Policy number: 1.4

Policy section: Institutional Affairs

Revised Date: January 2, 2019

1.  Definitions

Definitions of capitalized terms used herein are set forth in Appendix A.

2.  Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to avoid favoritism, the appearance of favoritism, or conflicts of interest and loyalty often associated with favoritism.

3.  Policy Statement

It is the policy of Southern Methodist University to make employment or other business decisions based solely on University needs and on individual qualifications, skills, ability, and performance.  Nepotism is inconsistent with this fundamental principle.  Consequently, no Covered Individual may make, participate in, or attempt to influence any Employment Decision or Other Business Decision involving an Immediate Family Member unless appropriate procedures for non-preferential treatment of the Immediate Family Member have been reviewed and approved in accordance with this policy.

4.  Policy Implementation

Covered Individuals should not be involved in decisions involving either the employment of, or business transactions with, Immediate Family Members. However, exceptional circumstances may exist where an Immediate Family Member has unique skills or qualifications that are essential to a job or business arrangement but that are not otherwise readily available to the University.  In those instances, a waiver of the policy may be considered.  The Covered Individual with supervisory or decision-making authority who seeks a waiver shall make the facts known to the responsible Dean, Vice President or other Executive Officer and recommend in writing non-preference procedures to comply with this policy.  The Dean, Vice President or other Executive Officer shall determine whether such recommended procedures are satisfactory and shall approve the procedures in writing.  If necessary, the Dean, Vice President, or other Executive Officer shall first modify the recommended procedures to ensure non-preferential treatment.  In any instance in which a Trustee, a member of a committee of the Board of Trustees, an Executive Officer, or a Dean is the Covered Individual, such required determination and approval shall be made by the Conflicts Committee as defined in Appendix A of University Policy 1.3, Conflicts of Interest.

5.  Policy Violations

Violation of this policy by a Covered Individual may result in discipline in accordance with appropriate University policies and procedures up to and including termination of employment.

6.  Policy Interpretation

The General Counsel shall have sole authority to make interpretation of this Policy.  The General Counsel shall consult with the President and the Chair of the Board Conflicts Committee prior to making any interpretation of this Policy that relates to a material matter involving a Trustee, Executive Officer or a member of a Committee of the Board.

Appendix A: Definitions

“Nepotism” means any favoritism shown on the basis of family or similar relationship.

“Covered Individuals” means Trustees, members of committees of the Board of Trustees, Executive Officers, Deans, and any other faculty or staff members with Supervisory or Decision-Making Authority.

“Employment Decision” means any decision involving appointment or initial employment; renewal or retention; performance evaluation, promotion or tenure; compensation; course or work assignments, or hours of work; leaves of absence; research or other funding; or the conferring of any other direct benefit in the course of employment.

"Immediate Family Member" means a person connected to the Covered Individual by virtue of being the Covered Individual's spouse, domestic partner, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, stepsibling, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the Covered Individual and any person who resides in the same household with the Covered Individual.

“Other Business Decision” means any decision involving University commercial activities, such as contracting, buying, selling, leasing, or licensing of goods and services.  The term “Other Business Decision” also includes non-employment-related matters such as admissions, grading, awarding of financial aid and scholarships, or the provision of student recommendations.

“Supervisory or Decision-Making Authority” means the actual or delegated power to determine or perform any of the decisions enumerated in this Policy.

Revised: January 2, 2019

Adopted: December 11, 2017