4.15.11 Appointment of Relatives (Nepotism Rule)

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines for the appointment of relatives and to ensure that personnel actions are in compliance with The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations Section 30106 and Texas Government Code § 573.

B. Authority/Persons Affected

Texas Government Code Chapter 573 

UT System Board of Regents' Rule 301016, Nepotism 

Persons affected: This policy applies to all University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) employees, private contractors and applicants for employment.

C. Definitions

Affinity as defined in Texas Government Code Section 573.024

Relationship by marriage: Two individuals are related by affinity if: (1) they are married to each other; or (2) the spouse of one of the individuals is related by consanguinity to the other individual. The ending marriage by divorce or the death of a spouse ends relationships by affinity created by that marriage unless a child of that marriage is living, in which case the marriage is considered to continue as long as a child of that marriage lives. The degrees of affinity are:

  1. First degree is the employee’s spouse, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, step-parent, or step-child.
  2. B. Second degree is the employee’s brother-in-law (sister’s spouse or spouse’s brother), employee’s sister-in-law (brother’s spouse or spouse’s sister), spouse’s grandfather, spouse’s grandmother, spouse’s grandson, spouse’s granddaughter, spouse of the employee’s grandparent, or spouse of the employee’s grandchild.

Consanguinity as defined in Texas Government Code Section 573.022:

Relationship by blood or origin: Two individuals are related to each other by consanguinity if one is a descendant of the other; or they share a common ancestor. The degree of relationship by consanguinity between an individual and the individual’s descendant is determined by the number of generates that separate them. The degrees of consanguinity are:

  1. First degree is the employee’s father, mother, son, or daughter. For the purpose of this policy, an adoptive child is considered to be a child of the adoptive parent.
  2. Second degree is the employee’s brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, or granddaughter.
  3. Third degree is the employee’s uncle or aunt (who is a brother or sister of the employee’s parent), nephew or niece (who is a child of the employee’s brother or sister), great grandfather, great grandmother, great grandson or great granddaughter.

D. Policy and Procedures

Relatives of existing employees of The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) may be hired, but neither relative may supervise the other nor be involved in any way with the appointment, salary, or promotion of the other within the second degree by affinity or within the third degree by consanguinity regardless of the source of funds for the payment of salary as stated in Texas Government Code Section 573.002. This provision also includes individuals hired as private contractors.

  1. All Personnel.  No employee of UT Tyler may approve, recommend, or otherwise act with regard to the appointment, reappointment, promotion, or salary of any person related to such employee as outlined in this policy.
  2. Supervision.  If the appointment, or promotion of a person places him or her under an administrative supervisor related within the specified degree, all subsequent actions with regard to the evaluation, reappointment, promotion, or salary shall be the responsibility of the next highest supervisor. 
  3. Promotion.  If the appointment, reappointment, or promotion of a person places him or her in an administrative or supervisory position with responsibility to approve, recommend, or otherwise act with regard to reappointment, promotion, or salary of a person who is related to them within the above degree specified, all subsequent actions regarding the evaluation, reappointment, promotion, or salary of such person shall be made by the next highest supervisor.
  4. Marriage.  The provision of Section B of this policy shall apply to situations where two employees marry and one spouse is the supervisor of the other.
  5. Private Contractor. The state of Texas Attorney General has issued an opinion letter indicating that nepotism law also applies to individuals hired as private contractors. 

The following procedure will be followed at UT Tyler:

Requests for approval of the appointment of relatives must include a justification for the appointment containing a statement that a reasonable recruiting effort was made to fill the position and such effort provided the candidate affected by the nepotism rule as the person best qualified to perform the job. The qualifications of the person to be recommended for appointment must be provided to establish his or her ability to perform the work required by the position. The request to appoint, together with supporting information, must be submitted through the appropriate management chain and to the President for approval before any offer of employment is made.

Any UT Tyler employee whose work is supervised by a relative to a degree stipulated in the Regents’ Rules and Regulations must have his or her work reviewed and evaluated by the next highest supervisor not related by affinity or consanguinity. This review shall be in writing and must be forwarded annually with the operating budget to the President. 

E. Responsibilities

Applicant: Discloses relationships on application for employment. 

Employee: Discloses any relationship that would be prohibited by this policy.

State Agency: Must disclose certain family relationships with business entities receiving certain state agency contracts. 

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by Human Resources every five years or as legislation changes.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  07/01/2008

LAST AMENDED:  02/2019