting as an employing authority [i.e., appointing authority] of the Nevada System of Higher Education...to employ in any capacity on behalf of the Nevada System of Higher Education, any relative of such a person who is within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity."

None of the university's employees or officers shall engage in any activities that place them in conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Conflict of interest requires all employees and officers to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a financial or personal interest is present.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, the following procedures apply to all employees including, but not limited to, academic or administrative faculty; members of the state classified system; postdoctoral fellows; resident physicians, graduate assistants, and all student employees of the University; regardless of the funding source or budget account.

The Nevada Revised Statutes 281.210 and the Nevada Administrative Code 284.375 and 284.377 prohibit the employment of relatives under certain circumstances. Except for relationships allowed pursuant to those documents, no employing authority of the University may appoint a person to an employment position if, upon the appointment, the person will be the immediate supervisor or will be in the direct line of authority of any relative of a university employee within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.

The term "relative" is defined by state statute and University policy as any person who is within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity:

  1. Consanguinity is a blood relationship within a family of the same descent. Affinity is a marriage or other legal relationship (such as adoption) formally recognized by the State of Nevada. Relationships within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity are defined as:
    1. The employee's spouse, child, parent, sibling, half-sibling, or step-relatives in the same relationship;
    2. The spouse of the employee's child, parent, sibling, half-sibling, or step-relative;
    3. The employee's in-laws, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent, grandchild or first cousin.
  2. No employee can participate in making recommendations or decisions affecting the appointment, retention, tenure, promotion, salary, other status or interest of any individual within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.
  3. Appointing authorities cannot hire a relative.
  4. An appointing authority - at any level - who hires a relative of any employee within the departmental-level unit(s) of that appointing authority must provide a written notification of the hire to the appointing authority's immediate supervisor and specifically address the manner in which the conditions of #2 are met.
  5. The president and those persons designated by the president serve as the appointing authority within the area of delegated authority.
  6. Except for relationships allowed pursuant to NRS 281.210 and NAC 284.375 and 284.277, if a supervisor and an employee who is in the direct line of authority of the supervisor become related after the supervisor and employee have been appointed to their respective positions, the supervisor shall notify in writing the President or persons designated by the President within 10 working days after the supervisor and the employee become related. The appointing authority shall ensure that, as soon as practicable, the employees do not continue to hold positions in which one of the employees is in the direct line of authority of the other employee.
  7. Upon receiving notification of a relationship from a supervisor pursuant to paragraph 4, the appointing authority may request a recommendation from each of the employees for appropriate action to be taken to alter the line of authority. In determining the manner in which to comply with this policy, the appointing authority is not required to accept a recommendation from the employees involved.
  8. A person serving in a supervisor position may not participate in decisions regarding hiring, reappointment, placement, evaluation, rate of pay, salary increases, promotion, tenure, monetary awards, or other personal interest for a relative employee by the University, as defined in paragraph 1, even when the supervisor is not in the direct line of authority. 
  9. In enforcing this policy, the University should avoid any appearance of impropriety as well as any potential conflict of interest. 
  10. Violators of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action as well as sanctions stipulated in the Nevada Revised Statutes and Nevada Administrative Code.
    (B/R 10/02)

Exceptions to this policy must have the prior written approval of the president, along with a written agreement detailing the manner in which conflicts of interest will be ameliorated. The source of funding to pay a newly hired employee may not serve as a basis to waive the restrictions of this policy.