#11 - Conflicts of Interest in Employment
Approved: October 3, 2011
Nomenclature changes: September 1, 2021
Employment of Relatives
- Eastern Illinois University adheres both to the principles of merit and of equal employment opportunity in all employment decisions involving faculty, staff and students. The following guidelines are established for all employment situations involving persons related by blood or marriage, or who are parties to a civil union, when both are employed at the university. The term “immediate family” refers to persons who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or who are parties to a civil union and includes spouse, civil union partner, son or daughter (including stepchildren), grandchild, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, parents, grandparents, parents-in-law, and brother or sister (including step-brother or step-sister).
- Although opportunities for employment, leaves, promotion, tenure and fringe benefits may not be limited because of an immediate family relationship, the University does set reasonable restrictions on an individual’s capacity to function as judge or advocate in specific situations involving members of the immediate family.
- Prospective employees who are immediate family members will each be considered for any employment opportunity for which they are qualified.
- If two employees in a single department are immediate family members, they shall be considered independently for all employment benefits, such as (but not limited to) leaves, sabbaticals, promotions, salary increases, retention or tenure; and neither shall vote, recommend, or have any other part in decision-making regarding the other’s employment, leaves, sabbatical, promotion, salary increases, retention or tenure. Employees who are immediate family members, as well as their supervisor, shall be responsible for ensuring that immediate family members do not vote, recommend or have any other part in decision-making regarding each other’s employment, leaves, promotion, tenure and fringe benefits.
- No employee shall initiate or participate in institutional decisions involving a direct benefit (initial employment, leave of absence, tenure, promotion, sabbatical, pension, salary, etc.) to any immediate family member as described above. Any employee who is in a position to initiate or participate in such institutional decisions involving an immediate family member, by virtue of their service in a supervisory capacity over that family member, is required to refer these decisions to the next higher administrative level.
- At the time any person assumes a supervisory role for a relative, as defined above, the supervisor shall file a statement relinquishing all control of personnel matters to his/her immediate supervisor.
- Each vice president shall ensure compliance with this policy in his/her area. Questions about, or alleged violations of, this policy should be referred to either the appropriate vice president or the Director of Human Resources who shall take whatever enforcement action is deemed to be necessary and appropriate.
- If a current employee is serving as a member of a screening committee in which a relative is an applicant (as defined in 1 above), they must recuse themselves from the committee.
Supervisory/Employee Consensual Relations
- An individual may not initiate or participate in the evaluation or supervision of any matter involving a direct benefit or penalty to someone with whom that individual has had or is having an amorous relationship.
- An amorous relationship exists when, without benefit of marriage, two persons as consenting partners (a) have a sexual union or (b) engage in a romantic partnering or courtship that may or may not have been consummated sexually.
- Relationships such as those between supervisors and their subordinate employees are unprofessional and potentially problematic for the unit and the individuals. Current or past amorous relationships can adversely affect decisions, distort judgments, and undermine morale. Any university employee who participates in academic supervisory or administrative decisions concerning another employee (including students) with whom he or she has had or is having an amorous relationship has a conflict of interest in these situations.
- Accordingly, no individual shall initiate or participate in the evaluation or supervision or any matter involving a direct benefit or penalty (employment, retention, promotion, salary, leave of absence, etc.) to a person with whom that individual has had or is having an amorous relationship. He or she must take specific actions to remove himself or herself from all such decisions and actions, following the process as outlined in the section concerning the employment of relatives. Furthermore, the university prohibits consensual amorous relationships between supervisors and students.
- Failure to abide by this policy constitutes misconduct and is subject to discipline under applicable university procedures and provisions of bargaining agreements.
Participation on Screening Committees
To avoid a potential conflict-of-interest, a screening committee member who may also serve as a recommendation for a candidate should recuse themselves from the committee.