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Handbook of Operating Procedures


Policy Number: 134





Date Reviewed:
July 2021
Responsible Office:
Human Resources
Responsible Executive:
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer


It is the policy of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (“University”) to prevent conflicts of interest and appearances of favoritism that result from the appointment, reappointment, and/or supervision of an employee by a close relative. This policy extends to individuals hired as private contractors.  For relationships other than by blood or marriage, refer to HOOP 216, Consensual Relationships.


Close relative: (1) the parent, step-parent, grandparent, child, step-child, brother or sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, spouse, grandchild, nephew, niece, great grandparent, or great grandchild of an employee and the spouse of the employee’s sister or brother; or (2) any spouse's relatives related to the spouse in the same degree as those previously mentioned, with the exception of a great grandparent or a great grandchild.

Supervision: the exercise of authority or responsibility with regard to appointment, reappointment, promotion, managing performance, work assignments, salary administration, termination or other terms and conditions of employment.


A. Avoidance of Nepotism

No University employee may approve, recommend, or otherwise take action with regard to the appointment, reappointment, promotion, salary or supervision of a close relative as defined in this policy. Relationships will not be a bar to honorary positions or to non-remunerative positions.

B. Disclosure Responsibility

Applicants for employment are required to fully disclose if a close relative is employed by the University at the time of application.  Employees are required to disclose within 30 days if a close relative becomes employed by the University while the employee is employed by the University. Such relationships should be disclosed to the employee’s supervisor and to Human Resources. If the relative is the employee’s direct or indirect supervisor, the disclosure should be made immediately to the next level of management above such supervisor.

The Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer is authorized to request review and to take action when necessary to prevent close relatives (whether by marriage or blood) from entering into a supervisor/supervisee relationship with one another.

Should two employees marry, they may not continue to hold positions of supervisor/supervisee relative to one another for longer than six months after marriage.  Every effort will be made to effect a transfer that will be mutually advantageous.

C. Management Options

1. Limiting Applicant Pool

If an applicant for employment in a department is a close relative of another departmental employee, and the hire of the applicant would place him or her under the supervision of a close relative, the head of the hiring department or the recruiter may omit the applicant from those being considered for the available position. The recruiter must note the reason for excluding the applicant in the applicant tracking system.

2. Alternative Supervision

If an appointment, reappointment, promotion or reassignment of a person places him or her in a supervisory position over a close relative or under the supervision of a close relative, all actions with regard to the terms and conditions of the employment of the supervised employee, including the annual performance evaluation, shall be the responsibility of the next highest administrative supervisor. 

The performance evaluation of the supervised employee must be submitted for review and approval to the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for classified and management administrative and professional employees. In the case of faculty or academic administrative and professional employees, the performance evaluation shall be submitted for approval to the President or designee.


    • Human Resources
    • 713-500-3130