Employment of Relatives (Nepotism)


Delta State University is committed to providing a fair and equitable working environment free from potential conflicts of interest – both perceived and actual – and potential favoritism and preferential treatment – both perceived and actual. The University believes employees should be evaluated on the merits of their work without improper influence or the potential for improper influence or favoritism. For this reason the University adheres to this policy regarding the employment of relatives, commonly known as nepotism.


Employee: a person who is working on paid appointments by the University in a faculty, staff, adjunct, temporary, intermittent, time-limited, student, or graduate assistant capacity. For specific information on who is considered an employee, contact the Office of Human Resources.

Family Member: a spouse, parent, step-parent, sibling, child, step-child, grandchild, grandparents, son- or daughter- in-law, mother- or father-in-law or brother- or sister-in-law. Child means a biological, adopted, or foster child for whom the employee stands or stood in loco parentis.

Supervisor:  an employee designated by management who exercises major supervisory function over another employee or employees. These functions include hiring, evaluating, assigning work, and disciplining employees.


The employment of a family member of a present employee or the appointment of a present employee to a new/different position is prohibited when such employment/appointment would create a situation where one family member would be in a supervisory position over the other family member and/or influencing progress, performance, or welfare. It is the responsibility of the employee and the supervisor to disclose to the University the family relationship status in writing to the Office of Human Resources and/or on the University employment application.

The University reserves the right to reject a job applicant who is related to another DSU employee or to reassign or transfer an employee in the event that the hire, promotion, or transfer of another employee would result in one being able to exercise direct or indirect control over the working conditions or salary of a member of their immediate family. Decisions affecting any aspect of a relative’s employment (e.g., transfer, promotion, salary, involuntary termination, position elimination, or layoff) must be made by disinterested and qualified supervisory personnel chosen by and acting under the direction of the appropriate vice president and the Office of Human Resources.

An exception may be made to this policy. Prior approval must be obtained in cases where employment of a spouse or other relative in the same department or academic/administrative unit is contemplated. Approval is granted from the appropriate Vice President, in consultation with the Office of Human Resources. If approved, the subordinate employee’s supervision will be formally transferred to an alternate supervisory authority one or more levels above the supervisory family member employee. All matters dealing with the subordinate employee’s progress, performance, welfare, assignment, salary, tenure, and promotion must be unaffected by the other family member’s employment or position. The appropriate Vice President will notify the employee’s supervisor of the final decision in writing. A copy will be included in the individual’s personnel file.

Other relationships between employees which create a relationship similar to those described in the policy may be included under the provisions of the policy if one of the parties has influence over the other as described in this policy.

Any potential preferential treatment or improper influence should be reported immediately to the Office of Human Resources. Employees can face disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, if a charge of nepotism is sustained. To avoid allegations or even the appearance of nepotism, employees should not be involved in any way with the employment of their relatives.


Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources






Revised by the Office of Human Resources:  02/27/2019

Approved by Cabinet: 05/22/2019