Nepotism, for purposes of this policy, is the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends in employment decisions. This policy is intended to provide clear direction to address situations in which Employees at Wichita State University (“University”) are involved in a Familial or Consensual Relationship where a conflict of interest and/or a power differential between Employees or between an Employee and a Student exists.
The ability, or perception of the ability, to make objective decisions may be compromised if there is a Familial or Consensual Relationship between two Employees or between an Employee and a Student who have a Reporting Relationship. The University is committed to protecting the integrity of the work and academic environment through appropriate disclosure, and if necessary, management of workplace relationships.
- Consensual Relationship: A voluntary and mutually understood consensual romantic and/or sexual relationship between individuals.
- Employee: An individual who, when hired, provides services on a regular basis in exchange for compensation, receives a W-2, and who does not provide these services as a part of an independent business. This includes temporary and part-time Employees.
- Familial Relationship: A family member or a member of such person’s household including domestic partner, spouse, parent, grandparent, children, grandchildren, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew; related by blood, marriage or adoption. The term “domestic partner” as used here, means a person with whom another person maintains a household and an intimate relationship, other than a person to whom such person is legally married.
- Leadership: Leadership includes individuals at the University who have Employees reporting to them, or Department Chairs/Directors.
- Power Differential: A situation that exists when individuals possess different degrees of power or influence due to their professional or student standing.
- Reporting Relationship: A relationship, direct or indirect, in which one Employee reports to, has influence or decision-making authority over, or has the perception of influence or decision-making authority over, another Employee and/or Student. This relationship may include, but is not limited to, influence or decision-making authority (perceived or otherwise) of salary decisions, performance management, employment, evaluating, grading or otherwise assessing the other participant’s academic or employment performance.
- Student: Any individual who has been notified of admission to the University; is enrolled in, auditing, or participating in any University course or program; is assigned a space in a University owned or managed housing facility; or has a continuing relationship with the University. This includes, but is not limited to, Orientation, Intensive English, National Student Exchange, and Study Abroad.
- An Employee may not have a Reporting Relationship with another Employee with whom they have, or have had in the past, a Familial or Consensual Relationship and provide evaluation(s) or make workforce decisions such as appointment, retention, promotion, corrective action, tenure or salary. An Employee shall not participate in any group or body, which is considering any such decision.
- An Employee shall not participate in or influence (directly or in any group or body): academic evaluations, admission, or corrective action/discipline for an Employee or Student with whom they currently have or have had in the past a Familial or Consensual Relationship.
- In situations where a conflict of interest and/or a Power Differential between Employees or between Employee and Student may exist, the Employee(s) must disclose the relationship to their Leadership and initiate arrangements to resolve the situation, if necessary.
- If it is determined that a conflict of interest and/or a Power Differential exists within the Reporting Relationship between Employees or an Employee and a Student the relationship shall be disclosed in writing by the Employee(s) to their respective Leadership within ten (10) days. Efforts are made immediately to resolve the conflict.
- An Employee may be hired without regard to Familial or Consensual Relationship so long as processes are conducted and decisions are made in compliance with applicable policies and procedures. No Employee shall advocate or cause the employment, appointment, promotion, transfer, or advancements to any office or position of the state, with a person who they share a Familial or Consensual Relationship.
- Be knowledgeable of and to implement the policy and procedures.
- Be aware of the potential risk of entering into a Familial or Consensual Relationship with an Employee or Student whom the Employee directs or controls the work.
- Disclose situations that impact, or potentially impact, a Familial, Reporting, or Consensual Relationship in a timely manner with Leadership.
- Respond to concerns of policy violation and ensure a resolution is implemented timely.
- Provide direction and assistance to Employees to comply with policy.
- Discuss concerns with Employees in an effort to resolve issues.
- Adhere to University policies and procedures.
- Be aware that entering into a Familial, Reporting, or Consensual Relationship with an Employee who may direct or control their work creates the potential risk to both Employees or Employee and Student.
- Disclose situations that impact, or potentially impact, a Reporting Relationship in a timely manner with Leadership.
- Seek direction and assistance from Leadership to comply with policy.
- Discuss concerns with Leadership in an effort to resolve issues.